The financial struggles of the US Postal Service have been well documented, and the news for this year hasn’t seemed to improve any. In spite of its marketing success, direct mail volumes have continued to decline. And yet, we see this as good news!
How is this good news? The dire situation of the USPS is bringing about a new way of thinking within some areas of its operation. The Postal Service is trying to rethink and retool its current business model and is making strides in trying to be more customer-friendly. And like businesses in the private sector (us!), they are looking at ways to grow by implementing innovative programs.
Two of its newest programs provide excellent, simple, and affordable marketing opportunities for small businesses. And in spite of the decline in direct mail volumes, the effectiveness of direct mail marketing campaigns continue to breed success.
Here are two of the programs that we encourage businesses to consider:
Every Door Direct Mail
This program is actually a rebranding of the Simplified Addressing Process, but it is worthy of a look. In its basic form, Every Door Direct Mail lets business saturate an entire residential zip code (or zip codes) with qualified mail pieces for as little as 14.2 cents postage per piece. Additionally, the pieces can be mailed without applying individual names and addresses, allowing users to easily target a specific geographic area.
So imagine you own a restaurant, a dry cleaner, an auto dealership, an apparel store or a fitness center. You have a special event, offer, or program you need to spread the word about. You want to specifically target residences in nearby zip codes. And you want to target EVERY SINGLE RESIDENCE. This program is ideal. No databases or mailing list required. No addressing or labels. And all at a single piece postage rate as low as 14.2 cents each.
One caveat with this program is the unusual mailpiece size that is required to qualify. By definition, it must be a “flat” or “parcel”. Some common sizes in this category are: 6.5”x9”; 6.5”x11” 8.5”x11”. Pricing for turnkey implementation of this program can be found here.
For more information, you can visit the USPS site, or contact us and we would be happy to help implement a program for you.
Summer Sale & Mobile Barcode promotion
We mentioned this last week, but it’s worthy of another look.
For a while we’ve been talking about how QR codes can be used to help bridge the gap between the physical (printed) and the digital worlds. These 2d mobile barcodes help make the printed piece more engaging, and often more relevant for the targeted recipient.
Recognizing this, the USPS is offering a Summer Sale on qualified mail pieces that contain a QR code. During July and August, you can save 3% on postage on Standard and First Class letters, flats and cards that include a QR code that can be scanned and read by a smartphone.
We go into a little more detail in this recent blog post.
For those adventurous and somewhat spontaneous businesses, you can actually take advantage of BOTH of these USPS programs. A qualifying mail piece – flat – that is distributed using the Every Door Direct Mail process that is printed with a QR code, may qualify for a 3% savings off the 14.2 cent mail rate.
Yes, the USPS is struggling. And out of its struggles come opportunities for business to enhance their marketing efforts in an inexpensive, and effective way. It’s worth a look.