Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service

Ch. 3-Market Penetration Model and Technology Assumptions .27

penetration potential might be lower than 0.9
and 1.0, respectively. Therefore, the actual
EFT penetration is more likely to be lower
than assumed. EFT was defined, in effect, as
an all electronic service completely outside of

the mainstream. The assumptions about EFT
may be affected by various intangible consid
erations important to EFT and EMS users,
especially those relating to consumer prefer
ences and institutional marketing strategies.

EMS Diversion

As noted earlier, the residual mail volume
in each mail segment after EFT diversion is
the potential market for EMS diversion. EMS
diversion is divided between Generation II and
Generation III and was calculated through use
of the same logistic substitution process used
for estimating EFT diversion (see app. B). The
terms Generation II and Generation III are
explained and compared in figure 2.
The EMS diversion model was based on a
set of EMS technology assumptions discussed
below, highlighted in table 6, and detailed in
appendix A (table A 4). The assumptions re
late to the following six categories of technol
ogy as applied to the various combinations of
mail content and sender/receiver pairs:
1. Generation II EMS systems with early
electronic printers (no color). This cate
gory includes such industry offerings as
Mailgram, Datapost and Tyme Gram,
and USPS offerings such as E COM.
2. Generation II EMS systems with ad
vanced electronic printers (including a col
or capability).
3. Electronic data processing and office
automation. This category includes Gen
eration III technologies such as computer
networks, communicating word process
ors, public and private message and pack
et switching networks, and facsimile sys
tems oriented toward nonhousehold use.
4. Home computer terminals. Included are
home computers and associated commu
nications concepts/services such as PC
Net (Personal Computer Network).
5. Viewdata/teletext. This category includes
services, primarily to the home, based on

the use of the television set and the tele
phone.
6. Inexpensive hardcopy receiver. Facsimile
receivers or character printers at a price
which could find acceptance in a major
ity of homes are included in this category.
The maximurn market penetration potential
was estimated for each mainstream segment.
As with EFT, the assumptions about EMS
penetration potential were optimistic in the
sense that the actual penetration potential
might be lower due to restrained consumer ac
ceptance and other intangible factors. In most
instances, the entire segment was judged 100
percent susceptible to Generation II and Gen
eration III EMS. The exceptions are as
follows.
About 30 percent of the 'other nonadvertis
ing" segments (nonhousehold to nonhousehold
and nonhousehold to household) is made up of
pamphlets, newsletters, official documents,
coupons, and stockholder communications.
Items of this type were judged not likely to
be susceptible to EMS technologies that are
expected to achieve widespread use over the
next 20 years. Hence a maximum potential
penetration of 70 percent (P = 0.7) was
estimated.
The displacement of direct mail "advertis
ing" and greeting "cards" segments to the
home (nonhousehold to household and house
hold to household) by TV based Generation
III home terminals was judged to be limited
by the constraints of the video medium. Thus,
a maximum Generation III penetration poten
tial of 30 percent (0.3) was estimated for these
segments.

United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39480/. Accessed September 23, 2014.