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Mail Remains Vital to Business Today, Says Pitney Bowes

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 2 -- Michael J. Critelli, chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes Inc. affirmed that, "contrary to the predictions of a paperless environment, mail remains a vital piece of the business communications flow," during a presentation at Solomon Smith Barney today. Critelli noted that there are more than 425 billion pieces of mail generated annually around the world, and 200 billion in the U.S. alone. "The mailing industry in the U.S. is a $900 billion industry that drives over eight percent of the GDP annually. Organizations understand the power of mail to exchange critical information, products and payments with their important stakeholders and, compared with other forms of marketing, businesses and non-profits can reach out to prospects in a non-intrusive manner." He also mentioned that, though no one can predict the future of mail as a communications tool for organizations, "Pitney Bowes expects to have great growth opportunities in mail for a very long time, regardless of business mail volume trends, given the massive size of the mailing industry worldwide." Organizations also recognize that the potential impact mail has on their bottom line is staggering, Critelli mentioned, yet for most organizations today, much of the mail and document flow is not managed to optimize cost, effectiveness, reliability or security. "That is why we are so excited about our vision for growth, which centers on making mail more efficient and effective than ever before. We can help organizations of all sizes engineer the flow of their business communication," Critelli exclaimed, "because we understand that if we can make each piece of mail work harder and smarter, then there are tremendous growth and expansion opportunities ahead for us." He added that the company's growth strategies envision, "a higher value mail stream that's more affordable, accessible, information-rich and secure." Citing the recent recommendations for the future of the U.S. Postal Service made by a nine-member, bipartisan commission established by President George Bush in December 2002, Critelli stated that it "validates both Pitney Bowes vision about the ongoing importance of mail in American life and commerce, and the application of technology to make it even more valuable in the future." Critelli also discussed the concept of using intelligence to make mail more valuable to mailers, recipients and posts. "We call this concept Intelligent Mail, which uniquely identifies and tracks each mail piece from creation to final delivery through the use of data-rich, machine-readable information. The ability to know where the mail is in the postal system on a real-time basis could help mailers, recipients and posts better manage their activities involving the mail." For example, business could improve their ability to collect monies owed by actually knowing if a customer's claim that "the check is in the mail" was true. Intelligent mail could also help businesses improve operating efficiency and customer relationships. Better address quality means reduced costs associated with processing and having improperly addressed mail returned. Better customization increases response rates. Enhanced targeting of offers and information based on customer interests and purchases makes the mail more valuable and reduces the incidence of what mail recipients call "junk mail." The ability to track business reply mail improves the ability to time the receipt of the mail offer with other customer contact such as e-mail or in-store promotions.