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Get Extra Postage Discounts This Season

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LATE BREAKING NEWS

The Postal Regulatory Commission announced a discount for Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). The US Postal Service will discount all EDDM mailings by 10% from August 1 to September 30, 2020. EDDM is a saturation mailing method that allows mailers to designate delivery of identical, non-addressed marketing mail to all the residential or business addresses within a certain geographic area. The rates will be automatically adjusted for qualified mailings. Mailers need not register for this discount in advance. Here’s more information about Every Door Direct Mail.

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It is full-on summer vacation, but now is the time to schedule holiday direct mail campaigns. To help assure profitable fall and winter marketing mailings, the Postal Service has pitched in with extra incentives for mail that meets specific creative criteria. This is a terrific way to nudge customers into technology and design approaches that will improve response and conversion.

 

The “Why:”

Government agencies are typically not in the habit of handing out discounts to anyone on anything. Postal promotions designed to integrate direct mail into multi-media, multi-platform marketing campaigns are the exception. The USPS postal promotion program engages digitally-focused marketers that have underused direct mail. Once executed, the postal service believes marketers will enjoy the tactile, visual appeal, and permanence of direct mail, making it a part of their future advertising campaigns.

The USPS offered six promotions during 2020, however some have expired. The remaining promotions have specific dates when the postal service accepts applications and date ranges when mailings must drop. Refer to https://postalpro.usps.com/promotions or call the mailing experts at Bolger Printing for details. As always, the sooner the better, as design revisions are often needed to meet postal requirements. Make note that while some programs are available for both First Class and Marketing Mail, others are specific to a class of mail.

 

Remaining Promotions and Incentives for 2020:

 

Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion

Transpromo is a great way to sell a new product while customers pay an invoice for a previous purchase. The best news is that no extra postage is required and the promotional discount is on top of any presort or automation discount the mail normally earns. This promotion applies to First Class mail only. The registration period is open until December 31, with the mail dropping July 1 through December 31.

First-Class mail’s value escalates as mailers accompany transactional pieces with personalized content printed in color. The intent is to increase response from current customers, typically the best source for new business. This promotion is for First Class presort and automated letters, bills, and statements that meet dynamic print production requirements. Meet the specifications for this promotion and take advantage of an upfront 2% postage discount.

 

Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion

This promotion applies to both First Class and Marketing Mail. Registration is open until August 31 with the mail dropping by August 31. This program promotes direct mail using technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality, Near Field Communications (NFC), and Video in Print (ViP). The promotion also includes integration with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, and other digital to direct mail connections.

Some of these technologies have been available for years in other industries, but technology evolution has made them affordable for direct mail applications. This promotion also offers an upfront 2% postage discount and is available for First Class and Marketing Mail (including non-profit) letters and flats.

 

Mobile Shopping Promotion

This promotion encourages mailers to integrate direct mail with mobile technologies, providing a compelling online shopping experience during the holiday season. The registration period is open through December 31 with mail dropping between August 1 and December 31. Several new mobile barcode formats qualify, as well as traditional QR Codes, common for shopping and purchasing. Additional formats that qualify for the promotion include Snap Tags, Watermarks, Voice QR codes, Twitter QR Codes, Amazon Smile Codes, and more.

The barcode must direct the customer to a mobile optimized shopping website where they can easily buy the advertised product. Mailers will take advantage of an upfront 2% postage discount. It is available for Marketing Mail letters and flats only.

 

Informed Delivery Promotion

Informed Delivery has been a popular program for the USPS. To inspire new adopters, they are offering a promotion for First Class and Marketing Mail. This is the second year the USPS has offered this promotion, encouraging business mailers to launch an Informed Delivery campaign. Mailers enjoy a 2% upfront postage discount and registration is open July 15 through November 30. The promotion runs from September 1 to November 30.

Qualifying classes include regular and non-profit Marketing Mail letters and flats and First Class presort or automation postcards, letters, and flats. Informed Delivery is an excellent way to connect digital and physical mediums and enhance the value of direct mail. The USPS wants to encourage adoption by offering a substantial postage discount.

For more details about the Informed Delivery program, read “Extra Impressions of Your Message (for free)in the Bolger Printing Blog.

USPS promotional programs not only increase profit margins, they introduce mailers to new, technology-driven strategies that complement email and social media campaigns.

Extra Impressions of Your Message (for free)

Informed Delivery from the US Postal Service sends consumers a preview of the mail they will receive later in the day. Consumers receive a morning email that displays images of soon-to-be-delivered letter-size mail. The great news for direct mail marketers and others communicating with their customers is the USPS distributes your message in an additional channel at no charge!

This is one of the few times you can get something for nothing. The base program is automatic and requires no special preparation by the mailer. About 17 million consumers have subscribed to Informed Delivery and are receiving previews of their mail in their morning inboxes. The open rate on these emails is extraordinary-about 65 percent.

Marketers should take advantage of these extra free impressions and add compelling text and graphics or teasers to their envelopes, postcards, or self-mailers. These efforts will make the scanned pieces stand out in the morning emails and increase the chances of engagement once the physical mail pieces arrive in consumer mailboxes.

The USPS doesn’t support flats, catalogs, and magazines in the basic service, but read on to see how mailers of these materials can still take advantage of the Informed Delivery program.

 

Informed Delivery Campaigns

Mailers can substitute the default monochrome images with full color ads that include a call to action and a link. Again, the Postal Service charges nothing for this service! A campaign requires little extra work. Most times, the artwork and landing pages will already exist as part of your marketing campaign. Mailers can work with print and mail service providers like Bolger Printing to design and submit an Informed Delivery campaign.

Informed Delivery presents full color ads first in the list of a consumer’s daily summary of mail pieces. A link in the ad can lead directly to landing pages for special sales, donation collection, event sign ups, video demonstrations, customer online portals, and more. Mailers can include flats, catalogs, and magazines in their Informed Delivery campaigns featuring substitute images.

If you’ve been thinking about running a multi-channel campaign, Informed Delivery is an easy and inexpensive way to start.

 

High Value/Low Cost

To make Informed Delivery campaigns even more effective, segment your mailing list. Your customers will see different graphics or links, depending on criteria you declare. A bank for instance, might provide links to different branches depending on the mail recipient’s location. Or an airline might alter their offer according to consumer loyalty points. The possibilities for targeted marketing, including extra free impressions and website links, are endless.

After the mailing, the US Postal Service compiles Informed Delivery campaign statistics. Mailers can view detailed reports on campaign delivery dates, email opens, and clickthroughs. Pre-mailing file analysis is also available so you can estimate the number Informed Delivery subscribers in your target zip codes or on your mailing list.

The US Postal Service runs promotions to encourage mailers to give Informed Delivery a try. Call us to hear about the schedule for the next promotional period and save money on postage while still doubling your impressions for free. It can’t get any better than that!

Learn more about the Informed Delivery program and see a personalized video explanation at www.usps.com/business/informed-delivery.htm. Don’t worry about the technical items or campaign set-up steps. The mailing experts at Bolger Printing will take care of those details for you. To experience Informed Delivery for yourself, sign up at www.informeddelivery.com. Within a few days you will receive your digest of daily mail via email. Once you see how it works, call us to double the impact of your next direct mail project.