Stamp prices are increasing 3 cents to 49 cents today. This is a 6.5 percent jump. Even with this increase The US Postal Service is expected to continue to face a financial short fall. The USPS provides an important service, especially to rural areas. Because of their locations, using a for profit delivery service often isn’t cost effective. The USPS is mandated by law to delivery anywhere in the US for the same price. This means the cost of maintaining post offices in these rural areas is passed onto the main public in the form of higher stamp costs. Because of new technologies like email and text messaging, fewer and fewer people are using the postal service. With fewer people using the USPS and their costs continuing to grow, it’s unlikely we will see a decrease in stamp prices anytime soon.
For industries like ours, ongoing communication with our customers is key for success. Pawnshop customers all need a little reminder sometimes. Sending them a letter in the mail can be helpful but often has a limited success rate. Not everyone opens their mail right away. Even if they do, it can be easily forgotten. You can’t even be sure the right person opens the letter to begin with.
Many PawnMaster customers initially start using text messaging as a way to lower their postage costs. A text costs a few cents to send as compared to now 49 cents for a stamp. While they do see this savings almost immediately, they soon discover something else. The response rate to texts versus a letter of even email is considerably higher. Why? First, you know the right person is receiving your message. People rarely share a cell phone number. Second, immediacy. Studies show that 99% of all text messages are opened and the average time for a text message to be viewed is 14 minutes. Third, demographics. Text messaging is how people in their 20s and younger (and even some on their 30s) communicate. Even email is considered by this group to be “traditional” and is rarely used.
As the cost of stamps continues to increase and the use of newer technologies like email starts to slip, text messaging is emerging as an easy, cost effect and successful way to communicate with customers.