Key Notes Volume 03 Number 12

Postmaster General Unveils Digital Strategy – Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General, announced efforts by the Postal Service to lead an information and technology-driven reinvention of mail during a keynote speech at the National Postal Forum—the annual mailing industry trade show.  “The Postal Service is investing in our digital strategy, because there are limitless opportunities when we combine the power of mail with the ubiquity of mobile,” said Brennan.  Commenting on how commercial customers can leverage robust information from the Postal Service to personalize mail and better coordinate omni-channel marketing campaigns, Brennan said, “the real power of Informed Visibility is that it can make mail a much more powerful marketing and communications tool.”  Brennan also showcased the development ofInformed Delivery (previously Real-Mail Notification) – a mail preview service on track to be available as a mobile app in every ZIP code across the country in early 2017.  Results from a market test in New York City show 70 percent of subscribers opening daily notifications and more than 90 percent reading notifications more than four times a week.  Source:  USPS

Mail Pieces From Outer Space – The lights dimmed at the start of the “Irresistible Mail” session at the National Postal Forum in Nashville.  Suddenly, a fuzzy, holo-transmitter image of USPS Innovation VP Gary Reblin in Jedi Knight garb appeared on a screen to tell those present that, after 100 years as direct mailers, they were about to enter an era of remarkable change.  The South Dakota Tourism Board was the winner of the first Irresistible Mail Award.  Agency Lawrence & Schiller teamed with Nahan Printing on a piece that used a pine-scented scratch-and-sniff element to lure people to the Badlands.  Source: DMNews & USPS

Direct Mail’s Moment Has Come Again – Harris Diamond, CEO of McCann a leading global marketing firm, told members of the mailing industry at the National Postal Forum the average American spends 25 minutes a day with mail, something he has dubbed “The Mail Moment.”  Click here to see the five creative principles that his firm uses for effective marketing campaigns.  Source:  DMNews

 ‘Here, there, everywhere’ – The Postal Service’s commitment to business is the focus of the latest “Priority: You” TV ad.  The 30-second spot shows USPS delivery vehicles moving packages across the nation.  “Why do so many businesses rely on the U.S. Postal Service? Because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business,” the narrator says.  The commercial shows a variety of business customer logos on USPS vehicles to visually represent the idea that the Postal Service becomes an extension of the brands it serves.  The narrator also mentions USPS makes “more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. Here, there, everywhere.”  Source:  USPS Link

PostalPro to replace RIBBS Website – The USPS has released a beta version of their new websitePostalPro™ whose primary objective is to replace the RIBBS website.  In 2015 the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, better known as MTAC, created work group #176 to begin reviewing the pros and cons of the current RIBBS website in hopes to create an outline of what a more modernized presentation might look like.  The new website is available at http://beta.postalpro.usps.com.  The new site is mobile optimized for viewing on both tablets and smart phones for optimal flexibility.  Content is still being added to the site daily but the much improved search functions are available for a testing.  The USPS is actively seeking your thoughts so don’t forget to provide feedback by clicking the floating “feedback” button on the right side of the screen. Take it for a test drive and let the USPS know what you think!  Pro-tip: turn on RSS feeds (located at the bottom of the PostalPro™ site) to enable browser based notification of updates to the site.   Source:  LinkedIn

Funding the Universal Service Obligation – Currently, the Postal Service has two legal monopolies — a monopoly on most letter mail and exclusive access to the mailbox.  Historically, the purpose of these monopolies is to help ensure the USPS has adequate revenue to cover the cost of its universal service obligation (USO).  However, the combination of the steady decline in letter mail and the price cap on the monopoly products has begun to decrease the monopoly-related revenue.  This, in turn, has eroded the ability of the Postal Service to fund its USO.  The OIG looks at several USO funding alternatives and suggest viable options that can be used alone or in combination.  Source:  USPS OIG

The Future of Magazines is in VR and Mobile? – Austin, Texas-based tech startup, The Magazine Channel, is making a business of keeping magazine publishers relevant and future-proofed through new forays into storytelling and digital distribution.  The Magazine Channel is now looking to new experiences for magazine brands, including virtual and augmented reality, custom applications, and universal mobile distribution.  “Virtual reality and publishing go hand in hand,” says Jason Briggs, Director at The Magazine Channel, “it’s a jumping off point for something you love–hiking, baking, swimming, flying.  We all have our favorite niche.  Magazine brands are well-placed to continue being a source for expertise, while we help deepen their experiences.”  Source:  Consumer Electronics