There’s hardly anyone alive who remembers the last time the price of a stamp fell. That was in July 1919, when first-class stamp prices dropped from 3 cents to 2 cents. The other rate reduction came on July 1, 1885, when a 2¢ reduction in the price of a letter was ordered.
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Purchasing a direct mail list is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful direct mail campaign. As always, having a good, up-to-date mailing list can make or break the results you receive. Keep in mind; the overall goal is profile the best customers. Here are a few important first steps to help you achieve that.
Address quality is a critical component of controlling shipping costs, both for shippers themselves and for service providers such as the United States Postal Service. A package that is addressed incorrectly is not only less likely to find its way to its intended destination, but delivery services may accumulate a lot of additional, avoidable expenses by trying to deliver it. That's where Delivery Point Validation comes in.
The Postal Service will be forced to reduce prices for Forever stamps and some other mailing products April 10 if congressional or a court action doesn’t allow USPS to continue an exigent surcharge.
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the USPS 2016 promotions calendar in mid-December, which will give mailers 5 ways to achieve postal discounts next year. These discounts will be offered for extended periods next year, giving mailers more ways to save than ever before. And an extra bonus — barring congressional action, the exigent rate surcharge will be rolling off early in the year, giving your postage budget some much-needed breathing room. Here is a look at the different programs you can take advantage of next year.
Direct mail marketing is an inexact numbers game, but you can get some idea of the quality of a mailing list by asking a few key questions.
Here’s a quick and dirty overview of the changes.
For the Market Dominant classes (First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Standard Mail and Periodicals), prices are going up an average of 1.96% per class. However, each of the price cells vary in their increases – from almost no change to 10% or more. This is most visible in First-Class Mail. Because the price of most retail stamps did not increase, the effective price bump for presorted First-Class is 2.2-2.3%. For Periodicals, the bundle charges have increased significantly, with pound rates holding steady. To see how your postage will be affected, we recommend running sample sorts using software that supports the rate change.
The biggest change, other than the prices themselves, will be the changes to flats in FSS zones. Previously, FSS-prepared pieces would get the same price as their non-FSS counterparts. With this price change, flats in FSS bundles will get an automation or nonautomation FSS rate. The new FSS rate is lower than most automation prices, but higher than many Carrier Route prices. Mailers will be able to exclude Carrier Route High Density and High Density Plus prices from FSS preparation to claim the better prices.
There will be four incentive programs active for 2015, and each will run longer than previous years. The promotion and incentive programs are a good way for mailers to try out new mail piece designs and gain a postage discount in the process. The incentives for 2015 are:
Earned Value Promotion: Earn a $0.02-0.03 rebate for Business Reply Mail and Courtesy Reply Mail pieces returned to you from May 1 through July 31.
Emerging and Advanced Technology: Get a 2% discount on First-Class and Standard Mail pieces that include advanced technology such as NFC, enhanced augmented reality, special inks, paper or interactive elements. Valid for mailings entered June 1 through November 30.
Color Transpromo: Get a 2% discount on First-Class bills and statements that include dynamic/variable color print for marketing and consumer messages on the statement. Valid for mailings entered June 1 through November 30.
Mail Drives Mobile Engagement: Get a 2% discount on Standard Mail letters and flats that use a barcode or other print/mobile technology to direct the user to a mobile-optimized shopping website. Valid for mailings entered July 1 through December 31.