MAILCOM attendees heard fascinating presentations on the future of mail from Gary Reblin, USPS Vice President of Product Innovation, and Kevin Gilligan, Vice President of Structural Graphics.
Reblin outlined Informed Delivery, the daily email service the USPS is providing customers that shows actual pictures of the mail being delivered to their homes. The program rolls out nationwide in April.
One interesting aspect of the program: mailers can have their logo or a teaser box included in the email next to the picture of their mail being delivered to the customer. For instance, Capitol One can have its logo or teaser box appear just under the picture of the Capitol One mailer being delivered that day.
The cost: zero. It’s a freebie. All the mailer has to do is provide the logo or teaser box under mail.dat specifications to the USPS in advance. More information on this will be provided.
Kevin Gilligan was hands down the most fascinating speaker as he gave numerous examples of cutting-edge mail being made. One mail piece he demonstrated was printed with conductive ink and a bluetooth device incorporated in the paper. When you pressed a portion of the paper, it activated your cell phone.
Video mail, hologram mail, virtual reality mail, and more were demonstrated.
One concern among mail managers was mail that had any wires incorporated in it would be flagged by inbound security systems as possible bombs. Another concern was cost. The more advanced mail pieces could cost upwards of $38, limiting the number that could be utilized in a marketing campaign.
But all advanced mail need not be expensive, as Gilligan pointed out. Some advanced features could be gotten for $1 a piece. He also noted that over time, the cost of making advanced mail will decline as more mailers adopt the technologies.
Check back for a video of Kevin Gilligan’s presentation.