Welcome to Broker Roundtable, where each week we ask list brokers to give their opinions on issues that matter to the marketing community. This week’s question: How concerned are your clients about the prospect of reduced mail delivery?
Our panel includes Kathy Joslin of Statlistics, Matt Kaiser of Veradata, Kevin Kerley of Carney Direct Marketing, Wendy McLaughlin of DSA Direct and Lisa Pollack of Adrea Rubin Marketing. Would you like to be considered to be a member of our roundtable? Contact Larry Riggs (email@example.com).
Kathy Joslin, account executive, Statlistics:
My clients vary. Some have specific in-home target dates that their pieces need to be delivered by and others, such as store mailers have specific sale dates. To these types of mailers, reduced mail delivery could be a factor they will need to take into consideration when planning the campaigns. For other mailers who have promotions that are not as time-sensitive, I would think that a reduction in delivery would not be as significant. So the impact will not be the same for each mailer.
Matt Kaiser, executive vice president, Veradata:
Our clients are more concerned with the price of postage than they are with the removal of Saturday delivery. Ultimately, so long as the service levels of delivery remain constant (minus Saturday), this shouldn’t be that big of an impact to our particular suite of clients. To the extent that this may create a delivery backlog, it could present certain challenges mainly because of bulk mail priority versus first class mail priority. It could potentially create warehousing issues if the U.S. Postal Service can’t deliver all of the bulk mail in a timely fashion due to the reduction in delivery days. But I don’t foresee this to be an issue. So long as the quality control remains intact, the impact will be minimal. The one challenge/exception to this will be rural areas but we think this will have more effect on outgoing mail versus the delivery of advertising mail. Urban consumers will not experience much of a disruption because postal services are easy to find. Mail processing centers will still be open on Saturday. Only delivery and pick-up will be curtailed. For sure, the larger fear among our large clients is bulk postal rate increases. That will have much more of an effect on their bottom lines.
Kevin Kerley, executive vice president Carney Direct Marketing:
This is a great concern of many of my clients. Reduced mail delivery has a detrimental effect on my clients that have time sensitive mail pieces. For instance, some of my clients have dates set for informational meetings in their mail piece, so if the USPS cannot confirm delivery dates for the pieces, my client will be forced to make new arrangements for these meetings. Delays like this add to the costs of the mailings, and have a negative impact on the overall return on investment of their mail campaigns.
Wendy McLaughlin, vice president, list brokerage, DSA Direct:
All mailers who still depend on direct mail for a significant portion of their marketing efforts are highly concerned. The increase in postage costs, now combined with more limited mail delivery in the future is forcing these folks to consider new, more economical marketing channels to continue delivering their products and services. The hope is that other folks such as local newspapers and other co-op mailers will step up their game, and be able to offer a viable way to continue getting messages out on a timely basis.
Lisa Pollack, senior account executive,| Adrea Rubin Marketing Inc.:
Reduced mail delivery will affect mailers who utilize "respond by" dates with small windows, or those mailers who have trigger based campaigns. Even the delay of receiving a mail piece on Monday instead of Saturday may impact results. The mailers will have to adjust their benchmarks for profitability and the length of time needed to achieve the same results. The delay in mail delivery may impact consumers more, as it will delay social security checks and other important mail they are dependent on. It is understandable that the USPS needs to take action to reduce its losses. However these measures will be hurting the one industry that is responsible for the majority of its revenue.