Each year the USPS offers postage discounts to businesses that make their direct mail more appealing or innovative. Maybe they add color or an interesting coating, design a piece that’s three-dimensional or add codes so the direct mail piece becomes a bridge to related digital marketing. The promos boil down to this: the USPS wants direct mail to stay relevant in a world where more and more marketing is a digital experience.
The postage discounts aren’t huge, but they can help underwrite the costs of making direct mail stand out; for example, the added expense of using a textured paper or printing a postcard in four-color instead of two-color.
Each promotion is offered for six months; registration begins six weeks before the promo starts and continues through the promotion period. Here are this year’s promotions and effective dates.
Feb. 1-July 31
Ask your designer or printer how to make direct mail more of a sensory experience. Perhaps use a textured paper stock or a new coating. Design a piece so that it folds in unusual ways or use a die-cut.
March 1-Aug. 31
April 1–June 30
The USPS wants to increase the use of business reply mail (BRM) and courtesy reply mail (CRM). So, it will offer a postage credit to mailers who register their Mailer ID (MID) and use intelligent barcodes on BRMs, CRMs, and share mail pieces. Mailers get a discount for reply cards that customers return.
July 1–Dec. 31
If you’ve been thinking about adding color to bills or statements, the USPS will reward you for it. We always encourage our customers to use spot color to emphasize particular information — Date Payment Due, for example. A next-generation color inkjet printer that we will install in January will make it easier for us to use color for this type of work.
Aug. 1–Dec. 31
Do you promote your products during the holidays? Then this promo is made for you. It allows your direct mail to become the link between mobile and the shopping experience. All you do is add mobile technology to help customers do their online shopping like QR codes, Social Snap Tags, watermarks and other technology. New barcode formats also can link physical mail to a digital experience through Amazon Smile codes, Pinterest codes or Twitter QR codes.
Sept. 1 – Nov. 30
The USPS will offer a 2% postage discount if direct mail includes information about its Informed Delivery program. It’s a low-cost way for the postal service to promote Informed Delivery, which allows customers to sign up for daily emails that include screenshots of that day’s business mail.
If you’d like to talk about how you can register for one of these postage discount promotions, give us a call. We can make sure your direct mail qualifies for the promo and take care of registration for you.
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