In mid-May, more than 4,000 mailing and shipping professionals, including Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, gathered in Anaheim at the National Postal Forum to discuss the latest issues and trends affecting the $1.3 trillion mailing industry, which employs more than 8 million workers.

The mailing industry and the United States Postal Service (USPS) have been challenged by declining mail volumes in recent years, but the new Postmaster General understands the task at hand and is setting a course toward financial stability. She is focusing her efforts on a Postal Service organized to meet the changing demands of businesses and consumers by leveraging technology and innovation to enhance mailing and shipping services.

Similarly, the industry is responding to the challenge with innovations in hardware, software, and data analytics that are making it easier for our customers to send and receive the critical communications that drive their businesses. And, as the growth in ecommerce translates to higher volumes of parcels, we are developing new solutions to make it easier and cheaper to sort, track and send packages as well. Most importantly, we are executing all of these transactions with greater integrity, accuracy and precision than ever before.

The proliferation of digital media was supposed to have spelled the end of mail, but those prophecies have not come true. Today, rather than view mobile, web and video-based communication channels as a threat, the industry is beginning to take a broader view of its role in customer communications and see opportunity.

Businesses mailed approximately 24 billion statements to their customers last year. Those documents were opened 97 percent of the time and read for an average of two to five minutes each. We are now helping marketers leverage this critical point of engagement to target customers with personalized offers and to drive them to digital channels for more information, or an enhanced experience. We are learning that digital channels do not do nearly as well without the support of mail, as they do with it.

The secret to success lies in how well businesses and mailers leverage data analytics to integrate physical and digital channels into a cohesive and personalized customer experience. For example, leading mobile telecom companies are reviewing their customers' phone and internet usage to provide more competitive rates and more relevant offers. To help mitigate the impact of "bill shock" - a motivating factor that leads many consumers to switch carriers - these companies are using their data centers to warn consumers via text messages when they have exceeded calling and data limitations. In the same billing cycle, they can then print relevant offers directly on the bill to encourage the consumer to move to a plan that better suits them.

Debbie Pfeiffer is president of Pitney Bowes Presort Services. Pitney Bowes a global technology company offering innovative products and solutions that enable commerce in the areas of customer information management, location intelligence, customer engagement, shipping and mailing, and global ecommerce. More than 1.5 million clients in approximately 100 countries around the world rely on products, solutions and services from Pitney Bowes. Pitney Bowes has grown into a global technology company that powers billions of transactions across both physical and digital channels, but our roots are in mail and date back 95 years to the invention of the first commercial postage meter. Today, we are the USPS's largest workshare partner, processing more than 14 billion pieces of mail annually, including more than 1 billion pieces at our Los Angeles and Corona-based operating centers. Mail continues to play a critical role in today's increasingly connected and borderless world of commerce -- how we move goods and information; how we communicate with customers and prospects; and how we invoice and get paid. We look forward to working with the USPS and the National Postal Forum to continue to innovate in this space. For additional information, visit Pitney Bowes at