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Graphic Communications Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 45

U.S. Postal Service Reports End of Fiscal Year ResultsThe U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of $5.1 billion for fiscal year 2015 (October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015). The net loss is largely due to certain statutorily mandated payments over which the Postal Service has no control.  Notwithstanding the loss, total revenue was $68.9 billion for the year, an increase of approximately $1.1 billion from 2014.  Source:  U.S. Postal Service
Your ROI is in the MailThe fact is, more people open all of their mail than all of their email.  Think about it – how much junk mail do you tend to get in a day?  70-80% of consumers say that they open all of the direct mail, and 79% of them will act on direct mail immediately, versus 45% for emails.  51% of people say that they prefer to get direct mail from local shops, and 48% say the same of banks.  In one study, out of a collection of 5000 prospects, there was a 3.4% response rate for direct mail – far higher than the .12% typical of email campaigns.  Source:  B2C
USPS Sheds 250K Employees in Past 20 Years A recently released report from the Congressional Research Service detailed the combination of attrition and separation incentives — and, in one case, a round of layoffs — the agency used to trim the number of people it employs by more than 250,000 since 1995. To further cut personnel costs, a “primary driver of USPS’ operating expenses,” CRS noted the Postal Service has increased its reliance on non-career employees.  Source:  Government Executive
Magazine Publisher Printing More Copies Than Ever BeforeRon Epstein, publisher of L.A. Parent, augments the printed magazine with events and digital channels centered around education.  Print volume for the magazine is growing.  “The audience wouldn’t even know us without the print magazine.” Click here to hear an interview with Mr. Epstein.  Source:  What They Think
How Catalogs Can Succeed in an Omnichannel WorldOnce your catalog has done its job of making a shopper want an item that they carry, you’d better make sure that shopper can easily find the item in your online store.  Don’t overlook the importance of having top-quality site search: if you don’t show the most relevant items first, whether the customer searches by item number, item name or a descriptive name, you’re not going to make the sale.  Click here for other tips for making sure that your catalog is effective in driving shoppers toward a final purchase.  Source:  SLI Blog
Trade Publishers See First Sales Growth of 2015According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), July was a strong month for trade publishers. In its Monthly StatShot report, the AAP reported that sales grew .3% in the trade market from January to July 2015 — the first increase in trade sales this year.  Driving that growth were double-digit increases in adult, children/YA, and religious book sales in July.  Overall publisher revenue, including trade, education, and professional & scholarly publishing, decreased by 2% in the first seven months of 2015 to $8.37 billion. That decrease is in comparison to the same seven-month period in 2014.  Source:  Book Business
Paper That Walks A team in China announced in Science Advances they designed a carbon-based paper that takes the next step forward, literally.  The paper is made from an ultrathin carbon-based material called graphene oxide that folds, walks, and even turns corners on its own (as seen in thisvideo). Selected areas of the paper contract when heated with infrared light and swell back up again when the light is turned off.  That allows the researchers to make paper strips that walk forward, backward, and turn when prompted by bursts of laser light.  Source:  AAAS
7-Eleven Adds Lockers for Shipped Package Pickup Looking to make it easier for you to connect with those packages, and maybe sell you a few Slurpees in the process, is 7-Eleven, which recently announced that it is adding storage lockers to more than 200 locations across America and Canada.  The service means that anyone who shops online with a retailer who uses UPS or FedEx has the option of having their package sent directly to the nearest 7-Eleven for pick-up. Customers receive a barcode on their smartphone, which is scanned at the locker in order to open the unit and receive their goods.  Source:  NBC News

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