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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Seamless Acceptance

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) recently re-opened the Seamless Acceptance program to new participants. Seamless Acceptance is designed to streamline the verification, acceptance, payment and induction of mail. This program has benefits for both mailers and the USPS. To participate in this program, mailers must have 90% or more of their mail volume submitted as Full-Service® mail. The mailpieces must be uniquely barcoded and submitted electronically (eDoc). If the mailer is preparing Detached Mail Unit (DMU) verified origin entry or destination entry drop shipments, participation in eInduction is also required. Prior to participating in Seamless Acceptance, mailers must participate in an intermediate step called Seamless Parallel. This is essentially a testing period, during which time the mailer works with the USPS to insure the volume and mail preparation and submission requirements are being met.

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Processing Mail.dat Files for Informed Delivery™ Campaigns After June 24

As you may recall from earlier, the new USPS® Informed Delivery program allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing via an online dashboard. Mailers can likewise benefit from this program by including additional data in the eDoc to provide users with links to digital content related to the mailpiece. This can greatly enhance the value of the mailpieces by providing users advance notification of the incoming mailpiece and the opportunity to immediately access additional information. Mailers can provide color images of mailpieces, as well as images of flat size pieces, which are not currently available from the USPS. Along with the images, mailers can provide links to related digital content. Recipients of the email notices are then able to click on the links to see the color images and access the related digital content.  

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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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USPS Proposes Changes to Address Quality Measurement and Assessment

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) filed a Federal Register notice on February 27, 2017 requesting comments from interested parties on the revision to their pending proposal regarding a new measurement and assessment procedure for evaluating mailing address quality. This new procedure would impact mailers who enter eligible letter- and flat-size pieces of First-Class Mail® and USPS Marketing Mail® (formerly Standard Mail®) that meet the requirements for Basic or Full-Service®mailings. In addition, the USPS is proposing to extend free Address Change Service (ACS™) to mailers who enter qualifying mailpieces. Comments regarding the published notice are due on or before March 29, 2017.

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2017 Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion

One of the upcoming offerings in the United States Postal Service® (USPS)® 2017 promotion and incentives program is the Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion, which runs from March 1 through August 31 of 2017. Registration for this promotion started on January 15, 2017 and runs through August 31, 2017.

This promotion builds upon previous promotions and continues the strategy of encouraging mailers to integrate direct mail with advances in technology. Examples include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, Video in Print (ViP), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)/Beacon technology, enhanced “augmented” reality, virtual reality and Digital to Direct Mail. The goal of these technologies is to allow the recipient to engage in an interactive experience using the mailpiece and mobile devices.

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2017 Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Promotion

The second offering in the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) 2017 promotion and incentives program is the Tactile, Sensory & Interactive (TSI) Promotion, which runs from February 1 through July 31 of 2017. Registration for this promotion started on December 15, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2017. This promotion leverages some of the latest technological advances within the print industry that encourages sensory engagement with a mailpiece. Features such as special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, pop-ups, infinite folds, and even taste may be used to enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail.  

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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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