The U.S. Postal Service faces serious trouble in the email age -- no one disputes that. But is the answer really more junk mail?
"We believe it could be a billion-dollar product for the Postal Service by 2016," says Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing officer for the Postal Service.
The agency posted a loss of $5.1 billion for the year ended Sept. 30 as the volume of first-class mail continued to plunge and as it covered healthcare benefits for retirees.
To help stem the tide of red ink, the Postal Service is looking to close more than 200 facilities and cut about 32,000 jobs. It also wants to end Saturday delivery and hike postage rates (again).
And now comes its latest money-making idea: A campaign called "Every Door Direct Mail" that's being aimed at small businesses. The pitch is that, using an online tool, businesses can target specific neighborhoods without actually knowing people's names or addresses.
They'd pay 14.5 cents for each piece of mail sent to unsuspecting local residents. And since the Postal Service is going to these homes anyway, any revenue from the campaign would be pure gravy.
OK, everyone who likes getting junk mail raise your hand.
I work for a newspaper, so I know a thing or two about the Internet eating your lunch. But inflicting more junk mail on people couldn't possibly be the answer to keeping the Postal Service afloat. Higher rates, yes. New services, yes.
More of the one thing people don't like about the Postal Service, no.
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