Mail Moves America. . .and Mailing and Fulfillment Technology Moves the Mail
Mail Moves America is the name of a new broad-based coalition of mailing and fulfillment industry related companies and associations, initially formed for the purpose of countering efforts to curtail, if not eliminate, mail delivery of direct commercial communication. But the phrase “Mail Moves America” is far more than that; it is quite simply the literal description of a key structural component of the American economy.
Despite the growth of electronic communications, the U.S. mail remains a critical means by which to exchange information and conduct commerce for over 146 million separate American households, businesses and nonprofit organizations. And, since advertising mail currently provides more than half of the annual revenue that makes this possible, its loss would surely cause postal rates to rise, curtail customer service and ultimately damage the larger U.S. economy.
NPES and the other members of the Mail Moves America coalition have stepped up industry education efforts in order to be prepared to act swiftly and decisively in anticipation of aggressive “Do-not-Mail” efforts. The presentation of this subject at the GRAPH EXPO Mailing and Fulfillment Theater was the most recent example of this increased industry awareness effort.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, the original organizer of Mail Moves America, the average U.S. household receives just over 14 pieces per week of Standard Mail from businesses and nonprofit organizations, and a 2005 USPS Household Diary study indicated that 85 percent of U.S. households usually read some or all of the advertising mail they receive. They say it makes shopping more convenient, gives additional choices and saves them money.
Getting off mailing lists should never be difficult. It is usually a simple matter of recipients contacting mailers and request-ing to be removed from their lists, and to not have their names shared with other mailers. Nevertheless, the recent “Do-not-Mail” legislative effort has come about and persists. Fortunately, no legislation has been enacted into law yet…but the momentum is building.