California Fact Sheet

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Despite the growth of electronic communications, the mail – including direct mail – remains an important vehicle for commerce and information exchange in the United States.

Making the U.S. Postal Service Possible…

  • For television, newspapers, radio, and online communications, advertising provides much of the revenue that makes the delivery of other content possible. The same is true for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
  • Advertising mail currently provides a third of the revenue of the USPS and helps support its daily operations and provide a universal, reliable, and affordable method of communication for all American households, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
  • The USPS provides six-days-per-week service to more than 146 million separate delivery points across the nation – a complex and expensive undertaking that is made possible by the significant contributions of advertising mail to USPS revenues.

Driving California Economic Growth…

  • Advertising mail offers a cost-effective entry into the market for small businesses looking to introduce themselves to local customers. It offers larger businesses that bring jobs to small towns and rural areas a way to reach broader audiences.
  • According to DMA’s most recent economic impact study (2008), businesses like direct mail because it offers a significant return on investment.
    • In 2008, every dollar spent on catalog marketing generated an average return on investment of $7.28.
    • Every dollar spent for non-catalog direct mail generated an average return on investment of $15.55.
  • In 2008, advertising mail contributed more than $702 billion in increased sales to the US economy and played a critical role in the success of our country’s businesses, large and small alike, as well as nonprofit organizations.
  • In 2008, advertising mail brought almost $97 billion in increased sales to California’s economy, and played a critical role in the success of California state businesses, large and small alike.
  • According to USPS figures, 22,371 small businesses in California generated over 2.7 billion pieces of mail in 2008 to support their businesses.
  • Advertising mail provides thousands of jobs for California citizens.
    • According to DMA research, more than 49,000 people in California were directly employed in direct mail marketing in 2008.
    • Another 362,678 California jobs were made possible in 2008 by direct mail marketing – jobs for the people making goods to be sold, the workers who provide the paper and printing services to create advertising mail, the customer service and warehouse workers who coordinate mail orders and to the postal workers who deliver advertising mail and the packages it generates.
    • The printing industry in California has 6,200 companies employing over 104,000 people. Total printing shipments in California in 2008 were over $16.2 billion. It is estimated that nationally 45 to 47% of printing is entered into the mailstream.
    • The pulp and paper industry in California employs more than 26,000 people and produces revenue of more than $9.2 billion.
    • The US Postal Service employs over 74,600 people in California whose jobs depend on a strong viable postal system.

updated: Thursday, March 12, 2009 1:00 PM