WASHINGTON — To help marketers prepare earlier for its upcoming mail promotions, the U.S. Postal Service for the first time is publishing a yearly promotions calendar. The 2013 Mailing Services Promotions Calendar will include six promotions designed to generate continued interest in the various uses and benefits of mobile barcodes in direct mail — as well as provide opportunities for marketers to be more successful with traditional integrated marketing campaigns.
“The promotions that are being planned for the coming year will help grow awareness of the ways in which technology can improve the effectiveness of direct mail,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. “The 2013 Mailing Services Promotions Calendar also will give commercial mailers more time to plan their campaigns so that they can take full advantage of both postage savings and marketing opportunities to engage their customers with targeted, tangible and personal communications.”
Subject to review from the Postal Regulatory Commission, the following are proposed details of the 2013 Mailing Service Promotions Calendar:
March 1 – April 30, 2013:
- Mobile Coupon/Click-to-Call: This promotion provides an upfront postage discount on the integration of mail with mobile technology and will promote the value of direct mail in two ways. First, it will encourage customers to integrate hard-copy coupons in the mail with mobile platforms for redemption. Second, it will drive consumer awareness and increase the use of mail with mobile barcodes that provide click-to-call functionality. Customer registration begins Jan. 15, 2013.
April 1 – June 30, 2013:
- Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion: Customers who include First-Class Mail Business Reply and Courtesy Reply envelopes will receive postage credit for each returned piece that is scanned in the postal network. This promotion is designed to encourage mailers to promote First-Class Mail as a primary reply mechanism for their customers and to keep the Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) envelopes in their outgoing mailpieces by providing a financial benefit when the BRM/CRM envelopes are used. Customer registration begins Jan. 1, 2013.
Aug. 1 – Sept. 30, 2013:
- Emerging Technologies: Building on the successes of past mobile barcode promotions, this promotion provides an upfront postage discount for customers who integrate specific emerging technologies into their mail campaigns. The planned cutting-edge innovations to be highlighted are near-field communication, augmented reality and mobile-enabled authentication technologies. This promotion is designed to elevate awareness of how innovative technologies can be integrated with a direct mail strategy to enhance the value of direct mail. Customer registration begins June 15, 2013.
- Picture Permit: The Picture Permit promotion is designed to promote the use of Picture Permit imprint indicia, which can improve a mailpiece’s visibility and impact as a marketing tool. During this promotion, it is proposed that the Picture Permit fee be waived for eligible customers mailing First-Class Mail letters and cards and Standard Mail letters and cards. Customer registration begins June 15, 2013.
- Product Samples: Designed to re-invigorate product sampling via the mail, the Product Samples promotion will provide mailers with an upfront postage discount on qualifying mail that contains product samples. The promotion will raise awareness of the effectiveness and value of having samples delivered to the home and highlight the new proposed “Simple Samples” pricing in Standard Mail, effective Jan. 27, 2013. Customer registration begins May 1, 2013.
Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2013:
- Mobile Buy-it-Now: This promotion provides mailers with an upfront postage discount to encourage them to adopt and invest in technologies that enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail and demonstrate how direct mail combined with mobile technology can be a convenient method for consumers to do their holiday shopping. Customer registration begins Sept. 15, 2013.
For additional information on the proposed 2013 Mailing Services Promotions Calendar, visit RIBBS.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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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, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. 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.