The GCA shared a presentation that included significant information about the importance of USPS to the greeting card industry, since more than 50% of greeting cards are delivered to their final recipient by USPS, as well as GCA’s importance to USPS, as greeting cards provide the premium content for the mail stream. The GCA is strongly supportive of the PMG’s inclusion of “the Postal Service’s unique and powerful role in visiting every household in the country, six days per week” as part of the plan, and agrees that USPS needs reform to stay financially viable. In order for the USPS to remain relevant to Americans, however, it is vital that there be a compelling reason for them to visit their mailboxes each day. Greeting cards provide that reason, as everyone hopes to receive a card or personalized letter in their mailbox (“content”), not just direct mail (advertising). Towards that end, GCA expressed that USPS needs to be quite careful with postage increases like the one we saw in 2019 which was the largest First Class stamp increase in history (from 50 to 55 cents), and which had a demonstrable, negative impact on the volume of cards mailed. Prior to the price increase, the volume of mailed cards had increased three years in a row.
GCA also discussed our strong interest in continuing the marketing partnership we have developed with the USPS in recent years, including their support for Thinking of You Week and other efforts to promote the mailing of cards.
Below is the thank you note sent to the PMG following the meeting, which well summarizes the discussion, and our hopes for continued partnership.
Dear Postmaster General DeJoy:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with representatives of the Greeting Card Association (GCA) yesterday. We very much appreciated the opportunity to exchange our thoughts regarding our mutual goal of a financially healthy USPS, providing universal service, six days per week, and we appreciate your commitment to that task.
The partnership between the greeting card industry and USPS is both long-lasting and imperative. More than 50% of all cards purchased are delivered to their final recipient through the U.S. Mail—a percentage that increased during the pandemic—making USPS THE partner for our category.
We were certainly pleased to see that your Delivering for America Plan leverages the Postal Service’s unique and powerful role in visiting every household in the country, six days per week, but residents will only check that mailbox each day if they have a compelling reason to do so. That reason is good content, and our industry provides it. Greeting cards are what everyone wants to receive in their mailbox. In short, the greeting card industry and USPS combine to deliver “good mail” to people—mail that makes the trip to the mailbox a “red carpet event”. Cards are unique and the most desirable mail experience, and USPS uniquely owns that experience.
Per your direction, we will renew and reanimate our work with your team, including Steve Monteith and Chris Karpenko, to enhance opportunities to mail greeting cards and seek ways to increase the value of mailing for card senders at an affordable price. In addition, we look forward continuing to work with you and your team on the best way forward to ensure the future of the USPS, including the intensive efforts we have undertaken to secure vitally needed postal reform legislation. Thank you for your leadership towards that end.