Are all mailboxes equal? Not when it comes to advertising mail, which seems to invoke three critical factors normally associated with real estate – location, location, location.

It costs the U.S. Postal Service less to deliver mail to curbside mailboxes or neighborhood cluster boxes than to your door. That’s why there’s been talk of possibly eliminating door-to-door delivery as Canada Post has recently announced. But the move could cut more than costs; it could also cut the effectiveness of ad mail, which provides about $16 billion of revenue annually to the Postal Service.

We worked with the market research firm InfoTrends in surveying 5,000 households across the country to determine how much people engage with advertising mail. What we found was intriguing: People with to-the-door delivery had a much higher “read-and-response” rate to ad mail than people with curbside or cluster box delivery. A related trend: People with to-the-door delivery are less likely to throw their ad mail away than those who collect their mail at the curb or cluster box.

It’s all detailed in our new white paper, Modes of Delivery and Customer Engagement with Advertising Mail, in which we suggest that the Postal Service and ad mailers work together to understand these delivery trends, which could have a critical impact on how much mail advertisers continue to send.

In the meantime, tell us your experience: Do you have to-the-door, curbside, or cluster box delivery, and how much time would you say you spend with ad mail? If you have experienced a change from one type of delivery receptacle to another, did your behavior change? If so, how?

Comments (5)

  • anon

    I know this is an old blog. However, I HATE the whole cluster box setup. Especially now, with concerns everyone has of security,, privacy and identity theft. I am shocked, appalled and terrified to find out I purchased a single family home in a goode area which is forced to use these insecure, unsafe, unlit cluster boxes. I have been here a month. I am not receiving packages properly. I would NOT have ever purchased a home where my mail & parcels are sitting out in the dark street waiting to be stolen, or maybe I will be robbed at the mailboxes that make it convenient for the postal carriers. I have lived ALL OVER THE US and never encountered this issue and archaic idea that most Americans will receive their mail at their curb or even at their front porch mailbox, but others are required to monitor and trek down the street seeking their private mail. How is this not discrimination that some of us are not receiving the same postal services for no real reason? Years ago, before digital and online ordering boom, maybe not such a bad idea to save costs. It is not like that now. Now ebay & amazon and all the others have made USPS Priority shippers of choice, so these outdoor cluster tiny mailboxes need to be abolished from residential neighborhoods and left to gated communities and HOAs. Beyond frustrated and angry at the inept local post office and whoever decided to require cluster boxes FOR PRIVATE HOMES!

    Nov 07, 2017
  • anon

    I have had all 3 kinds of delivery over the years. The curbside method is a good compromise. It will not kill anyone to walk an extra few feet and if you are disabled, then there are exceptions to leaving your box on the porch. As a retired letter carrier, I myself found curbside to be safer (dogs, walking hazards while "fingering" the mail, etc.) and faster. I could deliver mail almost twice as fast as walking. I realize not all areas are suited for curbside delivery so commonsense would have to prevail.

    Jan 11, 2016
  • anon

    We have a business. We've had mail delivered inside at our front door. Some district supervisor told our carrier that she could no longer bring the mail inside. Is it not allowed anymore to bring the mail inside? We have a mailbox in the front of our building which is really for show. We have 3 companies and have more mail than our mailbox outside can hold. If we got rid of the mailbox outside, would the carrier be allowed to bring it inside? And why can't she bring it inside even with the mailbox outside? It's only about 20 feet further and the mail is right at the door - no stairs.

    Oct 21, 2015
  • anon

    If the mail is going to be thrown on the front porch or left hanging out of the mail slot, let us pick it up at postal cost. Soon, thank you

    Aug 07, 2015
  • anon

    I have a bank of boxes with neighbors in our small apartment building. We all go thru the front locked door then to the mailboxes. I do and can hear the others. We get fliers from the local markets and look for them and Bed, Bath & Beyond when they come out. I certainly do not want a central "cluster" box and am sure the others would agree. Our carrier gives great service delivering AND picking up our mail "to go".

    Apr 26, 2015

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