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Technology = Cost Savings with the USPS 2016 postal promotions

Production Solutions

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is offering 5 unique postage promotions in 2016. As with years past, the USPS promotions are intended to leverage new print and digital technologies to increase mail volume. At first glance the overall savings look fairly minimal; however we sat down with our resident expert, Senior Resource Manager Darin Marks, to understand the potential discounts available: 

 

1. What are the 2016 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. (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. Earned Value 
    Future postage credit for each BRM/CRM mailpiece scanned, with an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb), throughout the promotional period.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

2. What promotions require the lease investment and potentially offer the greatest reward for all 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.

  2. Earned Value  
    Virtually all outgoing direct mail includes some type of reply device (BRM/CRM). Therefore, there is absolutely no reason not to register for this promotion, as the USPS is offering a $.02 (or $.03, see requirements) future postage credit for each BRM/CRM returned throughout the promotional period. The only investment is the time it will take to register, possibly opening a permit for the program and completing the survey after the mailing.

  3. 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, investing into one of these element types will likely cost more than the postage savings will have to offer.

3. We noticed you didn’t mention  Personalized Color Transpromo or Emerging and Advanced Technology Video in Print. Do you think they could be valuable promotions?

These two promotions are very unique in that they are designed more for high volume commercial mailers. Small volume commercial mailers or non-profits can still take advantage of these promotions, but it is unlikely that the postage savings will offset the cost of the promotion requirements. Below are the key requirements that make the promotions difficult 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
    The technologies used in this promotion are very expensive to utilize and if you are not already planning to invest in one of these technologies listed below, the cost is much more expensive than the postage discount being offered.
    1. Near-Field Communication (NFC) Component

    2. iBeacon/Beacon Technology

    3. Enhanced Augmented Reality

    4. Video in Print

4.  How can I take advantage of these promotions?

Each program has a registration period and promotion period. Click here our our 2016PostalPromotionChart to view the official schedule for each program. The registration must be done online via the USPS Gateway

Many of these programs require that the USPS receive and approve the creative, URL, landing page, etc. prior to the mailing. Visit our Postal Updates Forum for requirement approval details. 

Finally, each program has specific requirements as to the mailing class and postage type of the mailing. Visit our Postal Updates Forum for detailed requirements

You can visit usps.com for more details about each promotion; including registration period, promotional period, qualifying mail classes and general requirements. If you have questions about how you can leverage these promotions in your organization, contact a member of our team today!