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2017 USPS Direct Mail Promotions to Save You Money

Production Solutions


2017 USPS Promotions ChartAre you still looking for new ways to improve your 2017 marketing efforts? The United States Postal Service (USPS) has made it easy to try new direct response engagement strategies with their 2017 Promotions and Incentives.

Building on last year’s promotions, the USPS demonstrates the continued relevance of direct mail. It provides more opportunities for nonprofits and commercial organizations to engage with their audience. As our team of Resource experts previously announced, the 2017 USPS direct mail promotions continue to build on technology integration.

Let’s take a look at which promotions you can take advantage of this year to enhance how consumers interact with your mailings:

  1. What are the 2017 USPS Promotions?

    1. Mobile Shopping (or charitable donation)
      An upfront 2% postage discount on mailpieces that include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website or the ability to complete a financial transaction. NOTE: Charitable giving does qualify for this promotion so long as a hard copy certificate, voucher or thank you note is mailed to the donor or the mailpieces contain a BRM or CRM enclosure.
    2. Tactile Sensory Interactive Mailpiece Engagement
      An upfront 2% postage discount on mailpieces that incorporate specialty inks, sensory elements, textural papers, and the use of folds or other dimensional elements that are interactive.
    3. Personalized Color Transpromo
      An upfront 2% postage discount on mailpieces that use dynamic/variable color print for personalized transpromotional marketing messages on bills and statements.
    4. Emerging and Advanced Technology Video in Print
      An upfront 2% postage discount on mailpieces that incorporate mobile-based technologies, such as Near-Field Communication, Enhanced Augmented Reality, or Video in Print.
    5. Direct Mail Starter
      A 5% eligible postage discount on up to 10,000 pieces per mailing (the piece limitation is applied at the mail owner level by CID). This promotion is intended for small volume mailers, which is why there is a 10,000-piece maximum.
    6. Earned Value 
      Future postage credit for each BRM/CRM mailpiece scanned, with an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb), throughout the promotional period. (NOTE: Registration has ended. You will not be eligible unless you have already signed up.)
  1. Which promotions are a best fit for nonprofit organizations?

    1. Mobile Shopping (or charitable donation)  
      Many organizations have already invested in mobile optimized landing pages to complete a tangible purchase or charitable donation; therefore, by adding a mobile barcode driving the user to the mobile URL will easily qualify your mailpiece for the 2% postage discount throughout the promotional period. We have seen nonprofit organizations realize substantial postage savings by utilizing this promotion for their high volume catalog mailings.
    2. Tactile Sensory Interactive Mailpiece Engagement 
      If you are already using metallic inks, spot UV varnishes, textured UV varnishes, embossed/debossed paper, unique/engaging folds, pop-ups or other qualifying sensory engagements, then you may already qualify for this promotion. If not, the expense of investing in one of these element types might be greater than the potential postage savings, but it’s worth exploring these options with your printer to do a true comparison on your package.
  1. Would Personalized Color Transpromo or Emerging and Advanced Technology Video in Print be valuable promotions as well?

    Small volume commercial mailers and nonprofits can still take advantage of these promotions, but it will make most sense if you already have a program that is currently incorporating these technologies. Below are the key requirements to qualify for:

    1. Personalized Color Transpromo
      1. Must mail as First Class Presort
      2. Mailpiece must include personalized statement or letter that has been produced on a CMYK Digital Laser/Press
      3. The personalization within the statement or letter must be in CMYK ink
      4. The mailing must be a transaction or call to action between the mailer and consumer, meaning it must be a statement, discount coupon, reward, supplementary or complimentary product. It cannot be a charitable solicitation, cultivation or acknowledgement
    2. Emerging and Advanced Technology Video in Print
      If you have plans to invest in one of these technologies in 2017, then this could be a good way to gain some additional savings. However, if you don’t currently have these technologies incorporated into your marketing plans, then the potential postage savings will likely be outweighed by the cost of implementing the testing of these technologies. With that said, you never know without investigating and asking questions so don’t write these off without considering them as the USPS is including them because mailers are finding campaign result improvements when utilizing them.

      1. Near-Field Communication (NFC) Component
      2. iBeacon/Beacon Technology
      3. Enhanced Augmented Reality
      4. Video in Print
    1.  How can I take advantage of these promotions?

      Each program has a registration period and promotion period. Check out our 2017 USPS Promotions Chart to view the official schedule for each program.

    You can also visit for more details about each promotion; including registration period, promotional period, qualifying mail classes and general requirements.

    As postal experts in the industry, PS | PS Digital is here to help you implement the most cost-effective mailing strategies using these promotions. Our Director of Resource and Supplier Relations, Carolyn Angelini, is certified in Mailpiece Design from the USPS and has expertise around how you can maximize the USPS mailing promotions.

    If you have questions about how you can leverage these promotions in your organization or would like to discover new opportunities with your mailings, contact us today!