The National Postal Forum (NPF) is an important annual event for organizations who interface and work with the USPS. For SPC’s marketing clients in retail, fashion, automotive, hospitality and other sectors who make significant investments in direct mail, this event can be a powerful source of industry information and support. Once again, this year, SPC sent a delegation to the event to capture useful knowledge for our customers who are always hungry for more insight.
5 Key Takeaways for Our Customers
1) Networking is a key benefit of NPF.
As in past years, we saw many familiar and friendly faces—peers, USPS connections, marketers, consultants and clients. It’s a great time to mix it up with people across the spectrum of the direct mail marketing industry, leading to the kinds of collaboration that help everyone.
2) USPS is committed to Informed Delivery as a platform for the future.
The free service is proving to be an effective way to bypass the household mail gatekeeper and get in front of the “non-CEO” of the home mailbox. 41% of Informed Delivery users are not those mail gatekeepers, and they are seeing their personalized mail for the first time. This could be a significant opportunity for marketers to capture the attention of a new audience segment.
3) NPF is a great venue to sharpen skills—for people up and down the organization.
The NPF breakout sessions ranged from entry-level 101 classes to in-depth, high-level marketing courses. This brings value to organizations of all sizes, because there is potentially something worthwhile for everyone, from entry-level marketers to CMOs.
4) USPS is now focusing on Package Returns.
This developing market is of continued interest for both USPS and marketers as e-commerce continues to grow. It remains to be seen how USPS will continue to develop this area.
5) Informed Delivery is growing, but will it be enough for direct mail marketers?
More than 2,000 businesses have used ID across 10,000 campaigns. The service boasts 16.4 million registered users, growing by 500,000 each month (with 1,000,000/month growth expected by Fall of 2019).
The investment risk for marketers at this early stage is minimal. But we do have some concern about whether the user base will grow large enough for direct mailers to truly take advantage of the opportunity. Size and scope will help keep participation costs down. Given the commitment USPS has made to ID, it’s incumbent upon the USPS to make sure marketers fully understand how to execute an ID campaign to maximize results. It’s an exciting but ongoing learning opportunity for sure and NPF has been and will continue to be a great event to engage, learn, collaborate and have fun!
See you in Orlando in 2020!
Director of Postal Affairs and Logistics