Preparing for Move Update Changes

As we mentioned earlier, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is implementing Move Update price and classification changes, effective in March 2018. The Move Update postage assessment for non-compliance will increase from $0.07 to $0.08 per piece, but the Move Update verification method will also be changing. What exactly does this mean for your mailing operation?

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Anatomy of A Barcode

These days, it is difficult to find mailpieces that don’t have a barcode on them. The words “mailing” and “barcode” go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, we see and talk about all these barcodes so much, we sometimes forget exactly what data is in those barcodes and what the barcodes are used for.

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Barcode Uniqueness on Trays, Sacks, and Pallets

One of the areas that we often receive questions on is the management of the uniqueness of the Intelligent Mail® barcodes on the tags for trays, sacks and pallets. Managing the uniqueness for these barcodes can be a challenge, particularly if you have a number of different mail processing workflows. Two keys to success with managing this uniqueness is to remember that: the barcodes must maintain uniqueness for a period of at least 45 days after the mailing date, and that each and every method you use for generating these barcodes needs to be included in your uniqueness management process.

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FTP Package Shipment Transmissions Ending in August

Just another gentle reminder that the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems, but this option will no longer be available effective August 31, 2017.

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2017 Direct Mail Starter Promotion

One of the new offerings in the United States Postal Service®(USPS®) 2017 promotion and incentives program is starting next week: the Direct Mail Starter Promotion. This promotion is new for 2017, and runs from May 1 through July 31 of 2017. Registration for this promotion started on March 15, 2017 and runs through July 31, 2017. This promotion is offered to first time promotion mailers, i.e. mailers who have not participated in any past promotions. The promotion is designed to promote offers and events that incorporate the use of print-mobile technology, such as a QR barcode, on up to 10,000 mailpieces during the length of the promotion. The 10,000 mailpiece limit will be verified at the Customer Registration ID (CRID) level. Eligible mailings will receive an upfront 5% postage discount. In addition, the option to use an automated mail tracking system that uses barcode scanning technology to track mailings is included in this promotion.

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Informed Visibility®

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is introducing Informed Visibility (IV®), to provide the mailing industry with more powerful insight into the USPS mailstream. This new program is designed to provide a one-stop shop for mail tracking data, consolidated into one system, as opposed to tracking the data via IMb Tracing® and PostalOne!®. The key to the success of this new program is the near real-time expanded visibility into mailings as the mail moves through the mailstream, that is much more powerful than the tracking data that exists today which can sometimes be delayed. Another benefit is a user-friendly data provisioning and data delegation, so it is much easier for mailers to specify what data they want, when they want it, and who receives the data. The result is increased value of the mail, enabling mailers to better plan mailing campaigns and resources.

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Picture Permit Imprint Indicia

Did you know that you can utilize the prime “real estate” on your mailpieces (where the postal indicia resides) to market your products and services? The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) introduced in 2012 a new service offering called Picture Permit Imprint Indicia. This service allows mailers to place business-themed images, such as logos, trademarked brands, photos or other images into the permit imprint (indicia) area. This is a great opportunity to better utilize this precious space on your mailpieces to help bring additional attention to your brand. The initial service offering was so popular that this service remains in place today.

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Elimination of FTP Package Shipment Transmissions Delayed

As we mentioned earlier, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems. However, the USPS is eliminating this FTP option to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. The planned effective date for this change was January 31, 2017, but the USPS has now postponed this to May 31, 2017 in order to give shippers more time to make the transition.

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USPS Promotion Programs for 2017

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is offering six promotional programs in 2017, aimed at increasing mail volumes by offering incentives to mailers. Starting with the first Mobile Barcode incentive back in 2011, the USPS continues to put incentive programs in place for mailers to take advantage of postage discounts or rebates for submitting mailings that meet the promotion requirements. There are six promotions offered for the calendar year 2017.

1. Earned Value Promotion
2. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Engagement Promotion
3. Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion
4. Direct Mail Starter Promotion
5. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion
6. Mobile Shopping Promotion

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Preventing Undocumented Mailpieces

The USPS is planning to implement assessments starting in November 2016 (based on October 2016 data) for Full-Service errors over the published thresholds. One of the elements the USPS will be measuring is the quantity of your “undocumented” pieces. For many mailers the assessment for undocumented pieces could actually be the most expensive one they face because unlike some of the other assessments that are passed onto the respective mail owners, assessments for undocumented pieces will usually come right out the mail preparer’s pockets.

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