Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 41

USPS Seeks Rate Increase for January 2017 – The U.S. Postal Service has filed notice (over 200 pages) with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes for Mailing Services products planning to take effect in January 2017.  Standard Mail is being rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail to better align the product name with our customer’s use of this mail class.  In addition, other changes include increasing the piece pound breakpoint from 3.3 to 4.0 ounces for Marketing Mail Flats and Parcel shaped pieces to encourage mailers to include more content, which will lead to more sales for mailers and support volume growth.  Pricing for Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services will also be adjusted next year.  Click here to see a chart of the average increases.  Source:  PI World

USPS Publishes Program Requirements for 2017 Promotions – By encouraging customers to adopt and invest in technologies that enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail, the Postal Service fundamentally improves the long-term value of the product which will provide substantial benefits in future years. Click here to view all of the promotions.

Magazine Readership Rises in ’16 – Average magazine audiences have picked up more than nine percent in the last year, according to the latest Brand Audience Report from industry metric Magazine Media 360°.  The report, which is published by magazine industry trade group The Association of Magazine Media, shows that the average audience for magazine brands is currently up 9.3 percent from a year ago, the largest increase that medium has experienced since early 2015.  The audience report, which measures print, digital, web, mobile and video magazine editions, shows that print magazines, when combined with digital editions, has accounted for year-over-year audience growth of 1.2 percent.  Source:  O’Dwyer’s

One Minute of Human Labor to Ship Amazon Package – With 22 years of experience in e-commerce and an obsession with efficiency, Amazon has brought remarkable optimization to the warehouses where it stores, packages and ships goods.  On a typical Amazon order, employees will spend about a minute total — taking an item off the shelf, then boxing and shipping it.  The rest of the work is done by robots and automated systems.  Source:  CNN Money

New Campaign Promotes FSC as One Simple Action with a Profound Impact – For the first time, six publicly traded companies – some of which are competitors – have come together to promote the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) directly to consumers. Watch the video here.  FSC helps people identify products from forests managed to the highest standards. In doing so, FSC helps to protect forests, even as people use forest products every day. “One Simple Action” refers to the fact that FSC-certified products are widely available across the United States, making purchases simple.  After consumers are exposed to basic information, research found that FSC has a strong influence on product purchase and retailer selection.  This campaign represents the first time publicly traded companies are working to promote an NGO brand together. Source:  Forest Stewardship Council

Drone Delivery in the US – If the Postal Service intends to consider the option of incorporating drones into its operations, tracking the public’s rapidly evolving perception of this new mode of delivery will be essential to shaping the groundwork of the Postal Service’s strategy.  In order to understand the current state of public opinion on drone delivery, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) administered an online survey.  Analysis of the survey results yielded several key findings.  Read the entire report here.  Source:  USPS OIG

First-Ever Programmatic Catalog – PebblePost, a marketing solutions company, has launched of the world’s first Programmatic Catalog. The catalog embodies real-time online interest and intent activity transformed into dynamically rendered, personalized mail pieces, delivered into a postal network within 12-24 hours every day.  The catalog is created from real-time behavioral data (browsing, keyword search, cart abandonment, etc.) combined with page-level information and a marketer’s campaign rules. Delivered via First-Class Mail, this mail piece brings real-time interest and intent data to the world of in-home physical media, combining content in one personalized package that consumers can hold in their hands.  Source:  PR News