U.S. Postal Service Launches ‘2nd Ounce Free’

New Pricing for Commercial Mailers Adds More Value to Mail

January 25, 2012 

Release No.  12-016 



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U.S. Postal Service Launches ‘2nd Ounce Free’


WASHINGTON — High-volume commercial mailers spoke, and the Postal Service listened. Effective this week, businesses mailing First-Class Mail automation, presort letters using “2nd Ounce Free” pricing can mail letters weighing up to 2 ounces at the 1-ounce postage rate.

First-Class Mail automation, presort letters are primarily generated by commercial mailers of bills and statements — or transaction mail. 2nd Ounce Free pricing will provide these customers with greater value from their transaction mailings by letting them include an additional ounce that can be used for operational or marketing purposes at no additional cost.

“With 2nd Ounce Free, companies have greater flexibility to offset mailing center costs by including additional promotional offers with bills, invoices and statements,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. “2nd Ounce Free also provides business mailers with the option of using higher quality paper stock or larger envelopes to create greater impact.”

Bills and statements delivered via First-Class Mail are opened more than 95 percent of the time and, on average, the receiver spends two to three minutes with each piece. “This makes transaction mail a highly effective medium for target marketing,” said Reblin.

An integral part of the overall commitment from the Postal Service to add value to the mail, 2nd Ounce Free is not a limited time promotion, but a new price for First-Class Mail presort, automation letters. 2nd Ounce Free does not apply to single-piece letters mailed by consumers.

“No registration is required, no annual minimum thresholds apply, and no payment rebates are needed, since 2nd Ounce Free pricing is offered upfront,” said Reblin.

2nd Ounce Free can be used to inform, educate and strengthen customer loyalty by providing additional information, such as announcements, disclosures and notifications. The extra ounce also can be used to conduct consumer research with surveys and reply cards.

By combining transaction mail with promotional mail, known in the industry as transpromo, companies can add more inserts and “onserts” — totaling up to 2 ounces — without incurring additional postage costs. (Onserts are advertisements or promotional offers usually printed at the bottom of bills or statements.)

“Transpromo is a highly targeted, measurable form of direct mail that helps companies increase revenue based on an ‘opt-in’ relationship,” said Reblin. “Customers also can use the free second ounce to sell advertising space to other marketers, which has the potential to lower the costs of mailing bills and statements.”

Transpromo is often combined with variable data printing (VDP), a form of on-demand printing that can be used to produce mail pieces that are personalized to an individual’s specific data. “VDP allows marketers to customize the messages on each mail piece, resulting in more personal and more effective communication,” said Reblin.

For more information about 2nd Ounce Free, visit usps.com/2nd-ounce-free.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Source: Trans Meets Promo…Is it More than Market Hype? InfoTrends, August 2008

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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service was ranked number one in overall service performance, out of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, Oxford Strategic Consulting. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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