The Reverse Logistics Association promotes best practices related to reverse logistics. RLA is a member-driven, global trade association for the returns and reverse industry. The association offers information, research, solutions, and facilitates networking introductions for manufacturers, retail companies, and third-party providers. Their mission is to educate and inform reverse logistics professionals globally and be the voice of the reverse industry
The U S Postal Service ramps up its marketing for Direct Mail – using the medium to showcase the message. The ‘current’ campaign uses a highly sophisticated direct mailpiece (see description below). Based on our experience developing integrated direct marketing campaigns for Express Mail in the USPS Northeast Region in the mid-1980s, the current campaign is likely targeting SMEs with a list built from a.) In house customer account files, b.) Respondents from prior marketing campaigns, and c.) Purchased lists based on USPS criteria for market segments for direct mail.
The mailpiece itself combines several interactive elements to engage the audience’s senses including sight – the visual elements of design; touch – the physical mailpiece itself, a hard copy Business Reply Card to mail back for more information and featured publication, and the interaction of rubbing the ‘cookie images’; smell – to release the aroma of the cookies, as well as digital interaction with a QR code to scan in order to obtain a copy of publication the “Evolution of a Medium”
The one glaring flaw of the campaign is its timing, as evoked in the copy and artwork; i.e., a tie in to the Holiday Season as referenced by the scratch and sniff holiday cookies. And most interestingly, the direct mailpiece image that was scanned in the Informed Delivery ® service is hot linked to a USPS response microsite – Uncover the secret ingredients with USPS. | USPS Delivers, in effect serving as a demonstration of the service, and an example of an integrated marketing medium.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Postal Service cannot deliver even its own mail on time which is particularly poignant amidst its latest existential crisis. Somehow, delivering mail months late (yes, we are still receiving holiday cards from friends and family as of this month, birthday cards mailed to family members that would have been delivered within the normal First Class Mail standard time frame of 2-3 days nationwide never showed up, and checks mailed to professional industry organizations in January have disappeared.
So, the question remains, is this the Evolution of mail, or the decline and fall of a Postal Service?
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The Postal Service is, again, at a crisis point as we read daily news stories about Mail backlogged for months, if not disappearing entirely, Congressional hearings with the PMG and the Board of Governors, calls for their removal, and a potential network crash centered on a key node in Chicago.
As we are now approaching our third episode dealing with the U. S. Postal Service under the informal rubric of “Everyone Is An Expert, None Have Worked There”, we have decided to formalize the series. Follow us over the next several weeks as we explore the current crisis.
We expect Canada Post Corporation (CPC) to shutdown its international office of exchange (IEO) and one of its three domestic operations hubs in Toronto this week due to COVID-19 pandemic impact on the workforce.
Message n° 36/2021
26 January 2021 / 26 janvier 2021 à 13h32( CET)
Further to EmIS 638/2020, the designated operator of Canada, Canada Post, asks us to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that a number of cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in one of the three shifts at its Gateway East processing plant in the Greater Toronto Area.
Following guidance by the regional health authority, Canada Post has temporarily closed this shift to prevent further spread of the virus. The Toronto exchange office, located in a separate area of the Gateway plant, continues to operate, albeit with a reduced workforce. Given this situation, disruption to normal operations and reduced processing capacity and clearance within customs operations are to be expected.
As further staff shortages are expected during this time, in addition to measures to protect the health and safety of workers, member countries can expect delays in the processing and delivery of both inbound and outbound mail items.
Canada Post is evaluating and adapting existing contingency plans to keep postal items flowing with minimal delay, triaging where appropriate, and will keep member countries updated via EmIS as this situation evolves. Unless designated operators are specifically requested to dispatch to the Montreal or Vancouver offices of exchange, Canada Post requests that dispatches not be diverted or rerouted.
Canada Post has operated with safety protocols in place following the guidance of public health officials since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and will continue to follow their expert guidance and recommendations.
Canada Post thanks all Union member countries and their designated operators for their understanding during this very difficult time.