Each year, the Postal Service develops a calendar (see USPS 2014 Promotional Calendar) of mailing promotions intended to increase the value of transactional and direct mail and offer customers incentives to adopt technologies that enhance how consumers interact with mail. These incentives include upfront postage discounts or credits. During FY2014, these efforts resulted in significant mail volumes during the promotional periods.

The first promotion on the calendar encouraged mailers to “push the envelope” and expand their mobile technology use, beyond basic QR codes, to include creative elements such as color and/or graphics in their mobile technology. Mailers who participated sent out more than 2.5 billion pieces. This promotion was followed by the Premium Advertising Promotion, which encouraged use of First-Class Mail as a marketing vehicle, and the Mail and Digital Personalization Promotion, which encouraged mailers to use personalization through URLs, Web pages or mobile experiences with both messaging and content linked to the mailpiece. Nearly 200 million pieces were attributed to these promotions.

The Earned Value Promotion was developed to encourage mailers to continue providing Business Reply Mail and Courtesy Reply Mail enclosures in their outbound First-Class mailings. Mailers earned a credit on each piece that was returned during the promotion period, resulting in nearly 500 million mailpieces counted during the promotion months.

Additional promotions for the 2014 calendar year encouraged producers of bills and statements to invest in color/print technology, incorporate the use of near-field communication or “enhanced augmented reality” and combine direct mail with mobile technology to facilitate shopping purchases from a mailpiece using a mobile device.