This week, I’m away on vacation, but blog readers have a special treat — an expert opinion from GrayHair Advisors’ Jody Berenblatt on postal savings in the offing for 2017 calendar year, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service and its plans for postage promotions. Plan and save! — Chet Dalzell
For several years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has offered promotions to encourage marketers to integrate mail with new technologies and help increase customer engagement — enabling incentives to see how direct mail can best be deployed in an increasingly mobile and digital nation.
The six USPS promotions for 2017 and their promotion periods are:
1. Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion: January – June 2017
The Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion enables the USPS to automate the reply mail accounting process. At $0.05 credit per mail piece, this promotion is the easiest postage credit to earn. To qualify, you must use an Intelligent Mail barcode on the reply device for postage paid by the customer (courtesy reply mail) or postage paid by the business (aka business reply mail).
2. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mail Piece Engagement Promotion: February – July 2017
What could make mail irresistible? The tactile, sensory and interactive mail piece engagement program encourages marketers to invest in the experiential aspect of mail (textures, scents) to earn a 2 percent postage credit on future Standard mailings. The USPS recently won a ‘Webby’ Award for its own “irresistible” catalog.
3. Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion: March – August 2017
To connect mail with mobile, the emerging and advanced technology promotion creates an opportunity for marketers to experiment with augmented reality, virtual reality, near-field communications, beacon technology and earn a 2 percent postage credit on both First-Class and Standard Mail.
4. Direct Mail Starter Promotion: May – July 2017
The Direct Mail Starter Promotion is aimed at digital marketers and newbies to advertising mail; earn a 5 percent postage credit on Standard mailings of 10,000 or less.
5. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion: July – December 2017
The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion encourages businesses to transform statements with colorful, personalized, targeted marketing to earn a 2 percent credit on First-Class Mail.
6. Mobile Shopping Promotion: August – December 2017
To earn this 2 percent credit for Standard mailings, marketers must create a call to action that allows the mail recipient to take action with his or her mobile phone. Easy.
For the balance of 2016, marketers also can enroll in both the Personalized Color Transpromo and the Mobile Shopping promotion. Simply register before the mailing enters the mail stream in order to qualify for either promotion. For more information about the promotions and, importantly, program requirements, click here.
These savings are significant — so they are very much worth planning for and participating.