USPS Proposes ‘Summer Sale’ for Many Standard Mailers

WASHINGTON, DC—April 10, 2009—The Postal Service has informed mailers that it will be announcing shortly a summer sale on postage for any increased Standard Mail volume for many Standard mailers. “We are very pleased that USPS is taking advantage of the pricing flexibility that DMA worked so hard for in the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,” said Direct Marketing Association President and CEO John Greco.

DMA has long advocated seasonal pricing. At the Postal Regulatory Commission/Postal Service Summit in 2007, DMA Chairman Markus Wilhelm urged the Postal Service to offer seasonal rates and even daily rates to grow mail volume during slower times. “The current economic climate demands this new pricing strategy to grow mail volume during the slow summer season,” Greco continued. “It has taken two years for this to come to fruition, and we welcome its continued progress.”

The full details of the plan remain a work in progress, but mailers would be offered 20- to 30 percent discounts from June 15 to September 15 for mail volume over and above that mailer’s past mailing. The Postal Service would establish a base mail volume for each mailer derived from that mailer’s mailings from June 15 to September 15, 2008 adjusted downward by the current mail trends for that mailer during the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2009. Any mail volume above that baseline would receive the ‘summer sale’ price.

Since the Postal Service must establish a separate base line for each mailer and provide an appeal to each mailer to contest those calculations, it is likely only the 4,000 largest Standard Mailers will be eligible this summer.

The proposal must go to the Postal Regulatory Commission, and DMA will push for quick approval so that mailers will have the greatest amount of lead time for planning as possible. DMA will also ask the Postal Service to establish this “sale” for the summer of 2010, so that mailers will have a year to plan and the Service will reap the full benefit of the sale.

“Every mailer should immediately examine their mailing program and seek to adjust it to take full advantage of this stimulus program,” added Greco.

DMA expects the Postal Service to file the details of this issue with the Postal Rate Commission within the next three weeks, and will keep members informed of developments as they arise.

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