Fresh Data Blog
Fresh Data Archive
Developments in the International Postal World
Date: February, 2013 --
Last October, the 192 member countries of the Universal
Postal Union met in Doha for three weeks to plan the work program for the
coming four years. It will be a busy period for the UPU staff and their new
leaders, Director General Bishar Hussein (Kenya) and Deputy Director Pascal Clivas
relevance to the marketing community, the Direct Mail Advisory Board (DMAB) has been renamed the Direct Marketing Advisory Board. The body was
created in 1998 on the initiative of the USPS and the US DMA. It was formed to conduct research and educate
the posts about direct mail and the services posts need to enable businesses to
make the “mail marketing investment”.
has produced “how-to” manuals for posts which explain what direct mail is and
what posts need to provide to foster its adoption, from address data to bulk
rates to return processes and even loading docks! Moreover, its research has
provided valuable insight into the different services the posts provide and
important data on the size of many markets.
has held numerous multi-day seminars around the world to teach postal employees
the basics of direct marketing and direct mail. These seminars have become extremely
popular and have doubtless encouraged higher domestic and international direct
mail volumes as posts make new services and tools available, such as change of
address notifications and bulk mail entry.
2008, however, the market has created intense competition for the mail
medium. Email has been the challenge in
some countries, predominantly in Europe where Internet access is widespread; however,
the major challenge has been from mobile, whose penetration is deeper than the
Internet, especially in the developing world. In 2008, DMAB courses were
already incorporating elements of the other media, drawing on case studies from
many countries where multi-channel marketing was growing rapidly.
digital side of the postal equation, the UPU launched “dot Post” at the
Congress. This hyper-secure domain on
the Internet is now available for development by postal systems and the postal
industry world-wide. Look for an expansion of eCommerce in this domain as posts
continue to compete with express carriers and give their domestic customers
access to on-line shopping opportunities around the world.
mailers, dot Post will be the location of one of the first experiments by posts
with regulated hybrid mail across borders. The leadership of the International
Hybrid Mail Coalition will drive developments. Imagine as a mailer that you can
electronically send your address data and creative files through your post to a
certified printer, or printers, in a foreign country. Your pieces are printed
there, perhaps even printed on a regional basis for insertion closer to the
destinations. No more putting your mail into a pallet or bag and transporting
it by plane at significant cost to your budget and the environment. You could
send your campaign in the morning and be in the mail in Europe by noon, your
time. You could even put different return addresses on batches, in country or
out, to test response rates.
eCommerce specifically gets a boost as the Address for Everyone campaign
continues to convince countries to install and expand their address systems. In
addition, more posts will start providing financial services to the unbanked,
creating new customers.
encourage cross-border purchasing, there is a project to create a return parcel
service in the UPU system which would enable a merchant to offer a “free” return
to customers in other countries. The posts would work out the money exchange
and customs issues. Consumer surveys consistently highlight the desire of
would-be buyers for this service, which would increase trust as well as the
amount of on-line, cross-border purchasing.
These indeed are exciting times for
the UPU and for mailers. Data Services is proud to do its part by providing the
fastest, most comprehensive, and most technologically advanced direct and data-driven
marketing services available to help you better understand your domestic and
international audience and ensure your mail pieces reach their intended target.