Each year, the U.S. Postal Service offers a series of USPS postage discounts to mailers who design their direct mail pieces to meet certain specifications. Partner these promotions alongside a qualified bulk mail discount and your direct mail marketing can take you miles on the dollar.
Three discounts are still available between now and the end of 2019, and each offers a 2 percent postage discount for mailings that meet the specifications of the promotion.
The USPS has several motivations for offering discounted rates. For one, it hopes to encourage more businesses to use direct mail for their marketing and so it encourages them to make changes that will make their direct mail more effective, like using a four-color design or adding an interactive feature.
In one of these promotions, the USPS rewards mailers for making their direct mail more attractive and effective by adding color and/or making the mailing personalized. In another, it encourages mailers to make direct mail a more interactive part of a diversified marketing effort by adding a QR code or bar code that will connect a customer to a landing page or website. And in the third promotion, the USPS is enlisting business mailers to help promote one of the postal service’s new features.
Each promotion has a number of requirements. In order to ensure a direct mail piece qualifies for the discount, we advise businesses to work closely with their postal service representative or enlist the help of a professional integrated marketing firm like ours. We can do that legwork to ensure that your mailed piece meets all of the postal service’s requirements for the discount.
The more attractive and personal direct mail becomes, the more consumers will be driven to action by it, and the more marketers will use direct mail. The USPS is offering a discount to businesses that improve their direct marketing pieces by using spot or full color or by personalizing the piece in some way. If your business used this discount last year, you must use both color and personalization; if you didn’t, you can get the discount by just adding color to your mail piece. Four-color work like this is typically a good fit for our new SuperWeb digital printer.
This promotion is designed to connect direct mail with interactive marketing to create more far-reaching marketing campaigns. It can be especially valuable in the lead-up to the holidays, when many businesses ramp up their marketing efforts. Mailers simply add mobile technology like QR codes, Social Snap Tags and watermarks or barcode formats like Amazon Smile codes, Pinterest codes or Twitter QR codes to link physical mail to a digital experience. Giving customers a quick link to online shopping sites through a direct mail piece can increase sales by making it fast and easy for customers to connect to online shopping tools.
Thousands of postal customers have already signed up for Informed Delivery, and to sign on even more, the USPS is offering a discount to direct mail customers who promote Informed Delivery on their direct mail.
With Informed Delivery, postal customers receive an email each morning that shows screenshots of all business-size mail they will receive that day. It is a valuable preview of bills, paychecks, direct mail postcards and other business size pieces. (Informed Delivery doesn’t include screen shots of larger mail like magazines, catalogs or sales flyers.)
Another feature of Informed Delivery that should be of interest to marketers, especially as the number of postal customers who use Informed Delivery increases, is the ability to add representative or ride-along images and a target URL to the screenshots of their business size mail. Postal customers can then click on the ride along images or the URL to link to a website or a landing page for more information about a promotion or a product.
If you’d like to know more about these postal discounts, give us a call and we can help you design direct mail that qualifies for the 2% savings.
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