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Mail connects: Be part of the moment.

A study of the mail's importance to consumers, sponsored by the U.S. Postal ServiceTM, found that mail creates a moment most people don't want to miss.

Each day, Americans open their mail with anticipation and give it their undivided attention. That ritual has a name: the Mail Moment. An understanding of that moment is helping marketers tailor their mailings to consumers who set aside time to focus solely on what they have to say.

The study revealed these powerful insights for mailers:

Consumers are eager to see what's in their mail. About 98 percent bring in their mail the day it's delivered.

Mail takes you to the person in charge. It's usually sorted by the person who manages the household and makes financial decisions.

Mail has a loyal readership. Consumers spend an average 30 minutes reading their mail, making it possible to grab their complete attention for up to a half hour.

Consumers like mail that helps them perform tasks such as managing the , overseeing finances and shopping.

Beyond that, the mail evokes emotion - 56 percent say receiving mail is a "real pleasure," 55 percent "look forward" to the mail they receive, and 67 percent feel mail is more personal than the Internet.

The point? Mail connects in ways no other media can match. People welcome it into their lives. And because they do, mailers have an opportunity to create an emotional connection with consumers through their mailings. Now that's effective communication. The Mail Moment - there's nothing else like it.

Mail works! Potter keynote speaker at direct marketing conference

Postmaster General Jack Potter.Direct Mail comprises a large portion of USPS® business, so it should come as no surprise that when the Direct Marketing Association gathers, the Postal ServiceTM is there. Thousands of direct marketers converged on New York City for the Direct Marketing Days New York conference, June 28-30.

Keynote speaker Postmaster General Jack Potter discussed the importance of USPS to marketers and how the Postal Service has evolved into a customer-driven organization. He also spoke of Americans' confidence in mail delivery. "In simple terms, mail works," said Potter.

To illustrate his point, Potter cited a Customized MarketMail® campaign by Melbourne, FL, Wuesthoff Medical Center. The center designed a unique mailpiece to promote its emergency room facilities - a life-sized card depicting a cast of a broken ankle, with the ad message handwritten on the mailpiece as if it were literally a cast signed by friends and family. It even included a wallet card with the emergency room phone number and the message "From head to toe, we've got your health care covered."

Not only did the mailing get the attention of the 14,000 people who received it, but the word-of-mouth and media coverage it generated further boosted the return on investment.

"Mail works because it's read, it has credibility and it has value to the recipient," said Potter. "Those who use mail will ultimately make a competitive advantage for themselves, their firm and their clients."

Cleaning up 11 million packages: Connecticut business on the soap box for Carrier Pickup

Letter carrier provides pickup services to businesses.The owner of Stamford, CT, skin care and beauty product company Bath Nation has been a USPS believer for a long time. And now that owner Meagan Micozzi has shipped the 11 millionth package through Carrier Pickup Online Notification, she's on her "soap box" about all of the Postal Service's online features.

"Click-N-Ship® is so easy and saves me so much time. I order Priority Mail® supplies online and use Carrier PickupTM to save even more time," says Micozzi.

Seeing a® Carrier Pickup ad led Micozzi to ship 10 - 15 U.S. Priority Mail packages weekly - plus Air Mail® packages to Canada and Singapore.

June has also been the busiest Carrier Pickup month ever - with more than 1.4 million packages collected.

Mad as a hatter - about stamps: Disney "Celebration" series released

The Art of Disney: Celebration stamps.Celebrate with Mickey and Pluto, the Mad Hatter and Alice, Ariel and Flounder, and Snow White and Dopey on new The Art of Disney: Celebration stamps released yesterday in Anaheim, CA.

"The mail remains the best way to share joyous news and invite friends and family to come together for a special event," said Deputy PMG and COO Patrick Donahoe, who dedicated the stamps. "So, who better than Mickey Mouse and friends to help the Postal Service and all Americans celebrate the special times in their lives?"

Disney Celebration stamps are available in panes of 20 self-adhesive 37-cent stamps at Post OfficesTM and Philatelic Centers nationwide, as well as online at The Postal Store on

If these stamps could talk: "To Form A More Perfect Union" stamps unveiled in Washington, DC

To Form A More Perfect Union Stamp Pane.Ten stamps commemorating the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement were unveiled in Washington, DC, at a performance of If This Hat Could Talk, a musical stage play that recounts the experiences of civil rights activist Dr. Dorothy Height.

Height was a major leader of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sat in sessions with Stokely Carmichael, rode with Rosa Parks and participated in meetings with President Kennedy.

"The United States Postal Service has to be commended for issuing the To Form A More Perfect Union stamps," said Dr. Height, Chair/President Emerita, National Council of Negro Women. "They herald the struggle of men, women and children in the quest for equality." The stamps go on sale nationwide Aug. 30.

Convenient commuting: Tax savings just one advantage of USPS Commuter Program

Who doesn't want to make their daily commute a little easier - and save money at the same time? The USPS Commuter Program offers you the chance to do just that.

USPS is partnering with WageWorks to bring employees this convenient, money-saving way to pay for expenses associated with travel to and from work and parking.

The Commuter Program lets you pay your eligible public transportation costs through convenient pre-tax payroll purchase - costs for mass transit, vanpools and parking. Your fare cards, passes or vouchers are delivered to your address by mail and your monthly parking fees can be automatically paid to your parking provider.

Expenses are paid in advance and are tax-free up to the Internal Revenue Service monthly limits of $105 for public transportation and $200 for parking. Your tax bracket and your total eligible monthly costs determine how much you save.

All career employees received a brochure with information on how and when to enroll. To enroll, visit or call 877-924-3967 - TTY dial 866-361-8017.

USPS, APWU reach tentative contract extension agreement: Covers period from Nov. 20, 2005, to Nov. 20, 2006

The Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) have announced a tentative 1-year contract extension. Upon ratification by union members, the agreement will affect approximately 287,000 employees represented by the APWU.

The tentative agreement provides for a 1.6 percent wage increase effective March 18, 2006, continuation of the cost-of-living allowance and covers the period from Nov. 20, 2005, and continues through Nov. 20, 2006.

Will the real identity theft source please stand up? Credit card ad incorrectly suggests mailbox is cause

A recent ad sponsored by several credit card companies can leave consumers with the mistaken idea that their mailbox is a big source of identity theft in this country.

The full page ad appeared in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report and Business Week showing an open mailbox labeled "Database" and the tagline "Most identity thieves don't gather their data from a computer." If you're looking at the picture, it's easy to conclude that mail is the source of most identity theft.

But it isn't.

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report shows that 53 percent of identity theft stems from online activities. Offline activities, such as lost and stolen wallets, misplaced, forgotten or discarded transaction receipts or "shoulder surfing" when you're using an ATM are some of the other ways identity thieves can get your personal and financial information.

And mail? Well, an earlier FTC report shows that stolen mail accounts for only 4 percent of identity theft in the United States. Just 4 percent! Mail is one of the safest, most secure ways to communicate. And the Postal Inspection Service is on the job 24/7 to keep it that way.

The Postal Service is working with the credit card companies involved to educate them on the misperceptions the ad raises and ask that they accurately portray the security of the mail in future identity theft ads.