Freshly back from the USPS National Postal Forum, there are a couple of fun things to share and some new ”buzzwords” that kept everyone intrigued. I’ve heard that approximately 30% of the attendees were first timers. That was great to hear as mail continues to be trending upward, remaining a strong marketing channel.
Also, Meghan Brennan, the USPS Postmaster General, announced that First‐Class Letter Mailers will receive the 3rd oz. free next year. And for those of you who like to keep up on postal regulations, the USPS is re‐vamping the RIBBS website. It is going to be called Postal Pro. The current site can be found at https://ribbs.usps.gov/
The other buzzword that the post office latched onto this year is “Informed”. Everywhere you turned they discussed Informed Delivery and Informed Visibility. The USPS is very excited about these two programs and for good reason. They set them up to create new marketing options for mailers to improve existing tracking services on First‐Class and Standard mail.
Informed Delivery is being piloted in Northern Virginia and New York City. This service allows a mail recipient to sign up for an email that will show them a black‐and‐white scan of the mail that will be in their mailbox each day. The open rates on these emails are at 93%!
They are hoping to roll Informed Delivery out to the nation in early 2017. The USPS has a lot of hurdles to prepare for with privacy being in the forefront of everyone’s concerns. Eventually the USPS hopes to be able to update scans with ads. These ads could then morph into more digital options that are widely used by Americans, like website links, QR codes, timed emails and the list goes on and on.
The other “informed” this year is Informed Visibility. This is the USPS’ next step in improving their current tracking capabilities. If any of you track your mailings, you probably see a tracking result on approximately 70% of your mail pieces. Informed Visibility is going to add scans, which will also be more readily available (every 15 to 20 minutes).
Lastly, the USPS presented Omni‐Channel Marketing. This isn’t really new, but is something that all of the “informed” programs are going to assist. Omni‐Channel Marketing is a marketing approach that seeks to orchestrate the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated and consistent. The idea is to make that occur whether the experience takes place through print, online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a physical store. The customer receives consistent branding and messaging through the medium of their choice.
I didn’t go too deeply into these topics, so please contact us if you have questions. Let us help you reap the benefits of these services with your Omni‐Channel or Multichannel Marketing program.