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Help yourself and the USPS by amping up your direct mail

Terry Fyffe - Saturday, March 08, 2014
The recent decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission to increase postal rates by 4.3% to make up for recessionary losses—on top of a 1.7% inflationary spike—has been lambasted by direct mail organizations. But should we be sounding the death knell for direct mail as an effective marketing channel? Hardly. 

Businesses can actually help pull the struggling USPS out of the red and make a decent buck in the process by investing more, not less, in direct mail marketing during 2014. The key is designing clever, targeted direct mail campaigns that take advantage of some creative approaches—and technology.

USPS Rate Increase Denied

Terry Fyffe - Thursday, September 30, 2010

PRG Denies Postal Service Exigent Rate Request

Decision is Unanimous

Washington, DC - The Postal Regulatory Commission today issued Order No. 547 in Docket R2010-4 denying a Postal Service request for an average 5.6 percent rate increase. The Commission found that the Postal Service failed to justiff rate increases in excess of its statutory CPI price cap. "The Commission finds that the Postal Service has shown the recent recession to be an exigent circumstance but it has failed both to quantifo the impact of the recession on its finances and to show how its rate request relates to the resulting loss of mailvolume; therefore, we unanimously deny its exigent rate request," said Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway.  The law requires the Postal Service to demonstrate that any exigent rate adjustments are due to the identified exceptional circumstances. This prevents a bona fide extraordinary or exceptional circumstance from being used as a general rate increase mechanism that would circumvent the price cap system.  The Postal Service's recent volume losses and multi-billion dollar shortfalls are recognized. However, Commission analysis confirms that the Postal Service's cash flow problem is not a result of the recession and would have occurred whether or not the recession took place. lt is the result of other, unrelated structural problems and the proposed exigent rate adjustments would neither solve nor delay those problems.

Postal Service may be unable to continue to meet a statutory 1O-year payment schedule averaging roughly $5.5 billion per year - to create a fund to pay future retiree health benefit premiums. lt has been unable to fund this obligation from operations, and has instead used up all of its retained earnings and drawn down from its $15 billion borrowing authority. Even with the requested increase, the Postal Service would be unable to meet this annual obligation either in 2011, or in succeeding years.  The Postal Service achieved over $6 billion in cost reductions in 2009. While volume declines outstripped cost reductions during the actual recession, Postal Service cost containment programs

are producing results and work hours have declined faster than volumes in 2010.


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