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Thankyou Census Bureau!

Ah, spring is in the air, and this year it is really special because in 2010 we get to participate in one of my favorite springtime endeavors – the Census.

The folks at The United States Department of Commerce take the 2010 Census quite seriously, and rightly so. There has been a lot of publicity to get people to participate.

You must also assume that the Government is flush with cash from the way the are handling the Census. A week before the Census came in the mail I received a letter telling me that in a week I would receive the Census. Interesting approach. My credit card company does not send me a letter a week before my statement comes telling me to expect my statement in a week, probably because that would cost a fortune.

Lets assume the government mailed the letter to 100 million households at a cost of 25 cents per letter.  The letter telling me a letter was coming cost us $25 million.  Your tax dollars at work!  Perhaps this was a secret stimulas plan to boost the Postal Service.

I have to go now.  I am going to write my sister a letter to let her know that next week I am going to write her a letter.

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2 Responses to Thankyou Census Bureau!

  1. Bizzy Life Author Avatar Your wife says:

    If you had watched Secretary of Commerce Gary Lock on the Daily Show last week, you would have learned that the DM letter your referencing regarding the Census form, has proven to increase participation substantially (6% – 12%). Why is this important? According to our US Constitution, we need to get a minimum % of participation. Therefore, if minimum participation is not met – then the government needs to send people “door to door” to retrieve the information. This information is vital to our democracy – because it determines how many representatives in Congress by state as well as State Legislature districting. Most important to note; a 1% increase in response rate saves the government $85 Million dollars. So from an ROI perspective, I would say the direct mail piece is very cost efficient use of the our money!

  2. Bizzy Life Author Avatar Tim says:

    But Wife…. the first question I would ask is how does he know? I assume this data is based on the census ten years ago, and I don’t think people respond to mail the same way they did a decade ago. How about using e mail? The other issue is whether or not this was a good use of money. Assuming they spent $25 million for the letter – could they have spent $10 million via another advertising channel with the same result. have an idea… how about a Nascar sponsorship! And the biggest question…. why are we writing to each other on my blog when we could talk about this over dinner?

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