Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association
DMA Calls on Members to Protest Exorbitant, Unexpected Postage Rate Recommendations
WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its recommendations for postage rate increases on February 26, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) expressed its appreciation for the efforts of the PRC to keep its overall recommendations below the levels originally proposed by the US Postal Service (USPS).
However, after a thorough review of the 700-page document, DMA is today expressing its deep disappointment over specific recommendations that would increase postage costs for catalog mailings by as much as 40 percent in some instances.
"This is a case where the devil really did prove to be in the details," said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. "In our analysis of these recommendations, it has become clear that in addition to the increased burden for many nonprofit mailings, the outrageous rate increases proposed for many types of flat mailings are far in excess of what had been expected by the mailing community, and are certain to ultimately cause a serious decline in mail volumes and a negative ripple effect for consumers, businesses, and the economy."
"The reduction in mail volume alone might well be enough to send the Postal Service into a death spiral of reduced revenues, halts to infrastructure improvements, and increases in postage rates for all classes of mail," Greco added.
The PRC recommendations for flat-shaped mail proved to be much higher than those originally requested by the Postal Service when it filed its omnibus rate case on May 3, 2006. According to the USPS, more than 53 billion "flats" were mailed in 2006, accounting for 8 percent of all First-Class mail, 17 percent of Periodicals, and 75 percent of Standard Mail.
"It is unfortunate that this PRC decision represents 'old think' rather than 'new think,'" added Greco. "One of the key principles of postal reform -- sought by the mailing community and embraced by Congress -- was the need for predictability in future rate increases. Now, just weeks after postal reform was enacted into law, the PRC is undermining the spirit of postal reform and Congressional intent by making recommendations that will generate the very 'rate shock' that we have sought to avoid."
"On Monday, we expressed concern that the Postal Service might be moving too far and too fast, without giving mailers a chance to adequately prepare," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA's senior vice president for government affairs. "After digesting the details, we are certain that the PRC is moving much too far and much too fast with rates that will be ruinous for many postal customers. Any responsible policy should allow for a gradual adjustment."
Cerasale also noted that since the early 1990s, when the USPS originally announced its intention to adapt mailing rates to reflect the cost differential between letter-size and flat-size mailings, the USPS has been making those changes gradually, so as not to place an undue burden on the mailing community. "Now the PRC seems to be abandoning that approach just as the Postal Service is investing more than $874 million to make its flats-sorting system more cost-effective," he said.
The presidentially-appointed members of the USPS Board of Governors could approve the PRC's recommendations quickly, and mailers have only until Thursday, March 8 to fax comments to the Governors. Therefore, DMA today is calling on its members to immediately fax letters to the Governors expressing their concerns.
"Every catalog mailer should let the Postal Service and its Governors know that the proposed rates for flats are completely unacceptable to the mailing community, and will have a negative effect -- not only on mail volumes, but on the ability of catalog mailers to communicate with their customers and conduct their business," said Greco. "The long-term results of these ill-advised recommendations could be detrimental to many American businesses and ultimately to our economy as a whole."
Mailers should send their comments via fax to: The Honorable James C. Miller III Chairman, Board of Governors United States Postal Service Fax: 202-268-5472 Copies should be faxed to both: The Honorable Dan G. Blair Chairman Postal Regulatory Commission Fax: 202-789-6886 Stephanie Hendricks Director, Public Affairs Direct Marketing Association 202-955-0085 About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association is a leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents more than 3,600 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 50 other nations, including a majority of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.
In 2006, marketers -- commercial and nonprofit -- spent $166.5 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated $1.93 trillion in incremental sales. Last year, direct marketing accounted for 10.3 percent of total US GDP. Also, there are today 1.7 million direct marketing employees in the US alone. Their collective sales efforts directly support 8.8 million other jobs. That accounts for 10.5 million US jobs.
Useful Direct Marketing and Mail Order Links.
Advertising- Bridal Market Advertising Guide
Advertising- Christian Market Advertising Guide
Advertising- Hispanic/Latino Market Advertising Guide
Advertising- Hispanic/Latino Market Advertising Guide- Master Series
Advertising- Home Furnishing and Decor Advertising Guide
Advertising- Home Gardening Advertising Guide
Advertising- Parenting Market Advertising Guide
Advertising-Pet Market Advertising Guide
Advertising- Woman's Market Advertising Guide
Advertising- How to Create Great Small Business Advertising
Advertising- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz
Call Centers- Telephone Order Taking Services
Catalogs- Catalog and E-commerce Benchmarks
Catalogs- Directory of Mail Order Catalogs
Catalogs- Top 150 Catalogs in the United States
Classified Advertising- How to Market using Classified Ads
Direct Mail- Copywriters and Creative Services Guide
Direct Mail- Directory of Major Direct Mailers
Direct Mail- Inside Direct Mail Newsletter
Direct Mail- Secrets of Successful Direct Mail by Dick Benson
Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Seminars and Events
Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Statistics
Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Response Rates
Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Toolkit
Direct Marketing- Industry Contact Directory
Fulfillment- Warehouse and Order Fulfillment Centers
Mailing Lists- Direct Mail and E-mail Lists
New Products for Direct Marketers to Sell
Product Marketing- Promote your Product to Catalog and Direct Marketing Companies.
Product Marketing- Joe Cossman's Course for Marketing a Product
Product Marketing- How to Market a Product for Under $500
Start a Home Based Mail Order Business- Direct Marketing Toolkit
Wholesale and Drop Shipping- Professional Wholesale Resource Guide
Wholesale Search Engine
Direct Marketing and Mail Order Bookstore
National Mail Order Association Home
Direct Marketing Article Archive