Postal: Don’t Get Mad – Get Involved!

How will you adapt if your postage rates rise by another 20% in one year? Followed by 15% more the next year? Then perhaps followed by a meager 10% increase the year after that?

Will you be in business? Can you afford these increases while continuing to create or even maintain jobs?

If your reaction is, “How can we possibly afford that?” ask yourselves how you can afford not to pay 0.25% of your current postage bill to prevent a scenario such as this from happening. Chances are that this is less than 1/100th of your 2007 postal increase.

Here’s another question: How different would your company’s situation be if pre-2007 postal rates were still in effect? (Hold all the other variables constant. Assume this recession is what it is.) Look beyond your own circulation plans to universes available if some of your best sources of prospects weren’t shrinking.

What if I told you the rate shock of 2007 could have been avoided? I absolutely believe this to be the case.

Those of us actively involved in the American Catalog Mailers Association have heard loud and clear from numerous government officials that the massive rate hike happened because we, the catalog mailers, were not part of the process. We were not in Washington educating both the U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission on the nature of our business.

I’m an ROI-based decision maker. In this environment, I must scrutinize every single dollar my company spends, and cash is king. I became a member of ACMA somewhat reluctantly at first.

Colleagues in the industry had to convince me that I could not afford not to join ACMA. They were right, and here I am. The survival of my company depends on the survival of our industry.

We now have a seat at the table. We have direct relationships with USPS and PRC employees. But there’s one thing we don’t have–and that’s you.

Each and every one of us is needed in this process. Preventing the destruction of cataloging takes effort, passion, and money. Surprisingly, we’ve discovered, it can take very little money if we all participate–just less than 1/100th of your 2007 postal increase.

It is our industry.

Will you join me in ensuring that we collectively have a future?

Terri S. Alpert is founder/CEO of Uno Alla Volta and Cooking Enthusiast.

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