Dan Kimball

Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is no stranger to bad news-and if the first three months of the new year are any indication, the struggling organization won't see much respite any time soon.

If there's one positive that can come out of postal rate increases, it's this: large mailers must be more efficient to keep costs down. But that's not enough to win over potential customers—especially if all mailers follow this same formula.

Envelopes are preferred stock in a technology-driven world. Our futuristic, paperless society really likes paper. While we have all benefited from technology, people haven't begun getting rid of their mailboxes, so envelopes are a long way from being obsolete," said Steve Brocker, vice president of sales and marketing at Western States Envelope and Label, Butler, Wis. Brocker said that a recent report published by the Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA), Alexandria, Va., indicates that envelope consumption was down 2.4 percent in units in 2002 due to a declining economy and the aftermath of events following Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent Anthrax scare.

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