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USPS Fun Facts: Direct Mail Marketing

Oct 19, 2012 9:00:15 AM

How much do you know about the U.S. Postal Service? Check out these interesting facts from the post office.

The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, where Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The cabinet-level Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation and transformed into its current form in 1971 under the Postal Reorganization Act.

USPS Fun Facts

  • The Postal Service
    • is the nation's 2nd largest civilian employer,
    • has the nation's largest retail network,
    • has the world's largest civilian fleet of vehicles, and
    • has the world's largest alternative fuel-enabled fleet.
  • The Postal Service has a larger retail network than McDonald's, Starbucks and Wal-Mart combined (in the United States).
  • The Postal Service has one of the largest learning management systems in the country.
  • The Postal Service receives 90 percent of its retail revenue from 15,000 of its nearly 32,000 postal-operated retail locations.
  • The Postal Service prints more than 800,000 IRS W-2 forms, 3.3 million payroll checks, 1.8 million non-payroll checks and 15.4 million payroll earnings statements annually.
  • Most unusual delivery method: Mule trains in Arizona. Each mule carries about 130 pounds of mail, food, supplies and furniture down the 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, averaging 41,000 pounds per week.
  • Another unusual delivery method: Boat in Michigan. The JW Westcott is a 45-foot contract mail boat out of Detroit, Michigan, that delivers mail to passing ships in the Detroit River. The JW Westcott has its own ZIP code—48222.
  • Located in Maryland, the William F. Bolger Center for Leadership Development is a national training facility for the Postal Service. It is the only hotel in the country featuring an on-site Smithsonian exhibit.
  • There are more than 42,000 ZIP codes in the country.
  • The lowest ZIP code is 00501, a unique ZIP code for the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, New York.
  • The highest ZIP code is 99950 in Ketchikan, Alaska.
  • The easiest ZIP code to remember is 12345, a unique ZIP code for General Electric in Schenectady, New York.
  • The longest regular rural route is Route 2 in Gridley, Kansas. The carrier travels 182.8 miles daily and delivers to 258 boxes.
  • The shortest rural delivery route is Route 42 in Henderson, Nevada. The carrier travels 2.9 miles daily and delivers to 952 boxes.
  • The Postal Service moves mail using planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, float planes, hovercrafts, T-3s, street cars, mules, snowmobiles, bicycles and feet.

All of these interesting facts should remind marketers of the important role the post office plays in the advertising mix. Direct mail is a one-on-one connection that allows marketers to incorporate multiple channels: reply cards, coupons, QR codes, and URLs. Direct mail should be an important part of your marketing plan and will be a strong tool in generating leads, sales and traffic. Direct mail allows you to target your core audience and deliver your message to the right responder.

How do you plan on using direct mail in 2013?

USPS Delivery Truck

Amanda Botzer

Written by Amanda Botzer

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