Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 35

Hurricane Harvey Updates – Information on Hurricane Harvey can be found on the USPS Service Alerts page (click here).  The Postal Service is using social media to inform displaced residents how to file for temporary change of address.  Publishers and catalogs should evaluate suppressing the most impacted ZIP-Codes.  More information will be forthcoming regarding alternate locations where customers can retrieve mail and make postal purchases.

Postal Service Eyes January Rate Hikes – The USPS will raise rates for both market-dominant mail (such as First Class and Marketing Mail) and competitive mail (such as Priority Mail) on Jan. 21, 2018, postal officials told mailing-industry representatives last week.  The average rate increases for market-dominant classes are limited by an inflation-based cap, currently close to 2%.  A postal official indicated that rates would rise from 1% to 3% for most market-dominant products, according to attendees at a meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee.  The new rates for flat Marketing Mail and Periodicals would provide greater incentives to create efficient mailings, which is good news for catalogs and magazines that are co-mailed, as well as for printers that provide co-mail services.  But it means higher-than-average rates for small publishers that don’t take advantage of such mail-consolidation programs.  The USPS is most likely to file the new rates with the Postal Regulatory Commission in October. As long as the PRC determines that the USPS proposal meets certain standards, such as not violating the price caps, the new rates will take effect without modification.  Source:  Dead Tree Edition

USPS Marketing Mail Update – Over the past several months the Postal Service published several DMM Advisory notices providing updates about the rebranding of Standard Mail as USPS Marketing Mail.  They continue to work with the industry on a timeline for implementation for the required use of new postage markings, permit imprint indicia, and sack, tray, and pallet labels.  The updates stress, “Customers should not convert to the USPS Marketing Mail markings until a date is announced.”  The USPS continues to receive requests to test the new name and to convert to the new markings since the new name appeals to many customers.  If you are interested in testing, please respond to the DMM Advisory email address at dmmadvisory@usps.com with your name and contact information.  Testing data will assist all customers as we move forward with implementation.  Source:  Industry Alert

My USPS and Informed Delivery Set to Merge – The US Postal Service (USPS) will be combining its My USPS and Informed Delivery platforms, so users can interact with their incoming mail and packages in one dashboard.  “The integration with My USPS will make Informed Delivery the single digital point of entry for consumers to view images of their mail and manage their packages.  This will help the Postal Service maintain the relevancy of mail in today’s highly digital environment,” said Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Jim Cochrane.  The integration is scheduled to take place in September, after which all features previously available through My USPS will become part of Informed Delivery.  Source:  Post & Parcel

Postal Service Satisfaction – The U.S. Postal Service, committed to excellent customer service, embarked on several initiatives to elevate the importance of customer experience in its daily operations.  To understand its customers’ needs and loyalties, it conducts four major customer satisfaction surveys that feed the Customer Insights (CI) Index.  Click here to read a primer from the OIG that includes independent modules.  Source:  USPS OIG

USPS Informed Delivery: Research Shows Strong Interest! – Despite any preconceived notions about the preferences of younger consumers, InfoTrends’ research confirms that Millennials still recognize the importance of physical mail.  This is especially true when the physical and digital worlds are bridged together, and Informed Delivery accomplishes this very task.  Informed Delivery is a free opt-in service provided by the USPS that offers U.S. residents insight into the physical mail that they will be receiving each day.  By making it easier for consumers to find out what’s in their mailbox even when they are far from home, the USPS is proving its relevance to the next generation of postal customers.  Source:  What They Think