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The 2015 USPS Promotions are Coming: Are You Ready?

Kurt Ruppel

There are four USPS promotions lined-up for 2015. All four are concepts that have been offered previously, but this year they will run for longer periods, usually six months, which will offer more opportunity for mailers to participate. The goal is to demonstrate the value of reply mail, grow the value of First-Class Mail, and prove how linking physical and digital communications can enhance response to direct mail offers.

As part of the review process for the 2015 postage price adjustment, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved promotions for First-Class Mail, but is still reviewing prices and promotions for Standard Mail. While we expect the PRC to also approve the proposed Standard Mail promotions, they will not be official until the commission acts. The Postal Service is in the process of finalizing promotion requirements; the information below is based on current information. IWCO Direct will be able to auto-register clients for most promotions; however, the Earned Value Promotion requires separate registration by the mail owner.

Earned Value Promotion

(Registration is March 15 – April 30; promotion runs May 1 – July 31.)

Back by popular demand, the Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion is available to mailers using Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) as a response channel. Participants receive a credit of 2¢ for each BRM or CRM piece returned during the three month promotion period. For those who participated in this promotion in 2014, the credit grows to 3¢ when the number of pieces returned this year exceeds the number that was counted in last year’s promotion.

Credits are calculated and verified after the end of the promotion and can be applied to future First-Class or Standard mailings.

Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion

(Registration begins March 15; promotion runs May 1 – October 31.)

This promotion has been expanded to encourage mailers to incorporate not only interactive digital technologies, but also innovative advances in engagement materials to enhance response to direct mail offers. Among the features qualifying for this promotion are:

  • Advanced augmented reality including two- or three-dimensional interactive graphics displays;
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) to engage a mobile device to create an interactive user experience;
  • Advanced paper characteristics such as texture, scent, or sound, that are part of the overall marketing concept or message and enhance the customer engagement experience;
  • Advanced inks such as those that change color based on variations in temperature or pressure, or conductive inks used to print a “circuit” to activate light or sound. These inks must be part of the overall marketing concept or message and enhance the customer engagement experience;
  • Interactive mailpieces that include an experience that engages the recipient and adds dynamic effects in the use of folds, pop-ups, or other dimensional elements to add value to the overall marketing message.

All paper, ink, and interactive mailpieces must be preapproved before mailing. It is also recommended that augmented reality and NFC applications be preapproved.

This promotion can be used with either First-Class or Standard Mail. Participants receive a discount of 2% of eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.

Color Transpromo Promotion

(Registration begins April 15; promotion runs June 1 – November 30.)

The Color Transpromo Promotion is available only for First-Class Mail transactional documents (statements) that include a full-color (CMYK) consumer or marketing message, printed using a dynamic variable print process, as part of the statement.

Participants receive a discount of 2% of eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.

Mail Drives Mobile Promotion

(Registration begins May 15; promotion runs July 1 – December 31.)

This promotion is available for Standard Mail mailpieces that include a mobile barcode or other print/ mobile technology that leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized website. The recipient must be able to purchase an advertised product from the website. In limited circumstances, sale of services or charitable donations may also qualify. Linking to a mobile website for credit card applications or to request insurance quotes do not qualify for this promotion. In addition, the mailpiece must include text that provides guidance to the recipient on how to scan the barcode or image and conveys information about the landing page.

Participants receive a discount of 2% of eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.

Be sure to take advantage of any and all of these promotions that fit your marketing strategy. Meeting promotional requirements can be complex, so if you need more information or assistance with any of the promotions, please reach out to your IWCO Direct account team.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2015/03/06/2015-usps-promotions/
Kurt Ruppel

Author

Kurt Ruppel

Director Postal Policy and Marketing Communications and graduate of Utah State University. Bringing the “all of us know more than any of us” business philosophy to IWCO Direct for more than 30 years (oy!). Three-time IWCO Direct President’s Award winner, Vice Chairman of the EMA Board of Directors, bicycling enthusiast, and Ohio State Buckeye Football fan.

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