2017 Postal Promotions Made Easy

curtisFor marketers, the marriage of print and digital communications is a match made in heaven. And some of the strongest support for this bold union has come from an unexpected source: the United States Postal Service. Since 2011, the USPS has been creating promotions and incentives to increase the awareness of innovative uses of mail and encourage customers to adopt and invest in technologies that enhance how consumers engage with mail. Their stable of promotions for 2017 is more robust than ever, although perhaps a bit complex. Let’s take a straightforward look at these forward-thinking incentives.

Earned Value Promotion

The Earned Value Promotion offers credits for first-class Alternate Postage mail, Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM). Alternate Postage mail, also known as Share Mail, is prepaid mail that flows among multiple parties. For example, you might send your customer a promotion with Alternate Postage mailers that they can send to their friends who can then also respond to your offer. For 2017, per piece credits have been increased from $0.02 to $0.05 and the promotion has been extended from three months to six months.

Registration: November 15 – December 31, 2016
Promotion Period:   January 1 – June 30, 2017

Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion

The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion encourages investment in color print technology by incenting the use of dynamic and variable color messaging in transactional mail such as statements and invoices in order to foster a better connection with and response from customers. This promotion provides a 2% upfront postage discount on eligible first-class mailings and in 2017 will allow new participants to qualify without meeting the color message personalization requirement.

Registration: May 15 – December 31, 2017
Promotion Period:  July 1 – December 31, 2017

Emerging & Advanced Technology Promotion

The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion encourages mailers to integrate direct mail with technology, providing an interactive experience for customers.  Mailers who create first-class or standard mail pieces that use at least one form of approved technology will receive a 2% postage discount. Approved digital technologies include Near Field Communication, enhanced Augmented Reality, Video in Print and Beacon technology. Two new technologies included for 2017 are virtual reality and technology that facilitates programmatic and retargeting marketing strategies, meaning that additional mail is generated based on actions taken by users online. Unlike the 2016 promotion, the 2017 version will not provide an A/B Testing option.

Registration: January 15 – August 31, 2017
Promotion Period: March 1 – August 31, 2017

Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Engagement Promotion

The Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Engagement Promotion leverages the physical aspects of mail, as well as advances in print technology, to encourage marketers to enhance how customers interact and engage with mail. Options include textured paper and finishing, scented paper or stickers, heat-sensitive inks and interactive mail pieces physically constructed to engage recipients including 3D construction, pop-ups or infinite folding. Eligible mailers who incorporate a multi-sensory experience in their standard mail piece will receive a 2% postage discount.

Registration: December 15, 2016 – July 31, 2017
Promotion Period: February 1 – July 31, 2017

Direct Mail Starter Promotion

New for 2017, the Direct Mail Starter Promotion provides an incentive to small businesses to use direct mail as a marketing channel. The USPS understands that complex mailing requirements can discourage the use of direct mail and hopes to dislodge that barrier with this new incentive. The promotion provides a 5% discount on eligible standard mail up to 10,000 pieces when mailers employ a print-to-mobile technology (like a QR code) leading to a mobile-optimized website.

Registration: March 15 – July 31, 2017
Promotion Period: May 1 – July 31, 2017

Mobile Shopping Promotion

The Mobile Shopping Promotion encourages mailers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to make it easier for customers to shop online. Eligible standard mail pieces that direct customers to a social media “buy button” will receive a 2% discount on postage. The mail piece must include a mobile barcode or print-to-mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website or the ability to complete a financial transaction. QR codes are a great option to facilitate this process.

Registration: June 15 – December 31, 2017
Promotion Period: August 1 – December 31, 2017

Third Ounce Free

Although it’s not actually a promotion, the Postmaster General has indicated that with the next price increase the USPS will begin offering the third ounce free for first-class mail. This will give mailers the flexibility to experiment with direct mail without worrying about extra cost.

There are a lot of options to choose from, so let the direct mail experts at Curtis 1000 give you a hand. We can help you take advantage of the right promotion so you can deliver your message with relevance and save money in the process. If you’re ready to “uncomplicate” your direct mail needs, contact your local Curtis 1000 expert. Call us at 877-287-8715 or fill out the “How Can We Help You” form on our website today!