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Keeping it classy

Some still rely on cards, letters

Although First-Class Mail volumes have steadily declined in the digital age, the service still has its fans.

Although more people than ever use smartphones, social media and other digital platforms to keep in touch with friends and family, some customers still turn to First-Class Mail for their correspondence needs.

First-Class Mail — which includes personal letters and greeting cards, as well as bills, bank statements and other pieces — is the Postal Service’s most profitable product. First-Class Mail volumes have steadily declined in the digital age, but the service still has its fans.

According to the latest Household Diary Study, a national research effort sponsored by USPS, 989 million non-holiday greeting cards were mailed in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2018, reflecting a 3 percent increase over a three-year period.

More than 1.3 billion holiday greeting cards were sent, a 3.8 percent increase during the three-year period.

Although personal letters represent a small percentage of most households’ mail mix, the number of personal letters mailed during fiscal year 2018 — about 436 million — is still sizable.

It’s no wonder First-Class Mail service remains popular with some: It’s affordable.

A First-Class Mail Forever stamp costs 55 cents, the current 1-ounce price, but these stamps never expire, even if first-class postage rates go up.

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