Printing Impressions

You will be automatically redirected to piworld in 20 seconds.
Skip this advertisement.

Advertisement
Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Senior Editor, Printing Impressions Magazine

Printers’ Pulse

By Erik Cagle

About Erik

Erik Cagle is senior editor for Printing Impressions magazine. He has reported on the graphics arts industry for 11 years.

 

SOS for the USPS

3
 
A venerable institution in this country is in dire need of our help and support. I'm talking about the neighborhood post office. But first, an awkward segue.

You know, nothing angers up the blood quite like the environmental do-gooders who have targeted direct mail with their latest campaign in an effort to save the earth (by the way, if you want a, pardon the pun, earthy take on environmentalist efforts to save the planet, visit YouTube and look up George Carlin...outrageously hilarious). Where do enviros get off, trying to get "anti-junk mail" legislation passed?

Before you flame the beejezus out of me, rest assured that I share in the common goal of a beautiful, sustainable planet. My recyclables are, well, recycled properly. That goes right down to my mail; not only is it not tossed into the community landfill, it is repurposed into a national archive here at NAPCO. The Cagle household does not contribute to the estimated 2 percent of landfill occupied by Wal-Mart circulars, Capital One credit card offers and Papa John's coupons.

Well, the city commissioners in San Francisco took it upon themselves to pass a resolution encouraging not only the state of California, but the nation, to take up the creation of a Do Not Mail list, modeled after the Do Not Call registry. My first reaction: What a bunch of losers. My second reaction: The affectation that accompanies residence in San Fran has transformed from the superficial to the superfluous.

Unless the gentle folk in the city by the Bay are getting 10 pounds of mail per day, I'm missing a very fundamental issue with the enviro peeps. We kicked telemarketers to the curb because they called at dinner time, which is intrusive. But mail? What did mail ever do to you?

First off, I LOVE MAIL. That's not a printing butt smooch, either. I was a stamp collector as a young boy and loved the educational aspect of them. I was the only 10-year-old on the block who knew about Dag Hammarskjold (and the printing error/variation on the former UN secretary-general's stamp). I am a big fan of the USPS and am prepared to take a punch for Mr. ZIP.

Personally, I have done much business through advertising mail. It's there when I want or need it. At some point each evening, I want to see what the mail has sent along, and I'll sit down—or stand, because it's mostly three to four pieces per day—and pore over the arrivals. Catalogs are awesome; my wife makes the most of them around birthdays and Christmas. On the rare days when nothing comes, I gotta admit, there's a slight tinge of disappointment.

Point being, mail is the friendliest, most effective and least intrusive way for advertisers to reach customers. Mail waits until you're ready—you don't need to open it while feasting on casserole, and it doesn't give you paper cuts while you're watching "House."

OK, so I'm preaching to the choir for the most part. You've already read all the statistics on the dire circumstances facing the USPS and have a pretty good feel for what would happen to mail volume should a nationwide, or even state-sponsored, Do Not Mail registry go into effect.

But, apparently, there are people out there who take offense at receiving mail—folks who just simply won't use the opt-out functions currently available to get taken off advertising mail lists. Are you one of them? Are you sick of all the so-called junk mail? Fine, we'll take it off your hands.

In fact, the first five people who respond to me (ecagle@napco.com) can be added to our mail archive. We'll reimburse you for a postpaid FedEx box each month, you dump all the advertising mail you get into it, send it to us and we'll archive it. Your name and address will be inked out on our end to ensure your privacy. We don't give out your personal information. No catches or strings attached. Rid yourself of unwanted mail in an environmentally responsible manner. Write for more information or if you have any questions.

Hey, we may not always agree, but there's usually a solution to fit everyone.
3

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Hal Kohn - Posted on April 25, 2009
Why not give every person who opts in to direct mail advertising a carbon credit?

The advertisers share the wealth this way, even if it is only a virtual carbon credit.

If these credits prove more useful than frequent flier awards, we may see more people opting in.
Peter Johnston - Posted on April 24, 2009
What has happened to mail is attributal to the wholesale abandonment of print by agencies for the delusion of digital. It is almost criminal. I recently had an opportunity to talk with an agency person lamenting the lack of traffic/interest in a customer's website. I suggested a mailing to promote the site. It was like a revelation. He even got excited that it might work. Wow!
Tom Houser - Posted on April 24, 2009
OMG. What a rant!

Look, I have no objection to you or anyone else mailing me junk which I too can recycle. JUST PAY THE SAME THING TO THE USPS THAT I DO to mail a letter. IT IS TIME TO STOP ASKING ME TO PAY HIGHER POSTAGE TO SUBSIDIZE THE DISCOUNTS THAT JUNK MAILERS GET.

Junk mail is OK but stop asking me to pay for it through higher postage for my mail.

Tom Houser
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Hal Kohn - Posted on April 25, 2009
Why not give every person who opts in to direct mail advertising a carbon credit?

The advertisers share the wealth this way, even if it is only a virtual carbon credit.

If these credits prove more useful than frequent flier awards, we may see more people opting in.
Peter Johnston - Posted on April 24, 2009
What has happened to mail is attributal to the wholesale abandonment of print by agencies for the delusion of digital. It is almost criminal. I recently had an opportunity to talk with an agency person lamenting the lack of traffic/interest in a customer's website. I suggested a mailing to promote the site. It was like a revelation. He even got excited that it might work. Wow!
Tom Houser - Posted on April 24, 2009
OMG. What a rant!

Look, I have no objection to you or anyone else mailing me junk which I too can recycle. JUST PAY THE SAME THING TO THE USPS THAT I DO to mail a letter. IT IS TIME TO STOP ASKING ME TO PAY HIGHER POSTAGE TO SUBSIDIZE THE DISCOUNTS THAT JUNK MAILERS GET.

Junk mail is OK but stop asking me to pay for it through higher postage for my mail.

Tom Houser