Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 49

It’s Official:  PRC Approves 2016 USPS PromotionsThe Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)approved the Postal Service’s request for fie promotions that will take place throughout the 2016 calendar year.  The PRC stated the unused rate authority supported the cost of the promotions.  The 2016 postal promotions offer mailers a 2% upfront discount on qualifying mailpieces, with the exception of the Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion that offers mailers either a $0.02 or $0.03 rebate credit on qualifying reply mailpieces.  Registration for the first set of promotions is scheduled to open on January 15, 2016 with a program start date of March 1, 2016.  The Postal Service is finalizing the program requirements and will posting them to their RIBBS website.
USPS Will Now Email You Your Mail The US Postal Service is testing a “notification” service that emails customers images of the envelopes of their letter-size mail.  The service, called Informed Delivery, will send out an email to customers each morning with that day’s mailbox contents. The images are only of the exterior front side, and the mail will not be opened.  The service is free, but mail recipients have to sign up online. It is not available to businesses and will not apply to packages, though the agency said it may include scans of catalogs and magazines in the future.  Source:  Quartz
Ready to Go The Postal Service’s new extended capacity vehicles are hitting the road.  USPS held a ribbon cutting at headquarters last week to launch the rollout of more than 9,000 Ram ProMaster 2500 cargo vans, just in time for the peak holiday season.  Source:  USPS LINK
Print Plays an Increasingly Important Role in a Multi-channel World Print-based direct marketing is growing which is providing a huge opportunity for digital print.  According to InfoTrends’ study Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A strategy for growth, marketers are realizing print plays an important role in a multi-channel world.  One finding from this study is that there is a resurgence in the use of print catalogs. They continue to be used by marketers to target many different consumer demographics.  Source:  WhatTheyThink
Postage Assessments are Coming At the recent Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to implement assessments for non-compliance with the requirements for Intelligent Mail Full-Service, effective July 2016.  The USPS plans an extensive industry outreach program in the coming months to educate mailers on this requirement, how to access and interpret the performance data, and how to improve mailers scores.  Source:
Epicomm Launching New Annual ConferenceEpicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, will launch The Epicomm Experience, its 2016 Annual Conference, in historic Savannah, Ga., at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, May 16-18, 2016.  The conference will bring together representatives of every industry segment—printing, mailing, fulfillment, and marketing—to learn from management experts, share frontline ideas with colleagues from every part of the country and every size company, and network with their peers.  Source:  What They Think
The USPS Governing Board Now Has Just One Confirmed MemberThe Postal Service is, by statute, supposed to have nine governors on its board to make major decisions for the agency.  It currently has just one.  Such is the fate bestowed upon the struggling USPS by Congress, which has refused to approve new members appointed by President Obama.  Several of the nominees are not actually new, but have instead been re-nominated after already serving in the positions.  Still, none have received a vote on the Senate floor, and with two more governors’ terms expiring soon, the Postal Service has just one confirmed member on its board of governors.  The postmaster general and her deputy also sit on the board, creating 11 total slots.  Source:  Government Executive
USPS Website Eclipsed $1 Billion in SalesThe United States Postal Service is bragging about its 15-year-old customer-service website.  The site passed $1 billion in sales during the fiscal 2015 year, more than the combined sales of post offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas. A Dec. 8 news release called that “a major milestone” for the website.  Source:  Linn’s Stamp