Archive for January, 2012

MEDIA ALERT: POSTMASTER GENERAL & CEO PATRICK DONAHOE ON CNBC’S “SQUAWK BOX” TOMORROW

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 26th, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Posted in USPS

U.S. Postal Service Launches ‘2nd Ounce Free’

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WASHINGTON — High-volume commercial mailers spoke, and the Postal Service listened. Effective this week, businesses mailing First-Class Mail automation, presort letters using “2nd Ounce Free” pricing can mail letters weighing up to 2 ounces at the 1-ounce postage rate.

First-Class Mail automation, presort letters are primarily generated by commercial mailers of bills and statements — or transaction mail. 2nd Ounce Free pricing will provide these customers with greater value from their transaction mailings by letting them include an additional ounce that can be used for operational or marketing purposes at no additional cost.

“With 2nd Ounce Free, companies have greater flexibility to offset mailing center costs by including additional promotional offers with bills, invoices and statements,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. “2nd Ounce Free also provides business mailers with the option of using higher quality paper stock or larger envelopes to create greater impact.”

Bills and statements delivered via First-Class Mail are opened more than 95 percent of the time and, on average, the receiver spends two to three minutes with each piece1. “This makes transaction mail a highly effective medium for target marketing,” said Reblin.

An integral part of the overall commitment from the Postal Service to add value to the mail, 2nd Ounce Free is not a limited time promotion, but a new price for First-Class Mail presort, automation letters. 2nd Ounce Free does not apply to single-piece letters mailed by consumers.

“No registration is required, no annual minimum thresholds apply, and no payment rebates are needed, since 2nd Ounce Free pricing is offered upfront,” said Reblin.

2nd Ounce Free can be used to inform, educate and strengthen customer loyalty by providing additional information, such as announcements, disclosures and notifications. The extra ounce also can be used to conduct consumer research with surveys and reply cards.

By combining transaction mail with promotional mail, known in the industry as transpromo, companies can add more inserts and “onserts” — totaling up to 2 ounces — without incurring additional postage costs. (Onserts are advertisements or promotional offers usually printed at the bottom of bills or statements.)

“Transpromo is a highly targeted, measurable form of direct mail that helps companies increase revenue based on an ‘opt-in’ relationship,” said Reblin. “Customers also can use the free second ounce to sell advertising space to other marketers, which has the potential to lower the costs of mailing bills and statements.”

Transpromo is often combined with variable data printing (VDP), a form of on-demand printing that can be used to produce mail pieces that are personalized to an individual’s specific data. “VDP allows marketers to customize the messages on each mail piece, resulting in more personal and more effective communication,” said Reblin.

For more information about 2nd Ounce Free, visit usps.com/2nd-ounce-free.

 

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Source: Trans Meets Promo…Is it More than Market Hype? InfoTrends, August 2008

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 26th, 2012 at 9:44 am

Posted in USPS

We Already Have A Veterans Job Corps — It’s Called the Postal Service

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 25th, 2012 at 10:24 am

Posted in USPS

USPS shoots for $1 billion in annual Every Door Direct Mail sales

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Vice President, Sales, Cliff Rucker has stated USPS is aiming for $1 billion in 2012 EDDM sales.

via USPS shoots for $1 billion in annual Every Door Direct Mail sales : PostalReporter News Blog.

By cannibalizing other business, selling low-ball instead of selling the right program for each mail owner, downgrading mail currently already in the mail stream (chalking it up to the internet, the economy, etc. etc.), alienating current mail service “partners”, and carefully controlling the reporting on the project, EDDM could be reported on as a $1 billion dollar business for the USPS in 2012.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 24th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Posted in USPS

PostalOne! First Class Update

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From the PostalOne! Help Desk–

Please be advised:

The Mail.dat file and Mail.XML message issue that was reported to you yesterday involving mailers submitting First-Class Mail postage statements resulting in failed jobs due to double entry of postage statement lines has been corrected.

Statements processed today by the Postal Clerk adjustment work around should be reversed by the clerk and the mailer can resubmit the electronic job.

As reference:

The tracking id for the Mail.dat file issue was 91873 for error code 7079 in USPS issue tracking.

The tracking id for the Mail.XML file issue was 91875 for error code 8869 in USPS issue tracking.

Please contact the USPS Help Desk at (800) 522-9085 if you have questions or further issues.

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 24th, 2012 at 1:17 am

Posted in USPS

DMM Notice 123 Price List

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DMM Notice 123 Price List.
Draft Ratefold with the new rates…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 23rd, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Posted in USPS

Thinking Outside The Envelope

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 23rd, 2012 at 11:39 am

Posted in USPS

Lots of DMM Updates

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Coinciding with today’s price changes, DMM updates from the DMM Advisory:

New Standards for Domestic Mailing Services

We revised various sections to reflect price adjustments and mailing requirements changes associated with the October 2011 filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

 

Domestic Shipping Services Pricing and Mailing Standards Changes

We revised various sections to reflect changes to prices and mailing standards for the following Shipping Services: Express Mail®, Priority Mail®, First-Class Package Service™, Parcel Select®, Parcel Return Service, Mailer Services, and Recipient Services. These changes are associated with the November 2011 filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

 

Combined Mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals Flats

We added a new section, 705.15.0, providing optional standards for combining Standard Mail® flats and Periodicals flats within the same bundle, when placed on pallets; and for combining bundles of Standard Mail flats and bundles of Periodicals flats on the same pallet.

