USPS PCC Insider, brought to you by the United States Postal Service

MARCH 2009

FRONT PAGE WHAT'S UP PCC BLOG. CLICK HERE.
KEEPING POSTED SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS INFO@USPS

Editor’s note: We’re debuting a new look for PCC Insider. We’ve made changes to the design so it’s easier to navigate and find the information you need to help grow your business through the mail. The tabs at the top of the page will guide you to stories about Postal Service products and services, pricing and the steps we’re taking to add value to mail and provide great customer service. And, as always, PCC Insider is your source for information about Postal Customer Councils and the role of this important partnership between the Postal Service and business mailers across the nation.

FRONT PAGE

DIAL IN FOR INFORMATION

POSTAL SERVICE OFFERS WEBINARS ON DIRECT MAIL AND INTELLIGENT MAIL SERVICES

We’re bringing the mailing experts to your desktop.

The Postal Service is offering webinars on timely topics, including the technical aspects of Intelligent Mail services and how to create effective direct mail advertising campaigns. These Web-based presentations allow us to bring information directly to your computer — you see the slides on your screen, you hear the presenter on your phone.

Web conferencing saves time and money — no travel costs — and offers a convenient way to share information. Depending on the webinar format, you could be asked to submit questions in advance, during or following the presentation, and frequently asked questions and their answers will be shared with other mailers.


DIRECT MAIL DELIVERS RESULTS

The Postal Service has teamed with several direct mail online service providers to offer webinars that highlight the benefits of direct mail, one of the most cost-effective ways to reach customers. From your home office or laptop, you can design an entire direct mail campaign from start to finish. It’s easier than ever.

There are five direct mail-related webinars, starting this month. They’re designed to provide businesses with smart and imaginative solutions for planning a direct mail advertising campaign. Sign up at usps.com/directmailonline. Here are the topics:

  • Direct Mail Crash Course — Wednesday, March 18, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. This seminar is targeted to business owners and managers not currently using direct mail or who need an overview of the basic fundamentals to help increase effectiveness of their current marketing activities.

  • How to Plan and Organize a Direct Mail Campaign — Wednesday, April 1, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. This webinar will provide you with the necessary tools and knowledge to help you market your business in a consistent, professional manner. It will help you formulate a plan that will lead you toward your company’s goals. Also learn about several elements that are crucial to an effective mailing.

  • Customizing Your Mail Pieces — Wednesday, April 15, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Get information about personalized marketing strategies and how timely, relevant and personalized marketing can increase response rates.

  • Mail Piece Design — Wednesday, April 29, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Learn how to create effective headlines, write effective copy and select graphics that get you the best response possible.

  • Address List — Wednesday, May 13, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. This webinar will cover the basics of choosing, using and managing mailing lists for direct mail campaigns.

These webinars will teach you how to create postcards, purchase mailing lists and design mailing campaigns on your computer, and provide training and ideas from industry experts.


IMPLEMENTING INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODES AND RELATED BUSINESS PROCESSES

In a separate webinar series, we’re helping mailers prepare for the launch of Intelligent Mail services in May. The Intelligent Mail Technical Integration Webinars are scheduled for every other Friday — including this week, March 20 — through May 15, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. The webinar schedule and dial-in information are posted under the Intelligent Mail Services “Latest News” link at ribbs.usps.gov.

During the webinars, USPS experts will answer questions that have been submitted at least four days in advance to imb@usps.gov. Only questions that are tailored to the industry at large will be addressed during these online sessions. Questions related to specific mailers should be forwarded to the PostalOne! help desk, business mail entry personnel or to local business mailer support analysts. After the previously submitted questions are addressed during the webinar, participants can forward new questions through the “chat box.”

Can’t make an Intelligent Mail Technical Integration Webinar? A list of frequently asked questions and their answers will be posted at ribbs@usps.gov.

These webinars are intended to supplement the wealth of Intelligent Mail services information posted at ribbs@usps.gov. Prior to submitting questions, mailers are encouraged to review the various guides that are listed on the left navigation bar under “Intelligent Mail Services.”

Look for more webinar series from the Postal Service in the future.

READ, RESPOND, RECYCLE

PROGRAM EXPANDS TO MORE THAN 1,800 NEW SITES

The Postal Service makes it easier for Post Office Box customers across the country to recycle their mail.

