New postage rates with an average increase of 4% take effect on January 22nd. And another rate increase will likely take effect in July 2023.
How can mailers and service providers minimize the impact of twice annual postal rate increases? By taking advantage of the USPS promotions. Start by registering for all the 2023 promotions, even the ones that may not appear relevant.
Promotions provide postage discounts of 3-5% over several months. Even for medium size mail campaigns the discounts have a significant budget impact. The promotions are designed to demonstrate the value of mail and have the ability to drive consumers to digital channels. The impact is increased engagement while providing postage discounts. Mailers deliver more effective mail with improved response and conversion across all channels.
Integrating innovative technology and leveraging inkjet capabilities are part of the solution to taking full advantage of the USPS Mailing Promotions.
Inkjet Enables Personalized Color Transpromo promotion provides a 3% discount for mailers who use color marketing messaging to increase response from customers. There’s a 4% discount for mailers who use color and include an envelope for business reply mail (BRM) or courtesy reply (CRM). The program runs from February 1st through July 31st and is open to First-Class Mail only.
While those of us who have been in transactional mail for decades may wince at the term ‘transpromo,’ we know inkjet and digital printing equipment has made personalized color documents table stakes. Mailers and service providers leveraging the full capabilities of inkjet platforms can provide variable color messages and offers for each mail recipient at a low cost. Inkjet enables variable content and images to make most personalized documents eligible for the transpromo promotion discount. Defining a strategy with your technical team is a one-time effort to build color and personalization into your process.
For most inkjet production environments personalization, color and reply envelopes are standard. The real work is to register each client project through the USPS gateway and update the Mail.dat or Mail.XML files with the correct code to earn the postage savings. The technical specifications are detailed on the USPS Promotion site.
Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement promotion offers a 5% discount when mailers improve customer engagement by enhancing the physical characteristics of the mailpieces. This may be accomplished through different substrates, thermal and specialty inks, interactive elements, or finishing techniques. The program will run February 1st through July 31st and is open to First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.
Inkjet platforms with post coating and specialty finishing options create beautiful and engaging mail and documents that feel different. Specialized inks and substrates allow for unique textures and tactile engagement for both first class and marketing mail.
Interactive elements include integration of three-dimensional elements, infinite folding and trailing edge die-cuts. Three-dimensional elements, pop-ups, zip strips, clean release cards, complex folds and interesting die-cut edges make for eye-popping and engaging direct mail. These are the campaigns that win awards because of their engaging design and their results demonstrating increased response, conversion and digital engagement.
Postage rate increases are here for the foreseeable future. 4% or 5% savings of a large postage expense is real money. Leveraging technology and strategies to make mail more effective – while reducing postage through the promotions – is a predictable way to provide value and better results for mailers.
Detailed information on these promotions and the others scheduled for 2023 is available on the USPS PostalPro site.