The USPS has release their proposed promotional calendar for 2017. The discount amounts still need approval by the PRC, so there’s no information on the amounts just yet, but at least the 2017 calendar is being published early enough to begin the planning and budgeting process. Here’s what we know. There are six promotions, five of which are similar to those being offered in 2016 but with a few updates. But really, only four are geared toward catalogers. Below are brief outlines of each of those 4 promotions.
Emerging and Advanced Technology: Runs from March through August and you must register between January 15 – August 31 to qualify. In 2017, this promotion, which requires catalogers to incorporate technologies into their mailings, such as mobile websites and augmented reality will incorporate Virtual Reality to the mix and other technologies that use programmatic and retargeting direct mail strategies, meaning that requests for your catalog or products are generated automatically as a result of consumers’ online actions.
Mobile Shopping promo: Runs from August through December and you must register between June 15 – December 31 to qualify. Geared towards Standard Mailers, they encourage catalogers to use a qualifying technology (such as QR codes) in their mail piece that allows the consumer to purchase using a mobile optimized website or social media channel.
Earned Value Reply Mail: Runs from January through June and you must register between November 15 – December 31 to qualify. To qualify for this discount, your catalog must include a qualifying Business Reply Mail feature, such as a BRC or CRM. The alternative features must Include Intelligent Mail Barcodes to quality.
Finally, new for 2017:
Direct Mail Starter: Runs from May through July and you must register between March 15 – July 31 to qualify. This promotion is focused on small businesses, encouraging them to use direct mail that incorporates technologies such as the QR code and mobile optimized websites to receive the postage discount. There is a limit to the number of pieces though - maximum of 10,000.
Once the discounts rates have been approved, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you have any questions as to how you can take advantage of these promotions, you can contact us here.