The USPS has announced that Forever First-Class stamps will cost $0.68 cents starting January 21, 2024. This is the fifth price increase in the two years. When the stamps were introduced in 2007, they cost $0.41 cents. The increases are part of the Postal Services 10-years American plan, enacted by Postmaster General Louis Joy. The plan was to put the Postal Service on the path to service excellence and financial stability. These increases come as mail volume has declined. Traditional mail is still the biggest money maker for the USPS, and each rate hike just drives more mail from the system.
Wisconsin Printers are major players in the production of Direct Mail. R.R. Donnelly, the largest printer in the United States has multiple facilities in Wisconsin dedicated printing direct mail products. Quad Graphics – Quad Direct, the second largest printer in the United States has large facility dedicated to direct mail production. Freedom Graphics, Inc. in Milton, Wisconsin produced and mailed over five billion pieces annually with over 800,000 square feet operating under one roof. In addition, Wisconsin has over thirty other Printers and Mail Houses producing direct mail products. In addition, the Wisconsin Printing industry is a leader in the production of catalogs with over ten major players.
With the price of postage, dropping demand and the lack of Paper Production in Wisconsin, the Printing Industry has a lot of challenges. The Direct Mailing Advertising industry is $10.9 billion in 2023 and expected volume to decline -1.6% in 2023. We have seen a five-year decline of -1.3% between 2018 – 2023.
The question is why is direct mail still relevant to 2024 marketing strategies? Direct Mail has consistently proved itself as one of the most compelling and effecting marketing tools. Direct Mail is driving traffic to one’s website. The constructive collaboration in combining digital and offline marketing is one of the biggest reasons for promoting brand awareness. While social media can reach billions of people, direct mail is focused on specific target markets by building a relationship. While we have witnessed a drop in mail volume the Printing Industry has embarked on using personalized techniques such as variable data printing, personalized URL’s creating a direct mail piece that feels thoughtfully tailored to the recipient.
The bottom line is direct mail is not going away and more businesses are waking up to the power of direct mail. With modern technologies for gathering data, the Direct Mail Industry will see smaller volumes highly targeted at specific buyers.