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EDITOR’S NOTE VOLUME 34, ISSUE 5 MAGAZINE STAFF President Chad Griepentrog Publisher Ken Waddell Editor Amanda Armendariz Contributing Writers Greg Brown, Mark Fallon, Wes Friesen, Bruce Gresham, Karen Kimerer, Mike Porter, Mark Rheaume, Kathleen Siviter, Morgan Stevenson Audience Development Manager Rachel Chapman Advertising Ken Waddell 608.235.2212 Design Kelli Cooke

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021 has truly epitomized the concept of a roller coaster year. I started out so optimistic as the COVID-19 vaccines were being rolled out at a rapid pace and numbers started dropping. I thought to myself, “Yes! We are back on track to normal, and soon, we can put this all behind us.” Of course, as we all know by now, that is not the case. Most of the country is still reporting high (or very high) levels of cases, even if the overall numbers are dropping slightly, and breakthrough infections are much more common than we had originally thought would be the case. Not surprisingly, this pandemic continues to impact the overall economy and the mail industry specifically. It’s no surprise to mailers that volumes continue to decline, while our industry just experienced the second rate increase of this year (and unfortunately, it sounds like this is going to become the new standard from here on out). In her article on page 22, Kathleen Siviter gives a great analysis of what exactly the mailing industry can likely expect in the near future, and how we can weather the storm of a global pandemic, declining

mail volumes, and increased costs (just to name a few issues facing our industry!) One thing that the last year has shown us is that we’re all in this together, and when we come together as an industry and stand by the value of our product, we all come out ahead. Mail works. You know it, I know it, marketers know it, and consumers know it. It still maintains a sense of legitimacy that is often lost in digital marketing efforts (especially if those efforts are not combined with a physical mail piece). The volume declines and rate increases are frustrating, but at the same time, it would be a mistake to abandon this form of messaging as we communicate with our customers. I am excited to see what the next few months (and, indeed, 2022) hold for the industry, and I’m hopeful that brighter days are ahead. As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology. | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2021