Even though program participation has increased every year since the US Postal Service began offering mailers postage discounts through promotional programs, no promotions were active in 2018. The reason? The USPS Board of Governors, which must approve price changes, had no members.
Presidents appoint the governors, whom the US Senate must confirm. Political bickering prevented governors from being confirmed for years and eventually the last governor’s term expired, leaving the US Postal Service without an official governing body.
Fortunately, two new governors have now been appointed and confirmed; enough to review and approve the promotions the USPS has proposed for 2019. Analysts expect the Board of Governors to approve the promotions, which encourage mailers to use new techniques and enhance traditional mailpieces.
Crawford Technologies software can play a part in helping mailers create campaigns that meet the 2019 USPS promotion program requirements. The personalization and variability added to promotion-qualifying mailpieces makes workflow products like PRO Conductor and PRO Production Manager essential to maintaining accuracy. Other Crawford Technology products such as QA in the Cloud or Review and Release help print service providers and in-plants attain high levels of quality. Data quality is extremely important for campaigns associated with many of the promotions such as Mobile Shopping, Advanced Technology, and Informed Delivery.
To take advantage of these postage-saving programs, mailers must register in advance. For more details on individual promotions and to view the promotions calendar, visit: https://postalpro.usps.com/promotions
FIRST CLASS PROMOTIONS
Earned Value Reply Mail
April 1 – June 30
This promotion offers a 3 cent credit for Business Reply and Courtesy Reply envelopes that your customers put into the mail during the promotional period. Mailers must meet volume thresholds if they have taken part in this promotion in prior years.
Companies may be wasting money sending remittance envelopes to customers who have chosen automatic payment methods. Use Operations Express to identify accounts flagged as autopay and selectively change the inserter control barcodes to suppress return envelope insertion.
July 1 – December 31
The Transpromo promotion provides for a 2% upfront postage discount for bills and statements bearing qualifying dynamic print elements.
Crawford Technologies customers can use the capabilities of Operations Express to control the personalization and variable content required to qualify for this promotion. Mailers who have participated in this promotion before must include both dynamically printed color and personalized messaging. The USPS waives the personalized messaging requirement for first timers.
MARKETING MAIL PROMOTIONS
Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Engagement
February 1 – July 31
This promotion offers mailers a 2% upfront postage discount for using qualifying papers, ink, interactive elements, or finishing techniques.
Print service providers can help their clients target high-value customers with interactive elements or more expensive paper, even if all they have to work with is a print image file. Provided with a list of account numbers, Crawford Technology software can isolate the preferred-customer documents so they can receive special printing or finishing treatment.
August 1 – December 31
A 2% upfront postage discount is available for integrating mailpieces with mobile devices facilitating online shopping. The USPS added new eligible barcode formats for 2019.
The most effective marketing campaigns use customer-specific information to send attractive offers to customers according to historical or demographic data. Use software like QA in the Cloud to test variables, ensuring no invalid data makes it into production runs.
BOTH FIRST CLASS & MARKETING
Emerging & Advanced Technology
March 1 – August 31
Earn a 2% upfront postage discount for using advanced technologies such as AR, VR, NFC, and integrating multichannel campaigns with addressable TV or digital assistants.
Crawford Technologies’ experience with accessibility can help you send data to devices like digital assistants that can read the documents for sight-impaired customers.
Informed Delivery – NEW FOR 2019
September 1 – November 30
This promotion offers a 2% upfront postage discount for running Informed Delivery campaigns during the promotional period.
Print/mail service providers can help their customers run segmented Informed Delivery campaigns where different images, offers, or links appear in customer inboxes according to variables appearing in the print stream. Use Operations Express from Crawford Technologies to identify mailpieces for each segment and separate them so postal software can assign mailpiece ID numbers. The mailpiece ID numbers included in intelligent mail barcodes tell Informed Delivery which images to include in each customer’s daily Informed Delivery emails.
With postage rate increases coming in January, mailers are welcoming strategies to lower postage costs. In-plant mail operations, mail service providers, and marketing firms should become familiar with details of the 2019 US Postal Service promotions so they can inform their customers. It’s not too early to plan campaigns and take advantage of postage discounts throughout the year.