POSTAL SERVICE REJUVENATES GROW YOUR BUSINESS DAYS
FREE EVENTS SIMPLIFY MAILING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The Postal Service has revived “Grow Your Business Days” — a series of free events and other initiatives designed to help small companies use Postal Service products and services to grow their own businesses.
“The Postal Service is increasing its efforts to connect with smaller companies and local merchants to alert them to offerings that make it easier and less expensive to do business with us,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer. “This is the spirit behind Grow Your Business Days.”
Each quarter the Postal Service will focus on a different topic benefitting small-business owners. The focus for Quarter 3 (April – June) is Every Door Direct Mail.
Every Door Direct Mail is making advertising through the mail easy, accessible and less expensive for small businesses by allowing them to market to specific geographic areas without address lists or permits.
Every Door Direct Mail features a simple online tool that outlines a six-step process that covers everything needed to prepare a mailing. It includes a search engine to identify mail-delivery routes near a business, a cost estimator and a filter that allows mailings to both residences and businesses — or just residences. The tool is available at www.usps.com/everydoordirectmail.
More than 1,300 Grow Your Business Days featuring Every Door Direct Mail events have already been scheduled across the nation. Events also are being planned for other topics. For a list of events and to register, visit www.usps.com/everydoordirectmail.
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SAMPLE SHOWCASE DELIVERS RESULTS FOR PRODUCT MARKETERS
CONSUMERS GIVE A THUMBS-UP
Sending product samples in the mail is a proven way to engage consumers, test new products and generate sales. Now, with the innovative co-op service from the Postal Service, thousands of households across the nation will receive packages brimming with food and personal care items, sure to delight consumers while delivering results for participating marketers.
Sample Showcase is a breakthrough marketing service that brings together the power of direct mail and the promotional effectiveness of product sampling to generate sales for consumer product manufacturers. More than 250,000 targeted households in Austin, TX; Chicago and Denver as well as opt-in consumers across the nation will receive Sample Showcase packages.
“Sample Showcase is a highly effective way to deliver product samples directly to consumers, and it arrives at the household in an attractive package,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer. “By harnessing the unique ability of the mail to reach the household, product marketers now have an engaging, measurable and cost-effective way to break through the clutter, build a customer base and increase sales.”
Market testing indicated that 95 percent of participating consumers were “very excited” to receive the Sample Showcase. Respondents overwhelmingly enjoyed the contents, with 98 percent saying the mix of products appealed to them, and with 97 percent saying the products were relevant to them. A significant number of survey participants also responded that after trying the product sample they had purchased the item.
Sample Showcase is assembled and distributed by StartSampling, a leading sampling sales and distribution firm under contract with the Postal Service. The Postal Service is moving forward with additional initiatives for product sampling that leverage its strengths in the marketplace.
Business customers interested in including product samples in future shipments of Sample Showcase can inquire by sending an e-mail message to email@example.com. Additional details about Sample Showcase can be found at usps.com/directmail/givesamples.
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NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM GREENER THIS YEAR
To help preserve the environment, hard copies of National Postal Forum presentations will not be available at educational sessions this year. But, as usual, there will be plenty of information at npf.org for attendees — including workshop presentations.
At npf.org you’ll also find the Personal Planner, Virtual Exhibit Hall and much more about the San Diego National Postal Forum.
Personal Planner is updated to reflect current program information and is designed to let you choose the sessions and networking events relevant to your needs and interests. Use Personal Planner to build a printable calendar with names, locations, dates and times of all your Forum activities. Once your Personal Planner is complete, you can print out presentations for the educational sessions you plan to attend.
While you’re at npf.org, view the Virtual Exhibit Hall to select from more than 100 of the mailing industry’s largest players and add them to your schedule.
WANT TO LEAVE A PARCEL AT THE CUSTOMER’S DOOR?
If at first we don’t succeed, there’s no need to try again when a parcel bears a “Carrier Release” endorsement. The Postal Service can leave it at the customer’s address.
The Carrier Release endorsement reads: “Carrier — Leave If No Response.” It’s a great option for shippers who would like their items delivered to customers on the first attempt. It allows recipients to have their parcels left when they are not available and eliminates a trip to the Post Office for pickup.
While the Carrier Release endorsement has been available for many years, the Postal Service has recently refined procedures. To qualify for Carrier Release, parcels must not be insured or require a signature, and they must bear the “Carrier — Leave If No Response” endorsement.
Carriers will follow instructions provided by the addressee when leaving parcels. If there are no written instructions, carriers will leave a PS Form 3849, Sorry We Missed You, in the recipient’s mailbox indicating the location of the parcel, which will be scanned as “Delivered.”
The Postal Service is including the Carrier Release endorsement on many of the packaging supplies available through the Expedited Package Supply Center at 800-610-8734 and at The Postal Store.
CUSTOMS CALCULATOR EASES OVERSEAS SHIPPING
Not sure which customs form to use?
The Customs Form Calculator will help you determine which customs form is needed when shipping an international package.
“Giving customers a quick and easy way to determine the correct form to use before they enter a Post Office will reduce some of the concerns associated with international shipping,” says Violette Jacobson, manager, International Marketing. “It's a great tool that will improve the overall customer experience.
I encourage everyone to use it.”
The Customs Form Calculator also is available via a link on the lower left side of the Postage Price Calculator landing page or through Postal Explorer. The Postage Price Calculator website provides customers with pricing information prior to shipping.
NEW GO GREEN STAMPS ENCOURAGE CONSERVATION
The Postal Service this week issued a pane of 16 commemorative Go Green stamps as its 2011 Social Awareness offering. With these stamps, the Postal Service has continued its long, proud history of raising awareness of important social issues — one First-Class letter at a time.
Each of the 16 Go Green stamps highlights a different easy, low- or no-cost step everyone can take to conserve energy and natural resources. Stamp messages include reminders about everything from using reusable shopping bags and fixing water leaks to using efficient light bulbs and maintaining tire pressure. Go Green stamps illustrate how taking small steps such as these can add up to big savings in energy, resources and costs — all while helping the environment.
The Go Green stamps are Forever Stamps, which always equal the value of the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce rate.
Go Green stamps are available at usps.com/green and at Post Offices.
The latest issue of PCC Management Insights is now available online. It features the article “Planning Your National PCC Day Program.” It’s not too early to start planning for National PCC Day!
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- National Postal Forum, May 1-4, San Diego, CA
- National PCC Day, Sept. 21, Tampa, FL
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YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES
U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
PCC Insider online archives
PCC Management Insights online archives
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FREE APP FOR ANDROID
The Postal Service has expanded its suite of mobile applications, creating a free app for customers who have devices powered by Google’s Android operating system.
The Postal Service Mobile application previously was available only to customers using Apple devices. Launched in 2009, it is attracting more than 2 million visitors each month and consistently ranks as one of the top five most-popular free business apps on iTunes. The Postal Service also offers a Web-based version of the service.
“The Android mobile operating system has the largest market share for smart phones,” said Joe Adams, general manager, Online and Marketing Services. The new Postal Service Mobile app for Android is downloadable and provides users with instant, on-the-go access to the most popular utilities. It is available to phones supplied by different manufacturers.
Like the Apple version, the Postal Service Mobile app for Android devices lets customers check the delivery status of a shipment with Track and Confirm, find ZIP codes, use a GPS-based location service to find Post Offices and collection boxes, calculate shipping prices, and save addresses of postal facilities in a device’s address book.
To download the app, customers can use their devices to go to the Android Market website.
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|© 2010 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®, FOREVER®, NetPost®, Intelligent Mail®, Stamps Now®, 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 4541, Washington DC 20260-4541