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Illinois 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 Illinois 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 (2006), businesses like direct mail because it offers a significant return on investment.
    • In 2006, every dollar spent on catalog marketing generated an average return on investment of $7.19.
    • Every dollar spent for non-catalog direct mail generated an average return on investment of $15.64.
  • Last year, advertising mail contributed more than $660 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 2006, advertising mail brought more than $29.6 billion in increased sales to the Illinois economy, and played a critical role in the success of Illinois state businesses, large and small alike.
  • According to USPS figures, 14,139 small businesses in Illinois generated 1,343,451,708 pieces of mail in 2006 to support their businesses.

Advertising mail provides thousands of jobs for Illinois citizens.

  • According to DMA research, more than 21,300 people in Illinois were directly employed in direct mail marketing in 2006.
  • Another 142,500 Illinois jobs were made possible in 2006 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 Illinois has 2,613 companies employing over 80,300 people. Total printing shipments in Illinois in 2005 were over $12.3 billion. It is estimated that nationally 45 to 47% of printing is entered into the mailstream.
  • The pulp and paper industry in Illinois employs over 24,800 people and produces revenue of $81 million.
  • The US Postal Service employs nearly 39,800 people in Illinois whose jobs depend on a strong viable postal system.

updated: February 15, 2008