In 2001 First-Class Mail (FCM) hit an all-time peak of 104 billion pieces. Fast forward to today and it is down more than 40 percent.
Well, if you’re a reader of this blog, you also know that despite this, First-Class Mail remains the biggest provider of revenue and contribution (profit that goes to paying the Postal Service’s institutional costs).
We felt a detailed look at FCM’s history and volume and revenue trends was needed. We started with a paper on correspondence mail, which we blogged about a few weeks ago. In the second of a two-paper series, we examine First-Class transactional mail, such as bills, statements, and payments sent to or from households.
The trend lines for transactional mail aren’t encouraging. Yet we also see opportunities to stem the decline.
Transactional mail, which makes up the largest segment of FCM with 24 billion pieces in fiscal year 2016, was at 39 billion pieces in 2001 — a drop of nearly 40 percent. Like much of the hard-copy world, transactional mail fell victim to the digital revolution. Volume erosion deepened with the Great Recession of 2008. However, unlike in past decades, as the economy recovered and grew after the recession, First-Class Mail volume continued to decline.
Our paper looks at ways to keep transactional mail relevant, such as capitalizing on consumer’s seeming preference for hard-copy bill presentment and statements. Research indicates household customers appear to value a hard-copy record of a bill and opportunities exist for innovating around bills and statements to maintain or enhance their value.
What ideas do you have for keeping First-Class transactional mail relevant? Do you see growth opportunities in certain segments of First-Class Mail?