Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 20

USPS Notice of PRC filing – 2017 Promotions – The Postal Service filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to establish the 2017 Promotional Program.  The 2017 program would consist of six separate promotions that would be held throughout the year. The Postal Service is seeking approval early to provide mailers with sufficient planning time to maximize program participation.  If approved, the 2017 promotions will begin January 1, 2017.  We will post additional information if and when the PRC issues their response.  The proposed 2017 promotional offerings are:

  • Emerging and Advanced Technology
  • Mobile Shopping
  • Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Mailpiece Engagement
  • Earned Value Reply Mail
  • Personalized Color Transpromo
  • Direct Mail Starter (New)– This offering will give a temporary postage discount on mailpieces that contain print-mobile technology that, when scanned, leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized website.

USPS Touts Ecommerce Initiatives – According to Postmaster General Megan Brennan the Postal Service package volume has grown by more than 1 billion packages in the last three years.  In FY 2015, the USPS delivered one-third of all domestic packages in the United States.   To spur additional growth in the package business, the USPS is partnering with a number of major U.S. retailers to develop customized delivery solutions to meet their particular business needs.  The Wall Street Journal noted that the USPS has been competing with UPS and FedEx for market share in ecommerce; “However, the growth in USPS’s shipping volume also has contributed to rising costs, including an increase in hours worked and transportation expenses. During the latest quarter, operating expenses increased 7.4%.”  Source:  eCommerce Bytes

The Mail Moment / Twice a Day – So far, customers are reacting positively to the USPS Informed Delivery pilot tests.  Postal data shows a 70 percent open rate of the email digest within 3 hours of its arrival.  This means users are effectively seeing mailpieces twice – once in their emails and again in their mailboxes.  No wonder early testing indicates a higher response rate to mailpieces. An Informed Delivery campaign improves overall response rates between two and 10 times compared to a direct mail campaign without Informed Delivery.  Source:  USPS OIG

In Praise of Print – Print has a strong, loyal following, and remains a popular, trusted and credible way to create real impact. Smart organizations know this, and incorporate print into their customer contact strategies.  Research provides insight as to why this might be the case: a study found that 84% of people believe they can understand and retain or use information much better when they read it on paper.  Source:  Post & Parcel

Mail Professional Training Certification Launched by Idealliance & Epicomm – In their first joint collaboration, industry associations Idealliance and Epicomm are introducing a Mail Professional Training Program (MailPro), a professional training certification program designed to equip those involved in the extended printing and mailing supply chain with the building blocks to prepare and process mail through the Postal Service network. Source:  WhatTheyThink

Combine Traditional and Digital Marketing for Optimal Website Exposure – The key to being successful with direct mailers in the digital age is using them to push traffic online.  Businesses frequently use mailers to send out deals that require recipients to access the website in order to claim.  For example, you could send out a deal that says, “Visit our website and enter the code SAVINGS to receive a 15% discount on your next online purchase.”  Source:  B2C

What is Informed Delivery? – The USPS is deploying a new system called Informed Visibility (IV).  It’s an enterprise system that will be a real-time, single source for all mail and mail aggregate information, leveraging data to provide business intelligence for USPS functional groups and the mailing industry.  With IV, the mailing industry can leverage key information about their mailings to manage operations, refine processes, and adjust marketing campaigns as needed.  IV Mail Tracking functionality will be implemented through a phased approach in 2016.  Click here to see how the system works.  Source:  USPS RIBBS