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5 USPS Direct Mail Promotions to Take Advantage of in 2016

Each year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offers a series of promotional programs to help companies improve ROI for their direct mail campaigns.

This year, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has green lighted five promotional programs throughout 2016. While this year’s schedule looks similar to last year’s, it’s important to consider the dates of these programs to plan your campaigns and submit your registrations on time.

The chart below gives a general overview of the start and end dates for each promotion, broken up into first-class, standard and combined categories. We’ve also summarized some key details about each of the five programs below, along with links to their full descriptions if you’d like to learn more.

1. EMERGING AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY/VIDEO IN PRINT PRODUCTION

When is it?

Registration: January 15 - August 31, 2016
Promotion Period: March 1 - August 31, 2016

What kind of mail does it apply to?

First Class, Standard and Nonprofit letters, cards or flats.

What is the promotion?

This is a 2 percent postage discount for pieces that include one of the following emerging technologies:

  • Standard NFC
  • Video in Print (ViP)
  • Beacon/iBeacon systems
  • “Enhanced” augmented reality

The aim of this program is to promote the use of mail technologies that allow recipients to engage in an interactive experience through the mail piece and a mobile device or tablet.

Learn more (PDF) >>

2. TACTILE, SENSORY AND INTERACTIVE MAIL PIECE ENGAGEMENT PROMOTION

When is it?

Registration: January 15 - August 31, 2016
Promotion Period: March 1 - August 31, 2016

What kind of mail does it apply to?

Standard and Nonprofit letters, cards or flats.

What is the promotion?

This is a 2 percent postage discount for pieces that “multi-sensory experience through special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, or even taste.” Other interactive features like pop-ups, infinite folds, or other multi-dimensional formats can also qualify for the promotion.

The aim of the program is to encourage marketers to step up their direct mail pieces by using specialty inks, papers and interactive elements to drive engagement and response rates among recipients who may be tired of traditional direct mail.

Learn more (PDF) >>

3. EARNED VALUE PROMOTION

When is it?

Registration: February 15 – March 31, 2016
Promotion Period: April 1 - June 30, 2016

What kind of mail does it apply to?

First Class Business Reply Mail and First Class Courtesy Reply Mail.

What is the promotion?

Senders can earn $0.02 - 0.03 credits applied on the Business Customer Gateway for BRM and CRM pieces that have valid Intelligent Mail® barcodes are returned by the recipient to the mailer.

On June 30, the earned value assigned to BRM and CRM will be multiplied by the total number of BRM and CRM. Credits are applied to Permit accounts once they’re accepted by the mailer in the Business Customer Gateway.

Learn more (PDF) >>

4. PERSONALIZED COLOR TRANSPROMO PROMOTION

When is it?

Registration: May 15 – December 31, 2016
Promotion Period: July 1 - Dec 31, 2016

What kind of mail does it apply to?

First Class Mail commercial letters that are part of an IMb full-service mailing.

What is the promotion?

Senders can earn a 2 percent postage discount by adding a personalized color message on bills, statements to produce and statements that “create a great connection and response from consumers."

This promotion provides upfront postage discounts to senders who use personalized dynamic/variable color print for transpromotional marketing and consumer messages on their bills and statements.

Learn more (PDF) >>

5. MOBILE SHOPPING PROMOTION

When is it?

Registration: May 15 - December 31, 2016
Promotion Period: July 1 - Dec 31, 2016

What kind of mail does it apply to?

First Class Mail commercial letters that are part of an IMb full-service mailing.

What is the promotion?

Senders can earn a 2 percent postage discount on mail pieces that meet these five requirements:

  1. They include a mobile barcode like a QR code or Datamatrix code
  2. They include clear directional copy such as, “Scan here to shop”
  3. The destination website contains information relevant to the content of the mail piece
  4. The website must be optimized to let the customer complete the transaction on their mobile device

The idea behind this program is to encourage the use of print-to-online technologies in direct mail campaigns, creating a convenient method for consumers to shop online.

Learn more (PDF) >>

HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF USPS DIRECT MAIL PROMOTIONS

Since each of these programs are aimed at pushing mailers to innovate their direct mail campaigns through personalization, color, and technology, it’s important to partner with a mail provider that’s not only capable of producing these kinds of pieces, but has the experience and expertise to make them great.

At OneTouchPoint, we combine cutting edge printing capabilities with comprehensive mailing services to plan, produce and distribute direct mail designed to spur action.

Whether it’s routing customers to an online offer through mobile-scannable code, tracking the success of your campaign with Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMb), or simply adding personalization and color to traditionally drab communications, we can help you benefit from these promotions while creating an effective campaign at the same time.

Contact our mail experts today to learn how we can help you take advantage of this year’s USPS direct mail promotions.