The Postal Service’s suite of 2017 mailing promotions should look familiar to marketers, as it features many encores of themes that have become popular over the past few years. Promotions are designed to not only save postage costs, but also to encourage marketers to adopt best practices for linking physical mail with online experiences and making mail irresistibly engaging for recipients.
Although the themes are familiar, the requirements for participating in promotions change slightly from year-to-year. We expect to have final requirements documents for the 2017 mailing promotions later this month, but for now, here is a high-level look at the opportunities being offered next year.
1. Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion
(Registration is November 15 – December 31; promotion runs January 1 – June 30.)
The Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion, available to mailers using Business Reply Mail (BRM), Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM), or Share Mail™ as response channels, is being expanded in 2017. The promotion period is longer―six months vs. three months – and the rebate is larger (5¢ for each BRM, CRM or Share Mail piece returned, up from 2¢ ‒ 3¢ last year). Rebates will be calculated and verified quarterly (January – March and April – June) and can be applied to future First-Class or Standard mailings.
2. Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion
(Registration begins December 15; promotion runs February 1 – July 31.)
This promotion will be very similar to the recently concluded 2016 version. It focuses on innovative advances in engagement materials to enhance response to direct mail offers. The features qualifying for this promotion include things like scent, sound or taste, visual or textural treatments like soft/velvet touch or other UV finishes, or elements like infinite folding, pop-ups, or 3-dimensional construction. Advance approval of concepts will still be required, but the submission process will be streamlined. This promotion can only be used with Standard Mail. Participants receive a 2% discount off eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.
3. Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion
(Registration begins January 15; promotion runs March 1 – August 31.)
This promotion encourages mailers to incorporate technologies, like Near Field Communication (NFC), advanced augmented reality, video in print or virtual reality into a mailpiece that links with an interactive digital experience. It can be used with either First-Class or Standard Mail. Participants receive a 2% discount off eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.
4. Direct Mail Starter Promotion
(Registration begins March 15; promotion runs May 1 – July 31.)
This new promotion is intended to encourage small business mailers to design direct mail campaigns that incorporate qualifying technology, like QR codes. Since it is aimed at small businesses, this promotion is limited to 10,000 pieces per mailer. Participants receive a 5% discount off eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.
5. 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 2% discount off eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.
6. Mobile Shopping Promotion
(Registration begins June 15; promotion runs August 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 or service from the website. In addition, the mailpiece must include directional text that instructs the recipient on how to scan the barcode. Participants receive a 2% discount off eligible postage, deducted at the time of mailing.
Want to Know More About how USPS Mailing Promotions Can Help You Save Money and Drive ROMI?
I hope you’ll join me, Barb Pellow of InfoTrends and Coakley Workman of the USPS on Thursday, September 29 from 2‒3 p.m. EDT for a free and informative webinar presented by Target Marketing magazine where we’ll discuss using these mailing promotions to drive more value from your direct marketing efforts.
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