Archive for March, 2012

Satisfaction Guaranteed (not!): Redefining “service” — the Postal Way

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Satisfaction Guaranteed (not!): Redefining “service” — the Postal Way | Save the Post Office.

Long post, opinion piece,  but well worth reading.

I would love to hear your comments on this one, what do you think?

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 31st, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Posted in USPS

Postal Service aims direct-mail deal at small businesses

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Postal Service aims direct-mail deal at small businesses – USATODAY.com.

In my opinion, this marketing push is far too narrow and limited.  If the USPS pushed Direct Mail, as a whole, as hard as they are pushing Every Door Direct Mail, the whole Postal Service would benefit.

Listen to customers, assess their needs, and make recommendations.  Ford doesn’t only advertise their Mustangs, McDonald’s doesn’t only promote their cheeseburgers over everything else.  I wish the marketing blitz was aimed more at communicating the benefits of Direct Mail, whatever shape, size, or product.

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 31st, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Posted in USPS

Congressman Rahall Introduces Postal Service Bill | Postal Employee Network

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall D-W.Va. late Thursday introduced legislation to strengthen the hand of rural communities in fighting post office closures in southern West Virginia.

via Congressman Rahall Introduces Postal Service Bill | Postal Employee Network.

The bill – H.R. 4335, the Postal Service Accountability Act – would strengthen the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the independent regulator of the Postal Service, enabling it to act as a check on postal closures, directing the Commission to focus on the community impact of a closure. As part of the appeals process, which already exists in current law, the measure would give the PRC a binding authority to block a post office or sorting facility closure, and would increase, from two to three, the number of Commissioners needed to affirm a closure. Currently, PRC opinions are nonbinding and only two Commissioners are necessary to affirm a closure because of a vacancy on the Commission.

It also would apply the revised appeals process to postal sorting facilities. Currently, there is no appeals process for mail processing facilities. In addition, the Postal Service would be required to do an after-the-fact review one year after a closure to ensure mail delivery services have been maintained.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 31st, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Posted in USPS

Bill-Me-Later and Mobile Commerce – Guest Post

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Reposted here with permission from the author, this item first appeared in the Postcom Bulletin.  Hopefully the USPS will reconsider this position, and not discourage and exclude mail owners from participating…

‘BILL ME LATER’ PURCHASES DON’T QUALIFY FOR THE MOBILE BARCODE PROMOTION?

The following is a commentary by Wendy Smith, AVP of Fulfillment & Postal Affairs for Publishers Clearing House.

In dotting your “i’s” and crossing your “t’s” you’re sometimes thrown a curve ball. Imagine my surprise when, discussing our mobile path, I was told by the Postal Service that the “Bill-Me Later” product promotions which generate 100% of both our online and offline sales won’t qualify for their July/August mobile barcode promotion because there’s no financial transaction such as a means to enter a credit card number. I don’t understand this view. Our financial auditor as well as the auditors of all our business partners certainly consider our bill-me sales as just that…sales…financial transactions. It was also pointed out to the Postal Service that bill-me sales (whether they be offline, online or mobile) are more valuable to the USPS than credit card sales since many folks, especially those who respond to bill-me later advertisements, do still prefer to be billed in hardcopy form through the mail, and submit a check payments through the mail. While the universe of check payments is shrinking, the Postal Service should be looking at all opportunities to preserve this profitable First-Class mail volume, not exclude it. This action seems to conflict with the goal of encouraging synergy across marketing channels.

The Postal Service indicated that the mobile barcode promotion is to encourage mailers to accelerate their integration of more advanced mobile commerce. That’s exactly what I was doing in dotting my “i’s” and crossing my “t’s” and being proactive in submitting a sample mobile promotion path and shopping experience. Recommendations from the Postal Service for an improved experience were made and are feasible for us to apply. However, there is no way we can digress from the successful Bill-Me Later offers that our customer base expects and responds to. While this may be a niche market, it is commerce no matter how you present it – through the mail, online or mobile. And it’s commerce that generates First-Class mail volume!

Again, I fail to see the logic – strategically, financially, operationally or otherwise on why this segment of marketers would be
excluded from the mobile barcode promotion. This encourages the exact opposite behavior of what is supposedly intended, it will drive us and those similarly situated, to instead invest in other online marketing efforts absent any incentive here.
I hope that by the May 1 registration date, the Postal Service recognizes that excluding Bill-Me Later promotions is illogical, is of no long term benefit, and is harmful by dejecting and discriminating against valuable Postal customers. It is hoped that the Postal Service follows the guidelines they already laid out which states that a mobile optimized webpage needs to “allow the recipient to purchase an advertised product or service on the mobile device.” That’s pretty plain and simple language that I didn’t think had room for misinterpretation. But I suspect the language will now become more specific in future updates of the requirements. Just as there’s more than one way to promote a product, there’s more than one method to execute a purchase. Typically in business, more options result in more commerce. And by the way, 100% of the “bill-me” purchases made by our customers are shipped through the USPS.

So without more options, don’t expect more commerce. I hope that logic and fairness will ultimately reign and that Bill-Me Later promotions will in fact be included in this summer’s mobile barcode promotion.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 30th, 2012 at 9:59 am

Posted in USPS

What happened to postal reform?

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 30th, 2012 at 8:39 am

Posted in USPS

Picture Permit Imprint Indicia Filing

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 29th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Posted in USPS

NPF Exhibit Hall Tips

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When browsing companies who are exhibiting on the National Postal Forum Exhibit Hall floor, things can get overwhelming.  Here are 5 Tips to keep in mind when walking the show floor:

1)  Look for substance and content over flash and fluff.

2) Watch for words like “first” and “largest”, and review them carefully.  Old and big is not always the right choice.

3) Is the exhibitor all about contests and giveways?  Distractions?  What does that say about the strength and value of their product?

4) Look for company representatives that are knowledgeable vs know-it-alls.  Nobody knows everything, watch for those comfortable enough to be willing to say so, and who offers to research to get the correct answers.

5) Watch for words like “best” and “flexible” and “nimble”, and partner with these companies for mutual growth.

 

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 29th, 2012 at 9:15 am

Posted in USPS

Senator Lieberman Speaks on the USPS

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http://youtu.be/_Sro06zQcag

YouTube video 3/27/2012

 

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 27th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Posted in USPS

PRC approves USPS mobile barcode promotion

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 26th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Posted in USPS

Advance Look at PMG Statement Before Subcommittee

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STATEMENT OF POSTMASTER GENERAL/CEO PATRICK R. DONAHOE
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL WORKFORCE, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE & LABOR POLICY UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

3-27-12-USPS-Donahoe.pdf application/pdf Object.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 26th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Posted in USPS