OCTOBER 2009

FRONT PAGE WHAT'S UP INSIDE SCOOP
KEEPING POSTED SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS INFO@USPS

FRONT PAGE

MESSAGE TO CUSTOMERS

POTTER SAYS NO INCREASE IN PRICES FOR MARKET DOMINANT PRODUCTS FOR 2010

To Postal Service Customers:

Many of you have expressed concerns regarding mailing costs for 2010. The tough economic climate has presented significant challenges to all of us and pessimistic speculation has suggested that postal prices could increase by as much as 10 percent.

As we begin a new fiscal year and as many of you, our business clients, are preparing your 2010 operating budgets, we want to end all speculation.

The Postal Service will not increase prices for market dominant products in calendar year 2010.

Simply stated, there will not be a price increase for market dominant products including First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, periodicals, and single-piece Parcel Post. There will be no exigent price increase for these products.

This is the right decision at the right time for the right reason. Promoting the value of mail and encouraging its continued use is essential for jobs, the economy, and the future of both the Postal Service and the mailing industry.

While increasing prices might have generated revenue for the Postal Service in the short term, the long-term effect could drive additional mail out of the system. We want mailers to continue to invest in mail to grow their business, communicate with valued customers, and maintain a strong presence in the marketplace. Changes in pricing for our competitive products — Priority Mail, Express Mail, Parcel Select, and most international products — are under consideration. We expect to announce a decision in November.

We are committed to working with customers to find ways to grow the mail through innovative incentives like the Summer Sale and contract pricing. Mail is the most effective means of communication and advertising and we will continue to work together to increase the value of the mail. Mail is a smart investment for the future.

John E. Potter
Postmaster General

POSTMASTER GENERAL BEGINS NATIONAL DIALOGUE

FUTURE OF USPS TO REFLECT A CHANGING AMERICA

Postmaster General John Potter at the National Press Club.

The Postal Service of the future will remain relevant, meet the changing needs of the people it serves and reflect the demands of the marketplace, Postmaster General John Potter said in a speech at the National Press Club.

“I want to establish a public dialogue about the future of the Postal Service, not as it existed yesterday, nor as it exists today, but as it evolves and changes for tomorrow,” said Potter. The Postmaster General said he is looking at the long-term future, “seven, 10, and 15 years from now.”

Potter underscored that the public policy dialogue he is proposing is not about the needs or preferences of postal management.

“This is about determining the role for the Postal Service so that is has a relevant and viable place in the fabric of our nation, decades into the future,” he said.

Acknowledging that the Postal Service has seen steep mail volume declines in the past two years because of the recession, electronic diversion by the Internet and changing customer needs, Potter asked the multi-billion dollar mailing industry to join him and come to the table without preconceptions, except one — “the Postal Service has to offer affordable, universal service for the nation.”

He noted, “If we don’t take advantage of the opportunity in front of us today, we will do America a disservice. The status quo simply won’t do.”

During his remarks, Potter stressed that delivery performance on First-Class Mail remains at near record levels. He also noted that operations management “reacted aggressively and intelligently” to mail volume decline. All management actions in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 reduced expenses by $6 billion, he said.

Career employees were reduced by 40,000 positions in 2009. Since 2001, the number of career employees has declined by 20 percent, Potter said.

“The Post Office has been reinventing itself for nearly its entire existence,” said Potter, who has the longest tenure of any Postmaster General in modern times. “The challenges have been many. In each case a public policy dialogue led to progressive changes that carried this organization forward.”

Although postal finances for 2009 are still being audited, Potter said recent legislation passed and signed by the President provides USPS with much needed 2009 financial assistance and is much appreciated. While congressional action will be needed again in 2010, Potter said that, ultimately, a long-term solution is needed and that as Postmaster General he will balance the needs of the future with the needs of the people he serves.

The partnership with the legislative branch and all stakeholders needs to continue, he said, as delivery frequency, the types of products available in retail lobbies, and other changes to the Postal Service’s infrastructure are considered.

“I want to do what’s right for America,” Potter said. “That is my sole motivation.”


DIRECT MAIL WEBINAR SERIES

LEARN ABOUT MAILPIECE DESIGN AND MANAGING MAILING LISTS

Thinking about launching a direct mail campaign? These webinars are for you. They’re co-sponsored by the Postal Service and five online direct mail service providers. You’ll get information on how to plan, design and launch an effective campaign — right from your computer.

Interested? Be sure to register using the “reserve a seat” links provided below.

Here’s the lineup (all times Eastern):

Customizing Your Mailpieces
Oct. 21
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Get information about personalized marketing strategies and how timely, relevant and personalized marketing can increase response rates. To reserve, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/801056931.

Mailpiece Design
Nov. 4
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Learn how to create effective headlines, write effective copy and select graphics that get you the best response possible. To reserve, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/572697466.

Mailing List, The Key to Better Response
Nov. 18
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
This webinar will cover the basics of choosing, using and managing mailing lists for direct mail campaigns. To reserve, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/858339994.


