The recession is reaching well beyond the automotive industry or the mall.I guess it's no surprise that companies (and even consumers) are mailing less. In the hey day of the mortgage boom, tiny mortgage companies were mailing millions of pieces a month. And the giant financial services firms were in the multi-million volumes (I remember one company, in particular, who mailed upwards of 10 million pieces each month--that's a lot of paper...).
It's even hitting the U.S. Postal Service, the nation's third-largest employer. From holiday cards to credit card offers, mail volume is down. And the Postal Service is losing money.
What brought the postal decline home to me was this quote from the article:
Stephen Kearney, senior vice president of customer relations for the PostalIn the fiscal year that ended in September, mail carriers delivered 9.5 billion fewer letters and packages than the year before. Kearney says the Postal Service made aggressive cuts and still lost $2.8 billion. Fiscal year 2009, which started Oct. 1, isn't looking any better, he says.
Service, says the drop in mail volume "accelerated throughout the year. ... Our
mail volume had its greatest decline since the Great Depression."
My take on this: I do believe that direct mail will remain a viable channel for some marketers. However, I think that the trend of cutting mail volume is here to stay. Gone are the days of super-duper high volume direct mail, blanketing anyone who seems close to the target audience. DM will be used judiciously and only where it makes sense.