On Wednesday, in Part 1 of our year-end postal update, we examined the latest USPS financial reports, developments in the plan for a two-part postage increase and progress (or lack thereof) surrounding postal reform. Today we’re previewing the 2014 Mailing Promotions and Incentive Programs, which are designed to expand the value of mail.
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The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the Mailing Promotions and Incentive Programs included in the CPI portion of the 2014 rate proposal from the USPS. As in 2013, the promotions are designed to encourage mailers to increase the relevance of their mail by integrating direct mail with mobile technology. They are also designed to leverage the value of First-Class Mail (FCM) and ensure reply mail and FCM advertising remain a relevant part of the FCM mix. Let’s look at a few promotions that will start early next year.
Branded Color Mobile Technology
The Postal Service will be conducting several promotions in calendar 2014. The first is the Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion. Registration opens December 15, with the promotion itself running during February and March. To participate in this promotion, mailers are required to include a mobile barcode (typically a QR code) on the mailpiece composed of two or more colors (other than black, white or gray) or containing a trademark or graphic that includes a color or multiple colors (again, other than black, white or gray). The mailpiece must also contain “directional copy” providing guidance to the recipient to scan the barcode and information about the landing page. In addition, the destination website must lead to a mobile-optimized experience. Qualifying mail receives a 2% postage discount. Be sure to let your account team know if you are interested in participating.
Incentive Program for Saturation, High-Density Plus and High-Density Mailers
The Postal Service is also reviving its popular Incentive Program for Saturation and High-Density mail. The program is open to current Saturation/High-Density mailers with at least six combined Saturation, High-Density or High-Density Plus mailings in FY2013 (October 2012 – September 2013). Eligible mailers should have received a letter from the Postal Service notifying them of their eligibility and providing instructions to register for the program. The Postal Service will determine a threshold for each mailer based on its Saturation and High-Density volume for calendar 2013. A postage credit is available on incremental volume over the threshold. The credit will be rebated into a postal permit in early 2015.
Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion
Back by popular demand, this promotion provides mailers using Business Reply Mail (BRM) or Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) with a credit for reply mail postage for all BRM and CRM pieces scanned in April, May and June. Participating mailers will receive a credit of at least 2¢ per piece scanned. The credit is 3¢ per piece for mailers who participated last year and who exceed the total number of pieces scanned in the 2013 promotion. The credit is applied to a permit account selected by the mailer after the end of the promotion and can be used for future mailings of FCM presort and automation cards, letters and flats or Standard Mail letters and flats.
Premium Advertising Promotion
This promotion is designed to encourage marketers to use First-Class Mail as a marketing vehicle. It offers an upfront discount on FCM presort or automation letters composed entirely of marketing or advertising content sent in Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) Full-Service mailings. The discount is 15% of the FCM postage. This promotion provides a good opportunity for mailers who primarily use Standard Mail to test the impact of First-Class Mail on response rates. To participate in this promotion, mailers must have spent $6 million or more in Standard Mail letter postage during FY2013. The Postal Service will contact mailers eligible to participate by December 20.
If you have any questions about these promotions and incentives for 2014, be sure to contact your IWCO Direct account team for more details. If you’re not a current customer, but would like to discuss postal saving opportunities, contact our sales team.
2013 has been a busy postal year with more to come in 2014. Be sure to check back with SpeakingDIRECT frequently to keep up, or better yet, subscribe to have our posts delivered directly to your inbox so you don’t miss any exciting postal developments next year.
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