 

Periodicals PS Form 3541-M – Discontinued

We revised 707.17.5.1 to revise the practice of submitting one Periodicals postage statement for all issues mailed in a calendar month.

 

Priority Mail Commercial Plus Cubic Packaging Alternatives

We revised 402.2.2, 423.1.4, and 425.2.3 to introduce two new Priority Mail Commercial Plus Cubic packaging alternatives—soft-pack envelopes and padded envelopes.

 

Intelligent Mail Package Barcode Implementation for Commercial Parcels

We revised various sections to provide new standards for the use of Intelligent Mail® package barcodes (IMpb).

 

Combined Mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals Flats—Clarification

We revised 705.15.0 to reflect standards changes related to combined mailings of Standard Mail and Periodicals flats.

 

Copalletized, Combined, or Mixed-Price Level Palletized Mailings—Correction

We revised 705.8.7.4 to clarify that the presort level of Standard Mail letter-size pieces that are part of a copalletized or combined mailing must accurately reflect the postage and entry discount paid at the origin site.

 

Eligibility for Destination Entry Prices per NDC and ASF Labeling Lists

We revised various sections to delete destination network distribution center (DNDC) eligibility Exhibits 246.3.1, 346.3.1, 366.4.1, 446.3.1, 453.3.1.3, and 466.4.4.

 

Products Mailable at Nonprofit Standard Mail Prices

We revised 703.1.6.11 to indicate that products mailed at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices must meet at least one of three exceptions. A low-cost item is one of the exceptions referenced in the Internal Revenue Code.

 

Express Mail Domestic Postage Refund Policy and Waiver of Signature

We revised various sections to modify the policy for filing claims for domestic Express Mail postage refunds from 90 days to 30 days after the date of mailing.

 

Antique Firearms—Clarification

We revised 601.12.1.1a to clarify that antique firearms that meet the definition of a handgun according to USPS standards are also subject to the mailing requirements in 601.12.2 through 601.12.7.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:05 am

Posted in USPS

PostalOne! Release 29 First Class Issue/Workaround

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From the USPS PostalOne help desk–

Please be advised:

If you are a mailer sending Mail.dat files or Mail.XML messages to create postage statements in the PostalOne! system there is a new issue in PostalOne! Release 29.0.2 that may affect you.

Both Mail.dat jobs and Mail.XML messages for First-Class Mail postage statements are generating a validation error for double entry of postage statement lines causing the Mail.dat file or the Mail.XML message to fail to submit.

The tracking id for the Mail.dat file issue is 91873 for error code 7079 in USPS issue tracking.

The tracking id for the Mail.XML file issue is 91875 for error code 8869 in USPS issue tracking.

The workaround is that the Postal clerk will enter an adjustment on the account including any Full Service discount applicable.

After the issue is fixed, the adjustment will be reversed and the mailer will resubmit the job.

Please contact the USPS Help Desk at (800) 522-9085 if you have questions or further issues.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 23rd, 2012 at 12:47 am

Posted in USPS

USPS NSAs and Postage Payment Clarifications

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This information was provided by the USPS to help clear up some confusion caused by recent PCC action regarding postage payment methods for NSA accounts – good info…

What is a Negotiated Service Agreement?   A negotiated service agreement (NSA) is a contract between the Postal Service and a mailer that provides customized prices and/or service terms based on the unique operations and business needs of the Postal Service and its contract partner.

The changes in prices and classification needed to implement an NSA require approval by the Postal Service Board of Governors and review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (”Commission”).
What is the background of this recent development?  On January 4, 2012, the Commission approved the Postal Service’s proposed minor classification change which clarified that the Postal Service can offer customized payment options to customers that sign an NSA with the Postal Service. The Postal Service proposed this classification change in connection with one recent NSA that provided the customer with a seven-day window within which to make payment.  Typically, prepayment of postage is required, but in this instance the nature of the agreement required an alternative payment method.  These classification changes became effective on January 5, 2012, but the underlying NSA has not yet been approved by the Commission.
What types of alternative postage payment methods are allowed?   From a policy standpoint, no payment method other than pre-payment is currently authorized.

In general, going forward, the terms of any alternate payment methods may be a feature of a specific agreement if it makes business sense for the Postal Service and the other party.

Additionally, any future NSA with customized payment terms must be separately approved by the Commission on a case-by-case basis.  The Postal Service must clearly specify the alternative postage payment method being utilized in the contract, so that the Commission may perform its review.

How do I know whether my company may qualify for an NSA that utilizes an alternative payment method?  In general, not every mailer will qualify for an NSA with the Postal Service.  Beyond that, customized payment terms might not be a feature of any particular NSA.  Each situation will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Your company only qualifies for an alternative payment method if such alternatives are part of an established NSA.  Currently, there are no NSAs with this feature.  The Commission’s recent order should not be construed as a general approval of extending credit through NSAs, or any other particular terms controlling payment for services.

Any inclusion of customized payment terms in future agreements will balance the Postal Service’s current financial situation, the needs of customers, and other criteria.
My company has an established NSA, and we believe that our situation merits being reviewed to determine qualification for an alternative payment method. Who do I contact?  Please contact your USPS Sales representative for more information.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 22nd, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Posted in USPS