Posts Tagged business mail

USPS ColorTranspromo Promotion

ColorTranspromo Promotion

The Color Transpromo Promotion will provide upfront postage discounts to mailers who use dynamic color print for marketing and consumer messages on their bills and statements.

Promotion Period June 1, 2015 – November 30, 2015                                                       blog promotion
Registration April 15, 2015 – November 30, 2015
Discount 2% of eligible postage
Eligible Mail First-Class Mail commercial letters that are part of an IMb® Full-Service mailing

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the USPS Color Transpromo Promotion.

Transpromo is the use of space on your transactional statements to add promotional content. A majority of people still prefer to receive paper statements. Recent data breaches aside, a paper statement is tangible and less likely to be deleted or lost in the massive amounts of electronic messages received every day.

USPS reports that consumers spend 7 minutes per day sorting and reading their mail. 98% of mail is brought into the home the same day it is delivered. Bills and statements are particularly important, read and saved for longer periods. Compare this with the 15 – 20 seconds a person reads an unsolicited email.

Don’t limit yourself to generic marketing messages. Versatility and personalization are virtually unlimited, allowing you to develop relevant messages and offers. Tracking response rates has become easier than ever with use of personalized web pages and codes.

Transpromo is not just for marketing, either. Traditionally used to up-sell or cross-sell, it should also be used to educate about your industry or service, remind them of upcoming events or deadlines, or drive readers to a website.

Using color as part of your transpromo campaign helps to draw the reader’s eye to this special messaging. How can you incorporate an infographic, a fun drawing or even charts and graphs into your message?

Register with USPS and take advantage of the 2% postage savings by using Color Transpromotional mail today!

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Business Reply Mail 101

Basics of Business Reply Mail

I think everyone is familiar with those little cards that fall out of your magazines and newspapers.  Notice that they all say something along the lines of “No Postage Necessary”.  This is Business Reply Mail and it can be a useful tool in your marketing program.

Business Reply Mail (BRM) allows a mailer to distribute preprinted First-Class Mail reply pieces to customers. The mailer, not the customer, pays the return postage. This allows mailers to save postage costs on large volumes of distributed reply pieces when a response is not assured.

BRM is appropriate when your customer needs a little extra inducement to reply – in other words, the response or its timing is not certain. This type of reply mail is frequently used by direct marketers seeking to encourage orders, researchers needing survey responses, or magazine publishers soliciting subscriptions.

You must have a Business Reply Mail permit account with your local Post Office.  You will pay an annual fee for the permit account, a small handling fee and First Class postage on each piece of mail returned by the USPS.  Note that you are paying postage only for mail returned to you through your BRM permit.

Business Reply Mail can be used for business reply cards, envelopes, self mailers and cartons.  Because a Business Reply Mailpiece must conform to a specific format to qualify as BRM, mailers must consult with their local Post Office or Mailpiece Design Consultant to create the artwork needed for printing your response device.  There is now also available an online tool available through www.USPS.com, you will use the Business Customer Gateway, which requires a Mailer ID.  You can sign up to get your Mailer ID here:  https://gateway.usps.com/bcg/login.htm

Once you have your Mailer ID in hand, login, go to Design and Prepare and then Automated Business Reply Mail.  The steps to create your own BRM artwork are straightforward.

There are four types of BRM permit account available.  Each requires an annual permit fee and advance deposit.

Basic BRM – Annual permit fee of $190.00.  Per piece charge of $0.76 in addition to First Class or Priority Mail postage.  Paid through advance deposit account.  This option is best suited for return volume of less than 890 pieces per year.

High-Volume BRM –  Annual permit fee of $190.00 plus annual account maintenance fee of $605.00 per year.  Per piece charge of $0.087 plus First Class or Priority Mail postage.  This option is best suited for return volume of 891 pieces or more per year.

Basic Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) – Annual permit fee of $190.00 plus annual account maintenance fee of $605.00.  Per piece charge of $0.056 plus First Class or Priority Mail postage.  Because QBRM requires automation compatible mailpieces, you are eligible for reduced First Class postage rates.  This is suitable for automation compatible pieces of more than 850 pieces per year.

High Volume Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) – Annual permit fee of $190.00 plus annual accounting fee of $605.00 and a quarterly processing fee of $2,025.00.  This might seem a little pricey, but when you factor in the lower postage rate for automated mailpieces and lower per piece rate of $0.008, if you expect more than 43,000 pieces of mail returned to you, this is a viable option.

Make it easy for your customers to respond to your offer and start a Business Reply Mail program for your next mailing.  Studies show eliminating the customer’s need to find an envelope, address it and attach a stamp greatly impact your response rate!

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What is your Move Update policy?

What is your Move Update policy? Is it current? Is it documented? The lack of effective Move Update policies and procedures can be very costly.

In the news yesterday, it was reported that a nationally known company settled an allegation that they had not been meeting USPS Move Update standards.  The settlement was reported to be $1.5 million.

If you are claiming postage discounts, it is mandatory that your mailing list be Move Update compliant. This means you must update your list within 95 days of your mailing.  There are several methods available to vet your list to meet Move Update standards.

National Change of Address (NCOA) processing

The NCOA database is licensed by the USPS to a limited number of processing services, so there is no software you can buy to handle the process internally. The service usually adds very little to your processing costs and typically your mail house can provide the service to you.

You can request from the NCOA list processor a report showing all of the corrected address as well as any addresses that have changed but not filed a COA.  You must use the corrected addresses – don’t just say “hey I had NCOA run and here’s my documentation”.  And don’t neglect to update your database!

The good news is that because this process occurs prior to mailing, you save can money on both printing and postage.

Current Resident/Current Occupant

This is the least expensive Move Update method.  Simply adding “Or Current Resident”, “Or Current Occupant” or “Occupant” to your mailing address instructs the USPS to deliver to the address and ignore the name on the mail piece.  You can choose to eliminate the name entirely or add “Current Resident” on the same line or beneath the name line.

If you are mailing First Class, be aware that by using this method, USPS will not forward the mail or return to you if the person or business has moved.  Your mail is delivered to the designated address, period, and you will not be able to update your address list.

Address Correction Services

Several USPS address correction options can be used to meet Move Update requirements.  They include “Return Service Requested”, “Change Service Requested”, and “Address Service Requested”.  There are different costs and requirements for each service.  For more information regarding these services visit https://www.usps.com/business/move-update.htm

Don’t be blindsided by a fine.  Ask your mail house for assistance and keep your database clean!

If you need more information regarding Move Update standards, please feel free to reach out to one of Strahm’s qualified Customer Service Representatives.  They can be reached at (816) 756-2733 or by email at custserv@strahm.com.

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