If you are a US Postal worker, I would start refreshing my resume. You will soon be out of a job.
Today, the Postmaster General told Congress that they may need to cut one day out of postal delivery.(full article here) Only ONE?? Although I am a proponent of an integrated marketing campaign which can include direct mail, I have know for quite a while now that the physical delivery of paper mail pieces is going away. And soon….
Many large companies have already given people the option of going green by not receiving paper bills. I for one, welcome the alternative: a quick email with a pdf of my bill. It is much easier to track and less of a hassle. With online bill pay systems in place as well, I never even have to respond to the bill. The money comes straight out of my bank account. Talk about convenience!
Direct mail is not far behind. For years, people have complained about all the “junk” mail they receive on a daily basis. Because they are so inundated with it, the vast majority of it goes directly to the trash can. In fact, at my mailbox, there is a trash can directly next to the rows of boxes and is full everyday!
If these pieces didn’t interest me from a design perspective, I, too, would place them directly in the round file cabinet.
In addition to that, the green trend isn’t going away anytime soon and some people see direct mail as wasting earth’s resources, which I can partially agree with. So Direct Mail will also be facing an increased campaign against it. That is a very uphill battle and backers of direct mail better start to prepare for it, if they even want to fight. Long term, direct mail is going to lose.
Social Media is also rising in relevance and people are using that medium as a very successful marketing tool. This tool will start to cannibalize direct mail even more than it is now. Direct mail utilizes a lot of resources: material and financial. Social media takes place in the virtual world and is free, it’s reach is broader and more relevant. Which one would you choose?
So, unfortunately for postal workers, your days of job security are limited. Please read the writing on the wall and start pursuing new skills. This will be an opportunity for you to start a career that you have always wanted. This is the push you need. Otherwise you will be part of the millions on unemployment.