USPS Inspector General: Mixed Household Mail Helps Ad Mail


USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb speaks with a business mailer following her keynote presentation at MAILCOM ’19 in Atlantic City.

Speaking at the Wednesday luncheon at MAILCOM ’19, USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb detailed results of a to-be-released study that shows ad mail is most effective when intermixed with other mail.

“Advertising mail was more effective as the share of nonadvertising mail increased relative to the share of ad mail,” she told attendees.


When households receive multiple pieces of mail like First Class Mail and Periodicals along with advertising mail, ad mail’s effectiveness increases. This finding underlines the importance of keeping mailbox contents diverse.

The Office of Inspector General will be issuing its new report shortly. It has conducted two prior studies on mail effectiveness and the neuroscience of mail in conjunction with Temple University.

The new study also showed that flat mail was more effective than letter mail in that flats tend to be more read and responded to than letters. She said this is another reason why the USPS needs to constrain rising flat mail processing costs.


Whitcomb also pointed out that advertising mail has retained its share of the total advertising spend since 1995.

She also told attendees that they could access the OIG hotline for problems with postal service, responding to a question from the audience.

MAILCOM ’19 concluded April 10 in Atlantic City.

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