Key Notes -Volume 04 Number 03

Postage Will Cost More Starting Sunday – It might be called a “Forever” stamp, but not when it comes to the price of buying one.  The cost of mailing a one-ounce first-class letter will return to being 49 cents, up from 47 cents, where it had been since April.  The last increase came in January 2014, according to the U.S. Postal Service, when it went from 47 cents to 49 cents. Then last April, the Postal Regulatory Commission ordered the USPS to drop its prices for the first time in 97 years.  Postmaster General Megan Brennan protested, saying, “Given our precarious financial condition and ongoing business needs, the price reduction required by the PRC exacerbates our losses.”  Source:  USA Today

Strategies for a Successful Transportation RFP Process – The start of a new year can mark a time of growth and change for companies.  Ever-changing market trends, service needs, higher costs – these are all drivers that can trigger a shift in transportation needs.  What’s the first step to a better transportation solution for your company?  A well-executed transportation RFP process.  In the December issue of Inbound Logistics, James Hancock, Director Veritiv Logistics Solutions gave his insight into strategies to consider when conducting a transportation RFP.  Source:  Veritiv Blog

USPS Continues to Streamline Mail Induction – The Postal Service is continuing to improve the way it serves customers through eInduction, its electronic induction process.  More than 60 percent of mail containers now enter the mailstream through eInduction, which allows customers to bring mailings to USPS facilities for processing and delivery without hardcopy 8125 forms.  This process, introduced in 2013, also streamlines payment.  These improvements — part of the Postal Service’s innovation and sustainability efforts — allow USPS to verify postage was paid and mail arrived at the correct location through an automated process.  Source:  Link

PRC Issues Annual Report to the President and Congress – Last week the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) released its Annual Report to the President and Congress providing an account of the activities undertaken by the Commission during 2016. Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), the Commission is required to address in its report information concerning the operations of the Commission, including the extent to which regulations are achieving the rate setting objectives of the PAEA. The law also requires the Commission to include an estimate of the costs incurred by the Postal Service to provide certain services that the Postal Service would not otherwise have provided except for the requirements of the law.  Source:  PRC

Postal Promotion – The Postal Bulletin’s latest issue highlights new discounts available to businesses that incorporate color, new printing techniques and mobile technologies into their direct mailings.  Source:  USPS Link

The Next Generation Catalog – In an age of digital distraction and ever-shorter consumer attention spans, the catalog is reemerging as a powerful way to engage customers to interact with brands on a deeper level—and it’s not in the traditional format you expect.  It’s smarter, smaller, and less expensive to produce.  It can deliver big impact by supporting digital experiences while still giving your customers the physical, tactile experience they crave in the virtual world.  Experiences that can help your brand cut through all the digital clutter and stand out from the crowd.  Source:  USPS

Why is Traditional Direct Mail Fundraising Still Relevant? – For the entire buzz about online marketing, you’d think direct mail had died as a source of nonprofit fundraising.  The truth is that direct mail fundraising, and other traditional approaches, are still outperforming online channels by a wide margin!  According to Blackbaud’s 2015 Charitable Giving Report, online giving represented 7.1% of all charitable donations during 2015.  This includes donations made through email, social media, and mobile devices.  That means more than 90% of fundraising still comes from traditional sources!  Source:  The Direct Mailman