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Understanding the US Postal Service’s Annual Fiscal Report

February 12, 2020

In December 2019, the USPS® submitted their annual compliance report to Congress, summarizing the 2019 fiscal year. Upon first glance, the decline in mail volume raises some concerns. The two most notable mail volume declines are the 3% decline for First-Class Mail®, about 1.8 billion pieces, and the 2.1% decline for Marketing Mail from 2018-2019.

Despite the reported decline, direct mail continues to be the single most effective communication channel for direct communication and as evidenced by the 60% daily average open rate for Informed Delivery®. In fact, Informed Delivery has now reached a point where almost one out of every four households are receiving at least one daily email from Informed Delivery. This is a great opportunity for direct marketers – you cannot succeed at multichannel marketing without direct mail. Astute direct marketers know to take advantage of this open rate by complimenting the direct mail message with a well-timed digital component. This will help ensure maximum ROI.

Continued vigilance on address quality is crucial to maintaining these results. Delivery points are up by 9.2% when compared to 2018 which, coupled with the need for the USPS to reduce costs, present a challenge as the USPS continues to expand the largest postal delivery network in the world. Congress seems to have taken a look at ways to assist the Postal Service with meaningful legislation to help ameliorate some of these costs, as evidenced by the recent bill passage in the House which repeals the requirement that the USPS annually prepay future retirement health benefits.

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Link to report: https://about.usps.com/what/financials/annual-reports/fy2019.pdf

Informed Delivery Stats: https://www.usps.com/business/pdf/informed-delivery-interactive-campaign-guide.pdf

Recent bill passage: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2382

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