First-Class Mail Continues To Drop In 2017; Periodicals Slammed; Direct Mail Off

Members of the Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee meeting in February heard good and bad news:

First-Class Mail volume continues to weaken. Presort is down 4% in December after 4% gain in November due to election mail. January is down and it appears the decline will continue in February. The USPS is concerned because while there have been negative trends in past this development is not typical for these months. In 2016 February volume was up 4.1% and March was up 3.5% so lower numbers now are disturbing.

Periodical Mail Volumes down 5% overall in Qtr. 1 vs. SPLY. Quarterlies, weeklies and monthlies all driving decline in volumes. Dailies are down 8% but monthlies are down 17%.

USPS promotions are really taking off, accounting for 14.9 billion Mail pieces and $3.6 billion in revenue with 1,626 participating customers (increase of about 150 new). The Earned Value Credit Promotion has 759 participants, a 40% increase from previous year.

Marketing (Standard) Mail Volume will be lower in January and February. Flats experiencing biggest decreases (.4% in Qtr 1 FY17). Large increase in High Density and Saturation letters. 2016 saw positive trend with steady increases in FY16-Qtr 1 up 2%, Qtr 2 up 2%, Qtr 3 up 5% and Qtr 4 up 1.5%.

Here are the powerpoint presentations made at the March 2017 meeting of the Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee:

— Mail Prep and Entry, Operations – All Classes

— Enterprise Analytics and Data Usage – All Classes

— Emerging Technology and Product Information – All Classes