The Postal Service is not exactly known for being at the forefront of exciting technological advancements, but they occasionally have been known to make updates that impact their users in significant ways! Recently, Carolyn Angelini and Alex Newell were able to attend the National Postal Forum in Phoenix, AZ where we learned about some recent technologies as well as a few that will be upcoming soon. For those of you that have not had the chance to attend NPF in the past, it is the US Postal Service’s annual marquee conference, focused on education and networking – a LOT of networking!
There was a good deal of buzz around the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, and his keynote speech was particularly good. He spoke mostly about his plan to turn the performance of the postal service around, although this mostly related to the handling of packages, and there was little news about changes to letters and flats mail. Still, it was a good speech and there is a lot of optimism around his handling of the USPS up to this point. The rest of the conference was split between time meeting with partners and representatives from the USPS – along with getting to hash out some postal questions with rare face-to-face meetings!
But how about these new and upcoming innovations that were promised? The postal service has already rolled out a few, including one that we got to see first-hand at the conference; and shown to us directly by its creator no less! The Mailing Promotions Portal is a brand-new platform for requesting and receiving pre-approvals for mailings seeking a postage discount via one of the annual USPS Postal Promotions. And with the 2022 Informed Delivery promotion now active, the timing could not be better – we are already seeing approvals coming in a matter of hours versus the days (or weeks!) we saw during last year’s promotion.
And while we are on the subject of Informed Delivery, there are several upcoming changes coming to our beloved multi-channel marketing tool. We’re not sure on the timing of these (and neither is the USPS), but they ARE currently in the works. One of the most impactful will be an API (Application Programming Interface) that will allow external software to interact with the Informed Delivery submission process. In theory, this will vastly speed up the submission of campaigns; and when you’re submitting thousands over the year, this is an exciting time saver!
Another significant advancement to come will be the ability to create truly individual interactive campaigns. Currently, the most personalization we can offer with Informed Delivery is segmented campaigns – meaning multiple campaigns per mailing – but being able to speak to recipients using the same personalized language that is in the mailpiece they will receive is a huge improvement! And in no particular order, there are several other smaller changes coming to Informed Delivery:
Of course, Informed Delivery is on our minds quite a bit these days, but there are many more advancements coming to the postal service that will not be as obvious. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made it a mission to improve delivery performance overall. And the technology invested in this mission will come mostly on the back end through advanced sortation equipment, streamlined infrastructure, and even electric postal trucks!
All these updates make it an extremely exciting time to be working with the United States Postal Service, even if this might not be your usual definition of “extremely exciting”!
If you wish to learn more about the US Postal Service and its’ recent innovations, reach out to your friendly Production Solutions contact today!