“Read, Respond, Recycle” is the banner under which the Postal Service is reaching out to postal customers with a convenient, environmentally responsible alternative to bringing home or discarding their PO Box mail.

The Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program is expanding to 1,844 new sites, bringing the total of participating Post Offices to more than 5,900.

Secure recycling bins are placed in Post Office lobbies. All bins are locked with a key and the opening is slim — about the width of a news magazine. PO Box customers are encouraged to remove and open their mail (read), take whatever action is necessary (respond) and simply place the rest of their mail into the bin (recycle).

This program has been thoroughly tested and presents no risk to mail security or customer privacy and does not affect postal operations or costs, according to Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability.

“The message today is simple. Mail is recyclable,” Pulcrano said. “We are committed to helping consumers ‘go green’ through a comprehensive approach to mail production, delivery and recycling that helps create a sustainable future for generations to come.”

A complete list of participating Post Offices can be found at Earth911.com, using the word “mail” in the search engine. The list is sorted by ZIP Code.

More information on green initiatives and consumer products can be found at usps.com/green.

WHAT'S UP

MAILING STANDARDS

For up-to-date mailing standards, go to Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com. You can search the Domestic Mail Manual, or click the link to the DMM Advisory for the latest information on changes to mailing standards, services and prices. Recent updates include:

  • Revised standards for Express Mail and Priority Mail reshipment to allow accountable mail and pieces with Delivery Confirmation service.

  • A new preparation option for mailers using 8-inch by 11-inch pallet placards with Intelligent Mail container barcodes.

  • A requirement that Detached Address Labels be automation-compatible and have a correct delivery point POSTNET barcode or Intelligent Mail barcode with an 11-digit routing code when used with saturation mailings of Periodicals or Standard Mail flats.

REMINDER

New standards for commercial flat-size mail go into effect March 29 and require mailers to place delivery addresses in the top half of all Periodicals, Standard Mail and Package Services flats mailed at automation, presorted or carrier route prices. The final standards were published in the Federal Register on May 7, 2008, and in the Postal Bulletin on Feb. 12, 2009.

PRICE CHANGE COMING

New prices for mailing services take effect May 11. This includes a 2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail stamp to 44 cents. Prices for mailing services are reviewed annually and adjusted each May. The new prices are available at usps.com/prices.

USPS.COM WEEK

Marketing strategists know a great website when they explore one. BtoB magazine put usps.com on its top 10 list, describing it as “highly streamlined to the tasks at hand” and offering search “friendliness and optimization.”

The website has garnered many accolades in its 15-year history, and USPS continues to make improvements to its online Post Office. Recent enhancements include online PO Box rental, a new customer service page, an updated All Products and Services page and simplified navigation.

During usps.com week, March 23-27, the Postal Service will be showing customers across the country how they can save time and money by shipping online. It’s real value for your money.

FYI...

The National Postal Forum's mission is to assist the Postal Service in building relationships with mailers and providing education about the most effective and efficient use of USPS products and services.

Inside Scoop: Americans have selected USPS as the most trusted government agency for five years in a row.

KEEPING POSTED

2009

  • The 2009 National Postal Forum will be held May 17-20 in Washington, DC. Check the NPF website at npf.org for more information.
  • National PCC Day is scheduled for Sept. 16 in New York City.

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

PASSING THE GRADE

More than 1,000 mailers interested in tapping the power of mail to reach customers — and optimizing their operations — recently took advantage of an Intelligent Mail University series hosted by the National Postal Forum. Four symposiums were offered in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City and Addison, IL (Chicago).

“The symposiums provided mailers with a thorough understanding of how Intelligent Mail barcodes will drive improvements in both service and efficiency, and allowed attendees the opportunity to hear from postal and mailing industry experts about the new requirements that will be implemented in May 2009,” said Tom Day, senior vice president, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality.

Joining Day for the symposium presentations were Pritha Mehra, vice president, Business Mail Entry and Payment Technologies, Robert Galaher, manager of Business Mail Acceptance, and 13 customers who participated as panel members at the various events. They shared their insights on how Intelligent Mail can provide transparency, real-time feedback, marketing advantages and more.

“Feedback on the sessions has been very favorable,” said Mehra. Customers who couldn’t attend the symposiums can view the presentations 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® 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