Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BIG’s Blog: When the Post Office Changes

In my last blog I gave you a peek into how the postal service will dramatically cut its costs to survive the huge fall-off in first-class mail revenue.

But the loss of first-class mail changes more than just the revenue stream of the postal service; it changes the very ‘essence of value’ in how postal patrons view the mail.

For example, almost every city in America has a daily newspaper, or did until the last few years. And along with daily newspapers, most cities have a weekly advertising circular-type paper, with names like the “Penny Press,” that are also delivered to the home. These advertising circulars have little, if any, editorial content and are primarily advertising vehicles.

How much more value do you put on the newspaper than you do the advertising circular?

It’s the same with postal mail. As first-class mail dwindles away, so too does the ‘value’ of the mail. Postal patrons that continue to receive the mail will ‘know’ that it is morphing into an advertising media. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but direct marketing response rates will decline as the ‘essence of value’ is diminished.

Hopefully, long before this comes to pass, your fundraising organization will have moved your fundraising efforts in a different direction.

In my blog the other day, wherein I described the end of mail home delivery and the outsourcing of P.O. boxes to private retail companies, several of my readers challenged me on this point. Their arguments essentially came down to, “It will never happen.”

To the people who wrote in, and to those of you who may also harbor some unbelief that mail home delivery may someday disappear, I remind you that some of my earliest memories are of milk and dairy products being delivered to the home. Today, home delivery of milk is a distant soon will be mail home delivery.


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