Take the Sting Out of Rising Postage Rates with Mailing Promotions
The US Postal Service (USPS) will be raising rates in July. At the recent Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee meeting, the USPS told attendees to expect at least an overall increase of 6.4%. Based on the recently published inflation reports, mailers should plan on rate increases closer to 7%.
Physical mail remains a powerful medium in an increasingly digital world. With paper costs climbing, and postage rate increases in the near future, organizations must find ways to offset prices. Integrating innovative technology and improving processes are part of the solution. So is taking advantage of the USPS Mailing Promotions.
Throughout the year, the USPS will be offering discounts if mailers participate in the programs. For 2022, the approved promotions are:
- Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement
- Emerging and Advanced Technology
- Earned Value Reply Mail
- Personalized Color Transpromo
- Informed Delivery
- Mobile Shopping
Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement promotion offers a 4% discount when mailers improve customer engagement by enhancing the physical characteristics of the mailpieces. This may be accomplished through different substrates, inks, interactive elements, or finishing techniques. The program will run February 1st through July 31st, and is open to First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.
Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion provides discounts ranging from 2% to 3% if mailers incorporate emerging technologies in their campaigns. This can include enhanced augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. Mailers may also integrate voice assistant or near-field communication (NFC). The program runs from January 15th through August 31st, and is open to First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.
Earned Value Reply Mail promotion offers a $0.02 credit for reply and/or share mail pieces. Qualifying mailers will include Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail or Share Mail envelopes/cards that provide an added benefit to customers when they put those pieces back in the mailstream. The program runs from April 1st through June 30th, and is open to First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.
Personalized Color Transpromo promotion provides a 3% discount for mailers who use color marketing messaging to increase response from customers. The program runs from July 1st through December 31st, and is open to First-Class Mail only.
Informed Delivery promotion offers a 4% discount when mailers use the USPS’ Informed Delivery omni-channel feature. To qualify, participants must create an Informed Delivery campaign that meet best-practice requirements. The program runs from August 1st through December 31st, and is open to First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.
Mobile Shopping promotion provides a 2% discount to mailers who integrate mobile technologies that enable seamless online shopping experiences. The program runs from July 1st through December 31st, and is open to USPS Marketing Mail only.
Detailed information on the promotions is available on the USPS PostalPro website. In addition to the technical specifications, the site provides email contacts for questions and clarification.
Higher paper prices and rising postage rates will be around for the near future. Savvy service providers and well-run in-plants will take advantage of the USPS mailing promotions to add value to physical mail while offsetting those costs.
Input for this piece was provided by Lois Ritarossi, CMC, President of High Rock Strategies:
Lois Ritarossi, CMC, is the President of High Rock Strategies, a consulting firm focused on sales and marketing strategies, and business growth for firms in the print, mail and communication sectors. Lois brings her clients a cross functional skill set and strategic thinking with disciplines in business strategy, sales process, sales training, marketing, software implementation, inkjet transformation and workflow optimization. Lois has enabled clients to successfully launch new products and services with integrated sales and marketing strategies, and enabled sales teams to effectively win new business. You can reach Lois at highrockstrategies.com.
Mark M. Fallon is president and CEO of The Berkshire Company, a consulting firm specializing in mail and document processing strategies. The company develops customized solutions integrating proven management concepts with emerging technologies to achieve total process management. He offers a vision of the document that integrates technology, data quality, process integrity, and electronic delivery. His successes are based upon using leadership to implement innovative solutions in the document process. You can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.