This article originally appeared in the January/February, 2018 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.
The Daily Word - WordTech Blog
Think about your last mail piece that was sent. How many on that list responded? What were the demographics of those that responded? How were they segmented? How should be able to respond to these questions, especially before you send out another mailer. Don’t be in such a rush to promote a new product; always think about the segment that responded last time. Many marketers neglect the most important step of direct mail marketing: refining their mailing list.
The U.S. Postal Service announced rate changes to its Shipping Services and Mailing Services products that will go into effect on January 21, 2018.
The U.S. Postal Service is planning to raise virtually all rates a bit in January, apparently including a one-cent hike of the Forever Stamp, to 50 cents. And it’s also hoping it will soon get the power to implement larger rate hikes.
The USPS will raise rates for both market-dominant mail (such as First Class and Marketing Mail) and competitive mail (such as Priority Mail) on Jan. 21, 2018, postal officials told mailing-industry representatives this week.
The average rate increases for market-dominant classes are limited by an inflation-based cap, currently close to 2%. A postal official indicated that rates would rise from 1% to 3% for most market-dominant products, according to attendees at a meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee.
Postal officials didn’t spell out what any of the new rates would be. But a statement that the increase for letter mail would be about 2% almost certainly means that the price of the popular Forever Stamp for First Class letters will rise from 49 cents to 50 cents (a 2.04% hike).
The new rates for flat Marketing Mail and Periodicals would provide greater incentives to create efficient mailings, which is good news for catalogs and magazines that are co-mailed, as well as for printers that provide co-mail services. But it means higher-than-average rates for small publishers that don’t take advantage of such mail-consolidation programs.
The USPS is most likely to file the new rates with the Postal Regulatory Commission in October. As long as the PRC determines that the USPS proposal meets certain standards, such as not violating the price caps, the new rates will take effect without modification.
Next month, the PRC is slated to announce the results of its 10th anniversary review of the law that created the price cap. If it determines that the law’s system for regulating market-dominant rates is not meeting the law’s objectives, the PRC can modify or replace the system.
Postal officials argue that, because the system fails to meet the objective “to assure adequate revenues . . . to maintain financial stability,” the PRC should loosen or eliminate the price cap. But a significant PRC overhaul of the rate-making rules would probably lead to legal challenges that could delay implementation of any changes.
What is Direct Mail Marketing?
Direct mail makes use of the United States Postal Service to send a message to customers in order to prompt an immediate response.
Beginning March 1st a new United States Postal Service (USPS) Discount program lets all US-based direct mail companies qualify for up to 5% off their clients’ postage costs when they sign on to integrate their clients’ campaigns with Google ads using DirectMail2.0.DirectMail2.0, a white-label software available to US-based direct mail companies has been approved for two USPS postage discount programs for 2017. The software allows Direct Mail companies to automatically integrate phone call tracking (and even listen to recordings of those calls), mail delivery tracking, and online ads through the Google network, to their clients’ direct mail campaigns. The software comes ready-to-use and allows the direct mail company’s clients (businesses of all sizes) to log in and see results in real time.
We are getting the holiday started a bit early, in hopes of catching a few of you from falling into that candy cane gift yet again. We have noticed again and again, that the best ROI from marketing comes from those that prepare early.