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Be Sure to Take Advantage of the USPS Discounts Offered in the 2016

Kurt Ruppel

The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the calendar of Mailing Promotions for 2016, which offers significant USPS discounts for direct mail that meets certain criteria. As in 2015, the Postal Service is offering fewer, longer-running promotions that largely carry forward concepts previously used. The primary change from last year is the combined “advanced technology” and “tactile, sensory and interactive” promotion has been split into two separate promotions.

The goals of the five 2016 promotions are 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. Here are the USPS discounts that are available to mailers in the coming year:

1. Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion

(Registration begins January 15; promotion runs March 1 – August 31.)

This promotion focuses on innovative advances in engagement materials to enhance response to direct mail offers. The features qualifying for this promotion include:

  • Specialty papers that have one or more features, such as scent, sound or taste; or that utilize unique visual or textural treatments, such as soft/velvet touch or other UV finishes;
  • 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;
  • Interactive mailpieces including elements such as infinite folding, pop-ups, or 3-dimensional construction.

All paper, ink and interactive mailpieces must be preapproved before mailing. To see samples of engagement techniques that are part of this promotion, go to http://www.irresistiblemail.com.

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

2. Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video in Print Promotion

(Registration begins January 15; promotion runs March 1 – August 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:

  • Near Field Communication (NFC) to engage a mobile device that creates an interactive user experience
  • iBeacon/Beacon technology
  • Advanced augmented reality including video animation or two- or three-dimensional interactive graphics displays
  • Video in print including an integrated video screen within a printed mailable piece, integrated video/picture utilizing translucent paper, personalized interactive video, or streaming video tools and platforms

The mailpiece must contain directional copy providing guidance to the consumer on how to engage the technology. All websites linked through this advanced technology must be relevant to the content of the marketing message in the mailpiece and be mobile optimized.

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.

3. Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion

(Registration is February 15 – March 31; promotion runs April 1 – June 30.)

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 2015, the credit grows to 3¢ when the number of pieces returned this year exceeds the number returned during 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.

4. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion

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

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.

5. Mobile Shopping 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 does 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 to obtain the USPS discounts 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/2015/12/15/usps-discounts-in-2016/
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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