"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" - Greek historian Herodotus on the Persian mounted postal couriers.
There have been a few different versions of this saying in books, movies and on TV, making people believe it is the USPS motto. Unfortunately, it is not. Though many USPS employees try to live by this belief, there are times Mother Nature denies our carriers of being unstoppable in delivering our mail in a safe and timely fashion.
We all know when we get large amounts of snow or flooded roads, mail delivery slows down for days and can take weeks to catch up. The last few weeks, we felt what the intense heat can do. There is no doubt a carrier cannot move as fast or carry the same amount of mail when it is 104 degrees outside, compared to a nice 80-degree day. Anyone working outside for a living can attest that you slow down during this type of heat, even our relentless mail carrier. Not only does the heat bring slower working conditions, it adds the possibility of intense, fast moving storms.
We saw these storms causing wide power outages in WV, VA, KY, OH, NJ and PA. The USPS Mail Service Disruption Report lists over 300 facilities as being affected, many of which were not accepting mail for a while. There were more than 5 million people without power for a number of days, many longer than a week and some are still out. Did you mail into any of these areas? If so, what is it doing to the results of your campaign? Were you able to react knowing whether the mail was delivered prior to or after the storms? Can you calculate what it might have cost you or what it could cost you in the coming weeks? Do you have the information to counter a circumstance like this or are you going into each campaign crossing your fingers?
Sometimes we take it for granted that if we mail something it will get there when we want it to, but many times it doesn’t arrive, and we have no way of knowing. The only way you know what is really happening with your mail is when you are using IMbTracing through the postal system. In situations like these, it becomes very important to have the information, learn from it and react to it. The tracking data gives you insight and allows you to understand the daily activity making you more successful in your communications. Don’t let Mother Nature ruin a perfectly fine mail campaign. After all, if your communication is important enough to print and mail, then it is important enough to know if and when it was delivered.
Feel free to watch the video below to see the MultiTrac app in action. Showing where your mail is, with weather Doppler radar, in real-time.