USPS Household Diary Study

Mail Remains Popular for Advertisers

August 10, 2017 @USPS

Chicago, IL — Although mail volumes declined overall last year, advertising mail remained a popular method to reach the nation’s consumers, new research shows.

Approximately 3.8 billion advertising pieces were sent through First-Class Mail last year, up 6 percent from 2015, according to the latest edition of the Postal Service’s annual household diary study.

More than 70 billion advertising pieces were sent through Standard Mail, up less than 1 percent from one year earlier.

Businesses like advertising mail because it’s effective, according to USPS Financial Economist John Mazzone, who leads the household study.

“The majority of households either read or scanned advertising mail,” he said.

The research shows merchants sent the most advertising mail last year, followed by financial and services firms.

The Postal Service conducts the annual diary study to identify the types of mail that households send and receive, as well as other trends.

Additional highlights from this year’s report:
• Households received 4.7 billion packages last year. Driven by increases in online shopping, total packages sent and received by households increased 14 percent from 2015.
• The volume of First-Class Mail sent and received by households fell 4 percent from 2015. The decline is attributed to continued growth in online banking and communication.
• Households received 5.1 billion periodicals by mail in 2016. Most were magazines and only about one quarter were newspapers.

The Postal Regulatory Commission’s site has further information at

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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