Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 39

USPS Published January 2018 Pre-Release Notes – The USPS has published pre-release notes for the January price implementation. They available on PostalPro.  The document covers the changes for preparation, but as always, does not include the prices.  Redline postage statements are expected to be available shortly and it is anticipated that the USPS will file the rates with the Postal Regulatory Commission in the next few weeks.  Source:  Farrington

Big Rise in Direct Mail, Thanks to Apple – There’s no doubt that the mobile phone giant has the power to change how we communicate and connect in our everyday life.  Apple’s iOS 11 FINALLY natively supports QR Codes, without the need for a 3rd-party-app!  Not only did they add it to iOS, the functionality is built right in to the most commonly used app, the camera.  The use of a QR code has been nothing but a novelty for direct mail postcards up until now.  Realistically, the only people that really used QR Codes on a piece of mail, was the manufacturers and re-sellers of variable data software and digital presses.  This small but important change is going to change how we tie together print with digital communication more than ever.  Source:  LinkedIn

Invisible Newspaper Ad – Outdoor clothing retailer L.L. Bean has created an advertisement that is only visible when viewed… outside.  Its ad featuring a new manifesto encouraging people to “Be an outsider” ran in The New York Times.  When viewed in sunlight, the text is revealed, including the lines: “Just step outside your front door, and you’ve arrived.  You can forget your age, your worries, even your bathing suit.  Just don’t forget to bring your friends.”  The ad, created with The VIA Agency, was produced using photochromic ink.  Source:  CNBC

How to Execute a Direct Mail Campaign – Direct mail is a great driver of response as long as you send to the right people with the right offer at the right time.  You will learn all of this information from prior mailings.  Over time, you will build a rich data base, which will allow you to select very targeted people who are most interested on your offer.  Many times we spend so much time on creative and copy that the way it gets in the mail is overlooked.  You need to build into your timeline the printing and mailing of the pieces.  Timing of the mail can really matter especially if you are having a limited time sale.  Source:  Target Marketing

USPS Nonprofit Proposal Eight Battle Continues – The U.S Postal Service replied to comments made by the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers on the Proposal Eight.  Proposal Eight changes the analytical principles relating to periodic reports and compliance determinations for nonprofit mailers (see Issue 38 for details).  The reply state, “The Postal Service, of course, is not seeking to unduly minimize the budget consequences for very worthy nonprofit organizations that might, for example, be required to trim the least remunerative names and addresses from their mailing lists, or to reduce the number of mailings sent each year.”  Source:  PRC

USPS in Recovery Mode – USPS is working to restore service in the Caribbean after it was slammed last week by Hurricane Maria, the devastating storm that caused widespread destruction throughout the area.  The Postal Service closed all facilities on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in preparation for the storm, which knocked out power and caused major flooding and landslides in several places.  Limited pick-up mail service is being restored, and a handful of facilities are opening for limited hours as it’s deemed safe.  Source:  USPS Link

Drinkable Direct Mail Campaign – Edible advertising is an unusual medium, and when one of the world’s largest importers of fine teas created drinkable advertising, their audience really sat down and noticed.  Hälssen & Lyon, based in Germany, is one of the largest and most respected importers of tea in the world.  Founded in 1879, today they sell everything from raw materials to packaged end-product.  To reinforce their position as trendsetters in their industry, Hälssen & Lyon came up with a unique idea: They produced a calendar made entirely from tea leaves. The company mailed calendars to partners, suppliers and clients who were able to detach the calendar days and steep them in hot water to enjoy a different tea each day of the year. It was a first: a direct mail piece you can drink.  Source:  Canada Post