Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 44

Names (and Prices) They Are-a-Changin’ – At one time, it was called Third-Class Mail. Today, it’s known as Standard Mail. In 2017, it will be called (USPS) Marketing Mail. The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a name change for Standard Mail to better signal to customers that this mail is used primarily to market a product or service.  This rebranding to Marketing Mail is part of the recent rate filing the USPS made with the Postal Regulatory Commission to change prices.   What do you think of changing the name of Standard Mail to Marketing Mail?  Do you think it will help customers better understand what this product is and how it can be used as part of their marketing strategies?  Are there other products that might benefit from a name change to better signal their purposes? Submit your comments here.  Source:  USPS OIG

Writing By Hand – Writing things down by hand helps us remember and use the information — even if we never read our notes. A study in Psychological Science found that college students taking notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions about the material than students taking notes on paper.  Source:  Two Sides

Full-Service Assessments begin November 14, 2016 – The Postal Service will begin Assessments for Electronic Verification Metrics in November 2016 for October data. The assessments result in the removal of the Full-Service discount on those pieces in error above the established thresholds.  Automated email Assessment notifications will be sent as described below on the 11th day of each month.  A fact sheet, which provides an overview of the Full-Service Assessment process, can be found on RIBBS.  Source:  USPS Industry Alert

1,100 Community Papers Ask for Postal Reform – What happens when 1,100 newspapers speak with one voice to Congress about the need for reliable mail service?  Postal reform! Or at least that is what National Newspaper Association hoped when it sent a letter Oct. 20 to every member of the House of Representatives.  NNA joined in the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service to request prompt action in the lame-duck 114th Congress to save the U.S. Postal Service from creating more cuts in service.  NNA is seeking action on HR 5714, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2016, sponsored by leading postal experts in the House, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, and Elijah Cummings, D-MD. The bill passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in July, but did not see action on the House floor before Congress recessed to campaign for the Nov. 8 elections. Now, according to NNA, House Speaker Paul Ryan must act emphatically in late November to save newspapers from facing the trauma of slower mail and higher postage rates.  Source:  National Newspaper Association

Understanding the Facts Around Mailer ID Usage – The USPS continues to implement planned changes to mail entry system.  Recently, an increased focus was placed on the By/For relationship and how that affects mailings.  As a result, mail preparers are finding they need a better understanding of the relationship between the mailer identification (MIDs) specified in the By/For and the MIDs used in the Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMBs).  Source:  BCC Software

Shipping Point – The reasons consumers shop online are changing in ways that could affect holiday shipping patterns, new research shows.  For years, shoppers made most of their online holiday purchases before Dec. 20, when many retailers stop offering free shipping.  But according to recent estimates by the Adobe software company, year-to-year online sales will grow 24 percent during the final two weeks of December.  The research also shows online shoppers are now motivated more by convenience than bargains, which used to be the primary driver of internet purchases.  Washington, DC, Washington, Nevada, Kansas and Nebraska will see the highest growth, while Delaware, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi will see the lowest.  A separate study by the Deloitte consulting firm predicts holiday shoppers for the first time will split their budgets equally between physical and online stores.  Source:  USPS Link

Promotions & Incentives – the Postal Service has been updating the requirements for their promotions and incentives programs to create awareness of innovative uses of mail. By encouraging customers to adopt and invest in technologies that enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail, we fundamentally improve the long-term value of the product which will provide substantial benefits in future years.  Source:  RIBBS