In this article, Jacob Ross, PebblePost CEO, muses on our partnership with the United States Postal Service and how PebblePost is equipped to handle the situation.
I was excited to join PebblePost in the spring of 2019 for many reasons, not least of which was the critical position of the United States Postal Service in delivering our Programmatic Direct Mail® (for those of you just joining: more relevant mail powered by real-time digital interest).
Coming from digital, I was fascinated to find a “supply chain” in the USPS that offered a refreshing reprieve from some of the issues that have plagued digital advertising: ads not being viewable, bots, brand safety, ad blockers, consumer fatigue, fluctuating media prices, opacity in pricing, and so on.
Here was a channel that—when done right—offered a way for brands to reach consumers with relevant and high-quality messaging—and more importantly, in a respectful way. Each delivered piece sits quietly in your mailbox, hoping to make it past your recycling bin. But it doesn’t just magically show up.
To get to you, it’s handled by some of the 630,000 USPS employees and 37,000 postal locations through a staggeringly scaled set of processes that deliver 472 million mailpieces each day. It’s a truly incredible institution, tied to the formation of our nation, with a mission that includes the mandate to “serve the American people and, through the universal service obligation, bind our nation together by maintaining and operating our unique, vital and resilient infrastructure.” Yes, please.
We all have a relationship with the Postal Service, and like thousands of other companies, PebblePost has built a business around it. As developments continue to unfold in the news, we’ve been asked by some of our brands what, if any, effect this will have on their business. While we have confidence that this 200-year-old organization will weather this storm, we have built our solution with resilience in mind—and here are three examples:
- We use First-Class Mail® for all our products. This premium product helps brands get their message to consumers fast, while it is still relevant. We also reduce wastage by not repeatedly sending them the same piece of mail. The USPS processes 181 million first-class pieces a day. While there have been reports of slowdowns in Standard Mail® delivery, we haven’t seen First-Class affected.
- We partner with private sorting and logistics companies. Once mail pieces are digitally printed, they are picked up, sorted, and delivered daily into the postal stream via our logistics partners to get to homes as quickly as possible. USPS has the capacity to deal with current and future mail volumes, and this helps maximize efficiency and speed.
- We proactively monitor real-time delivery data through third-party mail analytics companies. We have seen no recent delays as of September 1, 2020, and we are keeping a close eye on delivery averages and will adjust our logistics accordingly.
We’re proud to be partners with the USPS, the most liked government agency with 90% approval, and we’re proud every day to help brands connect respectfully with consumers with communications that are relevant to their interests. Since our company launched in 2016, we’ve collectively enabled brands to deliver hundreds of millions of mailpieces to consumers.
The USPS famously handles “last-mile delivery” to help companies like UPS, FedEx, and Amazon get their packages into all homes. I think of this every day as I walk out of my living room “office” for my daily ritual of checking the mail. I consider this ritual to be my “last-feet delivery”, and helps me feel a bit more appreciative of the valuable service the Postal Service provides.
I’m not alone it seems, on a walk around our neighborhood last week we snapped the above picture—and I couldn’t have said it better!