Final Rule on Verification Standards

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) has issued a final rule in the Federal Register regarding verification standards for a number of USPS programs. The Federal Register notice, published on January 9, 2018, details the verification standards for eInduction, Seamless Acceptance, and Full-Service Automation. The verification standards become effective on March 5, 2018.

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Enterprise Payment System

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is providing mailers a means to pay for postal products and services through a single account, called the Enterprise Payment Account (EPA). The USPS has offered centralized payment systems in the past, such as Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS), but these are now being transitioned into the more modern Enterprise Payment System. The beauty of this system is that mailers may now manage all their payments for virtually any type of postal product or service online, and through a single account.

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The History of Holiday Postage Stamps

This week we are taking a look back in time to explore the history of the holiday themed postage stamps in America. The U.S. Post Office Department issued its first Christmas stamp in Pittsburg, PA on November 1, 1962. Postmaster General J.Edward Day announced at the stamp dedication ceremony that the stamp would be the first in a series of Christmas stamps. The red and green 4-cent stamps featured a wreath, two candles, and the words “Christmas 1962.” The initial printing of the stamp, 350 million, quickly sold out, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing worked round-the-clock to print more. By the end of 1962, 1 billion stamps had been printed and distributed.

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2017 Mobile Shopping Promotion

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) 2017 promotion and incentives program is offering another promotion, this one running from August 1 through December 31, 2017. The Mobile Shopping Promotion is designed to encourage mailers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to create a convenient method for consumers to do their shopping. Eligible mailings will receive an upfront 2% postage discount. Register now!

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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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Processing shortage or spoilage in eDoc

A frequent question we receive from mailers regards how to properly report spoilage or shortage when submitting files to PostalOne!® There are a multitude of reasons why mailers need to report spoilage or shortage: perhaps some of the mailpieces get damaged during processing, or you may run out of some of the mailpiece components before the job is finished. We’ve all heard the saying “stuff happens” (paraphrased here of course!). Mailpiece production and mailing processes are essentially manufacturing processes, and regardless of the quality assurance procedures you have in place, it is almost inevitable that some pieces need to get removed from the mailing. Whatever term you use to call these pieces…pulls, deletes, mutes, rejects, spoils, shorts…these are pieces that get pulled from your mailings for any number of reasons. Mailers likely already have procedures in place to handle this from a manufacturing perspective, but what about making the adjustments to report these types of spoilages or shortages in your eDoc submissions to PostalOne!?

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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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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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Changes to Labeling Lists in 2017

You’ve most likely heard terminology such as Labeling Lists, Drop Ship Destination Data, City-State Files, Zone Chart Data, and so forth, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what all these terms really mean, and why they are important to your mailing operations. The short answer – the USPS® provides mailers “Destination Data Files” which may be downloaded from the USPS web site. There are a number of different files included in this group, all of which are critical to insure that your mail is prepared properly and is labeled and routed to the correct postal facilities for processing and delivery. This data can – and does – change frequently, so it is critical that mailers pay attention to these changes and update their presort and post-presort software with the new data as soon as it becomes available.

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