The End of Saturday Mail Delivery and the Impact on Direct Marketers

Written By Mark Weinstein, President

For years the U.S. Postal Service has pushed to cancel Saturday mail delivery to cut costs. On February 6, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it plans to end Saturday mail delivery starting in August.  This is the most significant step taken by the USPS to cut costs, and will reportedly save about $2 billion. We are told delivery to PO Boxes and package delivery will remain at six days, and Standard Class mail will still be processed every day.

Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

There appears a strong likelihood of the USPS moving ahead with the 5-day per week plan.  As marketers using the mail we should plan ahead and be prepared for the August implementation.

Post Man
Believe it or not, the Postal Service used to make multiple
deliveries per day, especially around the December holidays.

With one less day for delivery, daily volume will likely increase at each household…probably by 3-5 pieces per day.

This means the competition for your direct mail to get noticed and to get consumers to take action will also increase.  Imaginative mail designs, unique mail formats, creative use of personalization, and using the latest digital printing technology will be necessary to grab attention and get people to open your mail.

To help set your mail apart, it will become more important than ever to integrate the direct mail message strategy & style and the visual design with the other media channels in your campaign — social, mobile, video and email, as well as traditional print advertising. Your mail will be more effective, and stand out from other mail received, if there is already an awareness and interest generated through other media.

It is likely Monday delivery will see the largest increase in pieces delivered to households.  Do your best to time delivery to arrive Tuesday through Friday.  Fridays may be the ideal day since the recipient will now have three days to review received mail before the next delivery.

It will become more important than ever to know when your piece is getting in the hands of consumers.  Use IMbTracing® or MultiTrac® to get valuable day-of-the-week delivery information.

Do your testing and planning now in anticipation of the impact the five-day delivery will have on all business-to-consumer mailers.  Make this an opportunity to take control of your campaigns and get an edge over your competitors.