Evolution of Mail Inevitable
The economic downturn hit many industries hard, including the direct mail industry. As the mortgage crisis became the credit crisis, consumer confidence and spending plummeted, causing a change in how businesses approached advertising.
Although change is already underway for the mailing industry, most experts agree that mail will continue to be a vital and powerful engine in our nation's economy for years to come. Direct mail is critical to the economic well-being of communities, businesses and charities throughout the United States. Here are a few reasons why:
• Last year, advertising mail contributed more than $702 billion in increased sales to the U.S. economy.
• Small businesses, which produce 60 percent to 80 percent of all new jobs, depend on advertising direct mail as the most affordable and effective way to communicate with customers.
• There are 8.3 million jobs associated with the mailing industry, according to a 2008 study by the Envelope Manufacturer's Foundation.
Mail remains the backbone of business and consumer communications. Yet, a shifting focus by businesses to multichannel advertising, initiatives within the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the national and state political climate promise an evolution in how the mailing industry operates.
As the economy rebounds, the direct mail industry must evolve to meet the needs of a changed business environment driven largely by new consumer attitudes and behaviors. As customers' preferences for communications have changed from purely physical to multichannel, this means a necessary expansion by the mailing industry to offerings associated with digital media.
In fact, with the proliferation of ways to communicate in recent years, many customers are expressing more complex channel preferences to avoid what is commonly referred to as "information overload." It's more important than ever in this environment for the industry to offer a variety of personalized and targeted methods of communication for businesses to reach consumer groups.