The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced on November 15th that they lost over $5 billion last fiscal year, due to the continuing downward trend in first-class mail. To cope, the USPS is trying to increase the volume of commercial mail in the system — what many would call “junk mail”. They plan to do this, in part, by exempting heavier commercial mail from the postal rate increase that’s scheduled to go into effect on January 22, 2012.
In a statement, Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer for the agency, said that the initiative will “[give] companies expanded opportunities to advertise new services and products to their customers as part of bill and statement mailings.” But a recent survey I conducted shows that many customers already get a great deal of junk mail.
Most survey respondents don’t get very much mail per week: less than five items. But those that get more get a lot more:
And those who get more than 15 pieces say that most of it is commercial mail:
The agency’s efforts to increase commercial mail volumes flies in the face of many companies’ efforts to promote paperless billing, particularly via bill aggregation portals like Manilla. But it hasn’t stopped them from trying to convince businesses that paper mail is better because it’s more secure. Check out this recent television advertisement from the USPS.