In today’s digital world, there are multiple reasons why mail is still economically and legally relevant. A recent article by Mark Fallon from The Berkshire Company, “Why Mail Remains Important in the Digital Economy,” explores how mail is still vital for financial, marketing, legal, security and cost reasons.
Mr. Fallon explains four areas where we rely on the USPS to provide delivery of physical mail.
- Financial statements – in the past five years, mail volume has dropped by about 11%. Most of this volume is made up of bill payments. Companies have convinced nearly 50% of their customers to make payments online. However, the volume of mail companies send to their clients has only dropped about 10% during that same period. This discrepancy indicates that most people still want a paper copy of their bill. A recent study by Toluna and Two Sides North America supports this by reporting that 56% of U.S. consumers find it easier to manage their finances when printed on paper.
- USPS Marketing Mail (direct mail from companies and non-profit organizations) – this type of mail has only seen a slight decrease of 4%. Marketing professionals have seen an increased response when they integrate mail with other online marketing campaigns. That’s because the ROI of print advertising is often significantly better than digital. There have also been recent examples of retailers who attribute decreased sales to the elimination of their direct mail programs.
- Legal documents – many legal notifications still need to be delivered via mail. So far, there has not been legislation to challenge those legal requirements, and companies have been hesitant to move away from delivering critical information via physical mail.
- Voting and ballot security – over 20 states have passed laws allowing certain elections to be conducted by mail. Oregon was the first and had significantly higher voter turnout, and voting by mail is up to 40% less expensive than in-person voting.
For all of these reasons, we rely on a stable and reliable USPS system to ensure we have the choice to receive documents that are a critical part of our day-to-day lives.