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TheStreet Open House

Postmaster General Says Technology Is Making Mail More Powerful

Urges Mailing Industry to Focus on Innovation in Delivery, Digital Integration and Targeting

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Technology and changing consumer expectations are helping to transform mail into an even more powerful communications channel, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe told the nation's largest annual gathering of mailing industry leaders today.

"As the mailing industry, we must continue to work to drive innovation and leverage data and technology to improve the consumer experience and grow revenue," Donahoe said in his keynote address at the National Postal Forum. "Our challenge as an industry is to shape those moments when people are experiencing mail, and make them more powerful in the future. That's part of getting our game on — shaping our future and building excitement about the power of mail and the future of mail."

Mail already has an advantage over other ways of communicating, Donahoe said, because it is tactile and encourages users to interact with it. "People slow down and absorb what they receive. They process it. They retain it," he said. To strengthen that experience, Donahoe urged the mailing industry to focus on four key ideas: making mail more personally relevant, more actionable, more functional and more creative.

"Through the convergence of data and technology, mailers can use the insights about individual interests to make mail more personal," he said. "With imbedded QR codes and augmented reality, mail becomes much more functional and creative, creating an even more influential experience."

Donahoe also touted the fact that American businesses are spending the same percentage of their marketing dollars on mail today as they did 30 years ago. 

"Even with the emergence of cable television, social media and smartphones, marketing mail has remained constant because of the tremendous value it delivers to consumers who receive it and its ability to drive an exceptional return on investment for the businesses who send it," said Donahoe. "The growth of our industry is going to be driven by changing technologies and customer expectations. We have to work together as an industry to anticipate these changes by leveraging the value of mail to shape new opportunities."

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