FIRST-CLASS MAIL INCENTIVE

PROGRAM CONTINUES THROUGH END OF YEAR

The USPS First-Class Mail Incentive Program is now under way. Qualifying customers can receive a 20 percent credit on presorted and automation First-Class Mail cards, letters and flats volume exceeding an established threshold.

To participate, mailers must be the owner of a permit imprint advance deposit account, or be the owner of qualifying mail volume entered through the permit imprint advance deposit account of a mail service provider.

Mail owners eligible to participate in this program already have been notified by letter. Mail owners wishing to participate in the program who believe they meet the eligibility criteria and were not notified by letter can request a review of their eligibility by contacting USPS at firstclassmailincentive@usps.gov.

Mail service providers are not eligible to participate in the First-Class Mail Incentive program.

The incentive program runs through Dec. 31, 2009.


WHAT'S UP

DID YOU MAKE THE CUT?

The power of the mail is as strong as ever, and so is the interest in sharing insight with other mailers on ways to deliver on that power more effectively. More than 200 workshop proposals were submitted during the National Postal Forum’s “Call for Papers” for NPF 2010. The proposals currently are being reviewed to determine which ones will be offered at the Nashville event. Notifications on the status of submissions will be sent out in the next few weeks by NPF staff to everyone who proposed a workshop. So keep an eye on your mailbox!

UPDATED INTELLIGENT MAIL GUIDES

Looking for the latest information about Intelligent Mail services? Updates are regularly posted on RIBBS at ribbs.usps.gov. Among recent changes to guides and specifications: In A Guide to Intelligent Mail for Letters and Flats, Section 4 was enhanced to more fully describe the data and data-distribution methods available to Full-Service customers. In the User Access to Electronic Mailing Information Reports Guide Volume II, Full-Service Address Correction Data Elements (Exhibit B), two new fields were added to the layout of the ACS download report: the old address delivery point ZIP Code and the new address delivery point ZIP Code.

COLLABORATION DELIVERS

The Postal Service announced new standards to accommodate designs for “wallet-style” booklets mailed at automation and machinable letter prices. Mailers who design these smaller booklets can mail them with two tabs. See the complete booklet standards and examples in DMM 201.3.15.4. USPS collaborated with mailers in finding a booklet design that meets the needs of customers and also processes well on postal operations equipment.

FYI

What will it take to achieve “gold” at the 2010 PCC Leadership Awards? New criteria are posted on the PCC website at usps.com/nationalpcc/premierprogram.htm. A few modifications have been made to the previous guidelines. It’s important to review these documents to make sure your PCC meets all the requirements when submission time comes around next year.


Inside Scoop. The PCC was established in 1961 to improve communications between customers and USPS managers.

KEEPING POSTED

2009

  • Direct mail webinar series, Oct. 21, Nov. 4 and Nov. 18.

2010

  • National Postal Forum, April 11-14, Nashville, TN. For information, go to npf.org.

INFO@USPS

YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES

U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to pccinsider@usps.gov
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
Back issues: PCC Insider online archive

SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

INTELLIGENT MAIL UNIVERSITY PASSES THE TEST

A business mailer attending the recent Intelligent Mail University at Columbus, OH, wasted no time in getting started with Intelligent Mail services. During class, he went online and signed up for his Mailer ID, an important first step in the process.

We're sure the instructors didn't mind a bit.

A hundred mailers from across the country attended the session hosted by the National Postal Forum. On hand to explain the benefits of Intelligent Mail were Tom Day, senior vice president, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality, Pritha Mehra, vice president, Business Mail Entry and Payment Technologies, and Bob Galaher, manager, Business Mail Acceptance, and other postal representatives.

Galaher urged participants to “take what you've learned here today back to your company and communicate. Start the transition to Intelligent Mail. Start by getting your mailer ID, get your access to PostalOne! and go from there — the ROI is well worth it.”

And the mailers who attended the session said it was well worth the investment too.

"I could stay for only half the day but I got a lot out of the program and got my money's worth," said Columbus OH PCC board member Ralph Schleppi. Fellow PCC board member Holly Messmer agreed. “The information was given in a way I could understand and take back to my company,” she said.

For up-to-date information about Intelligent Mail services, go to the RIBBS website at ribbs.usps.gov.

© 2009 United States Postal Service. The following are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: USPS®, U.S. Postal Service®, United States Postal Service®, Postal Service™, Post Office™, Priority Mail®, Express Mail®, Standard Mail™, First-Class Mail®, Registered Mail™, Certified Mail™, RIBBS™, Delivery Confirmation™, Signature Confirmation™, ZIP Code™, Click-N-Ship®, NetPost®, Intelligent Mail®, PCC Insider® and The Postal Store®. This list is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service marks. See our privacy policies at usps.com. If you prefer not to receive future e-mail communications from the Postal Service, contact PCC Insider to stop future e-mails. Write us at: PCC Insider, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza Rm 2P546, Washington DC 20260-0546