Re-Engineer The Junk Mail Ecosystem

Re-Engineer The Junk Mail Ecosystem

There are millions and billions of junk mails delivered to the mailboxes coast to coast on the daily basis, with each junk mail yearning wholeheartedly: “Please open me! Please read me!” And these millions and billions of junk mails wont be possible without the encouragement and support by the USPS Standard Mails.

Many proposals, attempts, implementations, projects, groups and organizations, had come into existence in the past for the purpose of defeating the flourishing of junk mails. All these anti junk-mail efforts legitimately recognized the waste of economical and societal resources caused by the junk mails, and their solutions were mostly taking the approach of building a barrier against the flood of junk mails, i.e. treat the problem after its occurrence.

The USPS has not been helpful in curbing the flood of junk mails as well, rather it has provided consistently the means to sustain/accelerate the flash water. Understandably the postal service revenue deficit is the primary factor contributing to the USPS’ choice of (non)action against the junk mail phenomenon.

The Suspect And The Accessory

When examining the spillage of junk mail we can easily identify the culpable parties – the businesses and organizations that utilize the junk mail to reach their target recipients for their marketing/promotional contents, and the delicery boy – the USPS.

No one can build their business or grow their organization without sufficient marketing investment and execution. There are the marketing messages and promotional contents that need to be dispatched to their target audience. The “how to dispatch” is easy, often with USPS Standard Mail as an easy “everybody’s doing it” choice. The whole junk mail production process – marketing creatives, media design, production, and dispatrubution – has also grown to be sufficiently economical and efficient in support of the millions and billions of daily junk mails, such that “doing junk mail” is a plain and simple “must” for many marketers.

Crime Out Of Necessity

The marketers were forced to commit their crime (junk mailing) as they’ve been charged to accomplish the followings:

  1. Create the marketing message/content
  2. Identify the marketing message/content target recipients
  3. DEli Vee the marketing message/content to these recipients

For marketers, the identifying of the target recipients is reasily a major challenge, and to further obtain the contact data of the identified recipients adds a further difficulty level. Hence the adoption of a “blanket bombing” approach becomes an easy and lazy choice – utilizing USPS Stand Mail (which now allows non specific receiver name, and non specific address) – to indiscriminately flood a targeted postal delivery area with the marketing message/content. This “blanket bombing” approach has also become a must, with the “everybody’s doing it” excuse.

Live On With No Choice

And this is all because the marketers have no other choice. Seriously, what are the alternatives other than the USPS Standard Mail, to fulfill the marketers’ job, easily and lazily?

The marketers know that the USPS Standard Mail is not perfect, especially when considering the need of identifying the marketing message/content recipient targets. High quality target identifying (of recipients) is a task well beyond the USPS’ realm, and the marketers simply have to live with this predicament. On the other hand, the USPS is capable to fulfill the “blanket bombing” requirement,  as compensating the lack of accurate target identifying. Better than nothing, yet leave you with no other choices!

Root Of The Crime

Obviously the solution for fixing the junk mail spillage has to focus on the issue of the marketer’s inherently difficulty in accurately identifying target recipient. Accurate recipient targeting will drive down dramatically the number of reach-and-delivery targets, significantly improve the hit ratio, and save the cost  unprecedentedly.

Normally the identifying of target recipients involves the acquisition and usage of the recipients’ demographic profiles. This requires the target recipients’ opt-in to the marketer’s request, as commonly seen in the form of “e-mail opt-in” where the opt-in individuals provide their demographic data to  allow accurate recipient targeting by the marketers.

USPS In The Way

In the world of USPS physical postal service, such opt-in becomes extremely hard to obtain. The combination of personal name, postal delivery address, and the demographic profile, becomes overly sensitive for the matter of personal identity privacy and protection. There’s no easy way for the marketer to obtain reasonably sufficient number of USPS postal recipient opt-ins in reality.

The USPS’ postal delivery address and the mail receiver name as such become the deterrents against the acquisition of useful target recipient demographic profiles. Individuals living in the  physical postal delivery address space will choose to “stay low” and “stay safe”, hence forcing the marketers to take the easy and lazy, yet highly unproductive and wasteful approach of junk mailing.

The earnest and honest marketers obviously need to find an alternative to the junk mail – in a new dimension, as a parallel universe to the USPS.

Converting USPS Opt-Out To Non USPS Opt-In

It is very possible that a junk mail to you is actually precious to certain other recipients – different people go for different things. It is too bad that under the “blanket bombing” junk mail approach you’d probably receive only one interesting junk mail out of a hundred. And since ninety nine of them are annoying to you, the single interesting one also very likely gets ignored and discarded. So first thing in fixing the junk mailing is to avoid this “diluting” problem, i.e. to eliminate the large percentage of inaccurately targeted mails.

The junk mailers need to improve their mailing target accuracy, to bring up the recipients’ level of attention, and eventually the level of open/read/acceptance. But this won’t happen within the USPS walled garden space, as the identity-sensitive postal recipients are too wary to give away their further personal information. The conversion of a USPS junk mail opt-out person into an opt-in participant has to happen in a new dimension outside of the USPS walled garden.

Stay with USPS and you (sender) stay as junk mailer!


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