the reasons to avoid mailed yellow
pages circulation: bad
optics, drastically lowered
usage, and upset consumers and
advertisers. To-the-door hand
delivery is much better.
DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates,
Instacart, and so on. With home
delivery all the rage, why switch to
mailing yellow pages now?
not one of those people that
habitually disses the post office.
Yeah, we talked some smack
in the satire version of this
article. But seriously, it's
pretty amazing to have a letter
delivered from New York to Honolulu
for just half a buck or whatever a
first class postage stamp costs
these days. Try that with FedEx and
see what it runs ya.
Advertisers: "If a single business can afford door hangers,
there's no reason entire books full
of ads can't be delivered to the
door." Home delivery has always been
an integral part of the yellow pages
product but with GrubHub, DoorDash,
Amazon, Postmates, Instacart, and
everybody else rushing emphasizing
it's more critical than ever,
perhaps even a selling point.
Postal Service's own research shows
that usage drops off cliff when not
delivered to the door.
disclosure, we're a
competitor to the post office. Of course, as
a yellow pages sales
rep, you also compete with
direct mail so we're on the same side.
actually deliver any books
ourselves. We focus on helping
publishers cut print and delivery
costs by re-scoping markets into
sub-ZIP Code sized scoping and
delivery zones. Our stake is only 1
to 3 pennies a book. So, yes, we
have a dog in this race but it is a
tiny little Chihuahua.
sales reps may not think they have
much of a dog in this race either
but printed directories provide tons
recognition. Without the printed
directory, advertisers may not have
a reason to see a publisher rep at
all; any of the other thousands of
digital sales reps would do. And print
still pays the rent for many
definitely not saying that directory
publishers should never mail books.
Have a tiny book published in a
mountainous Alaskan village in the
dead of winter? Mail it. It may also
make sense to mail
sparsely-populated areas on the
outside edges of
larger markets. And when your book
reaches magazine size, go ahead and
mail that too since the gig is about up
anyway. But publishers with healthy
books should avoid mailed
circulation for as long as possible.
delivery is critical. That's why the
yellow pages industry spent a fortune fighting delivery bans
in San Francisco, Seattle, and other
in half in the tiny distance
between the front door and
curbside mailboxes. Usage drops
delivered to centralized neighborhood cluster
mailboxes. And if consumers have to
drive all the way to the post office...forget
Postal Service is committed to the
centralization of mail delivery.
They have to. Last year, the postal
service lost $8 billion. They have
billions and billions of unfunded
retiree pension and healthcare
costs. To cut costs, the US
Postal Service is committed to moving as many
addresses as possible to
neighborhood cluster and post office mailboxes.
The optics are
Nothing says no one uses phone books
more than those big trash bins,
invariably placed within feet of
cluster mailboxes, full of brand new
The cost of
mailing isn't limited to postage.
The true cost includes radically
reduced usage, lost advertiser
accounts, and demoralized sales reps.
advertisers are paying for
circulation. They expect books to be
delivered to the door. If they
wanted direct mail, they would have
invested in direct mail, not the
the media and industry insiders have to say
about the subject at
(Includes some satire.)