Did you know that the U.S. Postal Service is the only organization in the country that has the manpower, network and capacity to deliver mail to every residence and business in the United States? It is the mega force behind a $900 billion industry that drives commerce and connects every American.
Last year alone the Postal Service delivered 168 billion pieces of mail and conducted $10 trillion in commerce. However because it employs more than 8 million people, paying out 1.9 billion in salary and benefits every two weeks, it has had to re-examine its business model and make adjustments due to the five-year recession just like any other business.
Much to my hopeful expectations, the Postal Service has gathered some innovative minds to do just this. During the first quarter of 2013, the Postal Service is rolling out an impressive list of six new services that will reward and encourage businesses to mail first class, mail product samples, incorporate mobile coupons, and step up their successes by using picture permits on the exterior of a mail piece and more.
Specifically, six degrees of savings becomes available to postal customers in a few months. With the right promotion and education, these mailing promotions will reward businesses of all sizes, direct mail companies and advertising agencies to leverage savings, technologies and incentives finally embraced by the once stagnant Postal Service. Hard times have led to concrete programs meant to help businesses instead of pricing postage out of reach for large-scale or first-class mailings.
Six Postal Mailing Programs to Earn Your 2013 Direct Mail Spend
- Mobile Coupon/Click-to-Call:This promotion provides businesses upfront postage discounts for combining mail with mobile technology. The promotion raises the value of direct mail in two ways (1) it encourages customers to integrate printed coupons in the mail with mobile platforms for redemption (2) it drove consumer awareness by persuading them to scan mobile barcodes that provide click-to-call incentives and information. Customer registration begins Jan. 15, 2013.
- Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion:Why send bulk rate, when the Postal Service will give you a postage credit for every First-Class Mail Business Reply and Courtesy Reply envelope that a customer returns and that is scanned in the postal network? This promotion is designed to reward mailers who promote First-Class Mail as a primary reply mechanism for their customers and who keep the Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) envelopes in their marketing programs. Customer registration begins Jan. 1, 2013.
- Emerging Technologies:Building on the successes of past mobile barcode promotions, this promotion provides an upfront 2 percent postage discount for customers who integrate specific emerging technologies into their mail campaigns. Such technologies include near-field communication, augmented reality and mobile-enabled authentication or QR Code® technologies. This promotion is designed to elevate awareness of how innovative technologies can be integrated with a direct mail strategy to enhance the value of direct mail. Customer registration begins June 15, 2013.
- Picture Permit:The Picture Permit promotion helps businesses grab attention and drive home their brand by being able to customize their permit indicia by adding a logo, brand image or trademarks. During this promotion businesses or customers that mail First-Class or Standard Mail letters and cards, will not have to pay the permit fee. Customer registration begins June 15, 2013.
- Product Samples:Designed to re-invigorate product sampling via the mail, the Product Samples promotion will provide mailers with an upfront postage discount on qualifying mail that contains product samples. The promotion will raise awareness of the effectiveness and value of having samples delivered to the home and highlight the new proposed “Simple Samples” pricing in Standard Mail, effective Jan. 27, 2013. Customer registration begins May 1, 2013.
- Mobile Buy-it-Now: Mailers will receive an upfront 2 percent postage discount for building in customer interaction and engagement. Combining direct mail with mobile technology, especially during the holiday season, will be a win/win for businesses and consumers. Customer registration begins Sept. 15, 2013.
For additional information simply visit RIBBS. The Postal Service has stepped it up by posting user guides and just in time webinars to walk you through the programs. Need help interpreting or applying these new programs? Contact us directly.
*QR Code is a licensed trademark of DensoWave.