In an obvious attempt to raise more revenue for it's cash strapped agency, the U. S. Postal Service says it will make a concerted effort to attract more businesses to advertise with the agency. This usually means businesses will opt for third-class mail, also known as "junk mail." Last year, USPS delivered 84 billion pieces of "junk mail." They hope to exceed that number this year. With a decade long decline in first-class mail, the Postal Service is desperately looking for ways to make more money. Approximately 50-60% of people who view junk mail act on the material. Meaning, they actually buy the product that is being advertised via junk mail. Junk mail has long been a bane of customers who are tired of getting mail they have no use for at all. Probably about 50% of the junk mail winds up in the trash can without a second thought. But, it is the other 50% that businesses are willing to irritate who just might be interested in their product. Regardless, the Postal Service is more than willing to take business dollars in light of the continuing recession. The U. S. Postal Service is on the brink of bankruptcy. They will make money any way they can these days.
The only problem with taking on more third-class business mail (or junk mail as it is more commonly known) is this puts an added burden on the USPS to deliver the junk mail on time. When I was working for USPS, I'd say it was a hit or miss proposition. All junk mail is color coded by when it is supposed to be delivered. For example, if today is Monday, junk mail may be color-coded purple. Purple could mean it has a delivery date of Thursday. Approximately 50% of the time the mail was delivered when it was supposed to be delivered. Now, I worked back in the 80s and 90s. We had a whole lot more employees than they have now. With less employees, even with high technology machine sorters, I don't see how they can deliver more junk mail. But, in order to stay relevant to the business world, USPS will have to deliver this mail on time or businesses will find another way to make their advertising dollars more effective. I think this is just another indication USPS is going toward more of a bulk mail and parcel mail business model. UPS and Federal Express have taken about 95% of the package business away. So, USPS is left with a dwindling pool of first-class letters, third-class letters, magazines, newspapers and parcels. I'm not sure how long they can sustain a full time employee force with that kind of business. But, perhaps by taking on more junk mail business, they won't have to have massive layoffs. But, massive layoffs are sure to come before much longer.