USPS Promotions are Becoming More Important Than Ever

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About the Author

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Kurt Ruppel

Kurt Ruppel is Director Postal Policy and Marketing Communications. He educates clients on postal regulations and rates, helps ensure mail packages meet spec, and develops postal strategies that achieve in-home delivery targets at the best possible postage rates. Kurt has brought the “all of us know more than any of us” business philosophy to IWCO for more than 40 years (oy!). He is a three-time IWCO President’s Award winner, former Chairman of the EMA Board of Directors, graduate of Utah State University, gardening enthusiast, and Ohio State Buckeye football fan.

With a significant postage rate increase on the horizon, the postage discounts that can be earned from participating in USPS promotions have become increasingly important to many marketers. As an added bonus, these promotions encourage marketing techniques that can make the direct mail portion of multichannel campaigns more relevant and engaging for the recipients, driving higher response and greater return on marketing investment (ROMI). Here are some key details and dates for the more popular mailing promotions:

2021 Informed Delivery Promotion Offers 2% Discount

If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to consider adding Informed Delivery (ID) campaigns to your fall mailings. Doing so will allow you to participate in the ID promotion, which earns a 2% postage discount. The ID promotion begins September 1 (just three days after new postage rates are likely to take effect) and runs through November 30.

To create an ID campaign, mailers provide the Postal Service with the range of IMbs (Intelligent Mail Barcodes), artwork for a “ride-along” image that appears in the consumers’ daily ID feed and the URL for the landing page recipients will go to when they click on the ride-along image. An optional element for campaigns is a full-color “representative image” of the mailpiece to replace the image captured on the sorting equipment.

Informed Delivery Gives Mailers Multiple Touchpoints

Not only does participation in this promotion result in reduced postage, mailers can have multiple touches with recipients driven by the same mailpiece. Saving money with your postage budget and driving even better response rates―what’s not to like?

Participation in Informed Delivery continues to grow; ID now has more than 40 million subscribers―more than 22% of all eligible deliveries. ID subscribers are engaged with their mail: more than 60% of ID subscribers open their email notification each day.

The Postal Service continues to add elements to make ID campaign even more effective. Subscribers can now share ID campaign landing pages with Facebook friends, and future development will allow sharing through other applications. In addition, subscribers will soon have the option to set a reminder to interact with their mail on a timeline that works best for them.

Let Us Help You Get Started with Informed Delivery

Looking for support for your ID campaigns? IWCO Direct can manage the entire process from setting up the campaign and submitting the needed elements to the Postal Service through tracking email opens and click-throughs and post-campaign reporting. Our creative team can design representative and ride-along images with strong calls-to-action that will have your customers and prospects checking-out your offers online.

Even Better Benefits for 2022 USPS Promotions

Beyond just defining a new rate structure, the rate proposal currently before the Postal Regulatory Commission outlines the Postal Service’s vision for mailing promotions in 2022. The USPS plan calls for noteworthy enhancements to several of the promotions direct marketers use most:

  • The Informed Delivery promotion would be expanded to five months (August 1 through December 31) and offer a 4% postage discount―twice the discount currently available.
  • The Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive (TSI) promotion (February 1 through July 31) will also offer the opportunity for a 4% postage discount in 2022. It will also be open to First-Class Mail for the first time, not just Marketing Mail. If you haven’t participated before, start thinking now about how you can add tactile elements to your mailpiece―specialized varnishes and coatings (soft touch, sandpaper, etc.), embossing, or foil stamping are just some of the options.
  • The Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion (March 1 through August 31) will have a new option for a 3% discount for use of more challenging technologies like Video in Print, NFC, Virtual Reality (VR)/Mixed Reality (MR), and Advanced Integration with Voice Assistant, while continuing to offer a 2% discount for other technologies like Enhanced Augmented Reality (AR) and Basic Integration with Voice Assistant.

Contact me or your IWCO Direct account team to learn how USPS promotions can lift response while helping you manage your postage budget.

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