Simpler and less expensive systems are being developed for service bureaus that mail large volumes of documents. Most major manufacturers of mailing systems for this market offer systems with significantly higher levels of complexity. The same capabilities can be offered for a lower total cost of ownership by using an image-based integrated code reader with lighting, positioning and software in one package.
Years ago, the Saturday Night Live character Fernando was fond of saying “It’s better to look good than to feel good.” Of course, today’s marketing campaigns can’t just look good. They need to prove themselves with creative that leads to measurable results. “In many ways, creative and measurement are inextricably linked and they truly rely on each other,” says Scott Trobaugh, concept director at B2B agency Godfrey. “You must have good creative to stand out, and it is vital to measure how well that creative is working.”
Whether they admit it or not, a lot of people can’t help judging a book by its cover when it comes to mail. We’re all used to receiving direct marketing through our letterbox on a regular basis, but how many times are we actually tempted to open it? Direct marketing is a costly business, as it entails the cost of postage, labor, design and, of course, the envelope. Choosing the best envelope will depend on your target market and your product, but knowing your options is a great place to start.
Postal stakeholders were gratified to see four nominees put up last week to fill out a skeleton crew on the Postal Board of Governors. Mailers might have a change of heart, however, after the recent vetting of the candidates by a Senate committee revealed them to be ready to hand full rate-setting authority to the U.S. Postal Service.
Let’s consider what some people regard as just another buzz term: “content marketing.” Despite all the hype, the concept really wasn’t invented yesterday. Some mailers have been doing it for years. Let’s look at three examples of mailers successfully using relevant content marketing to stand out in the mailbox.
For a few years now, pundits have claimed that print is dead and digital is the new best thing. Let’s take a minute to really look at both forms of marketing. What is digital marketing? It’s the promotion of products, services or brands electronically. This can include email, website, social media and mobile. For the past few years, digital has been the main focus for marketers.
The U.S. Postal Service is known for working through rain, sleet and snow, but not on Sundays or holidays, right? That is changing, quickly, through a deal with Amazon. In many parts of the country, products ordered from Amazon now arrive at your home seven days a week, year-round. As GeekWire reported last week, the rollout is expanding nationally even faster than originally expected.
Back in June of this year, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) planned to implement an increase in the frequency of the updates to several critical destination data files; to monthly from the previous quarterly update schedule. Due to the postponement of the planned July 13, 2014 PostalOne! release to August 24, 2014, the USPS also decided to postpone implementing the monthly updates until September.
What you may NOT be aware of is that there have been some major issues over the last few weeks with the labeling list and drop ship data that USPS issued in June for July consumption. The USPS recently provided an update to July’s labeling list and drop ship data that corrected these issues, but unfortunately another problem was found with the expire dates in the data. The USPS is aware of this situation and its urgency to the mailing industry. We are hopeful that the USPS will make the necessary corrections to these data files and get them posted for the mailing industry as soon as possible. As soon as this data is fixed and an update is provided by the USPS, Window Book and other software vendors, will process it and make it available to software users. In the interim, you may receive automated notifications that the destination data files are getting ready to expire. Normally we would not encourage software users to ignore these alerts, but in this case there are no updated files to access until the USPS publishes the corrected data files.
Reason #212 to use our
Automatic Postal Data Updates System
As you may have heard from us in the past, Window Book has an automated method to update all of these data files into your software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for these data file updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you. No matter how many times the USPS updates the data – we always validate it before making it available. You can just set it and forget it!
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On July 1, 2014 the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for price adjustments to Priority Mail®. The implementation date for the new prices is September 7, 2014. While this filing must be approved by the PRC before the new prices are implemented, it is anticipated that the PRC will approve this request.
The Priority Mail pricing structure will remain as it currently exists. The proposal calls for an increase in the Retail Priority Mail prices at an average of 1.7%. Commercial prices will actually see a decrease, with Commercial Base prices going down an average of 0.9% and Commercial Plus prices decreasing an average of 2.3%. This is great news for commercial shippers, just in time for the holiday shipping season.
New postage statements reflecting these new prices will be introduced for the September 7, 2014 implementation date, and will be made available in late August.
Details of the proposal, including the new rate charts, may be found on the PRC web site. The USPS has also posted the new postage statements online on Postal Explorer, as well as the rate charts in Excel format.
The Priority Mail pricing This is an extremely short notice of this price change, so software vendors are feverishly working to incorporate these new prices into their software products. On a related note, the USPS is also making format and verbiage changes to postage statements for many other classes of mail, also effective on September 7, 2014. There is also a Mail.dat® specification version change taking place at the same time, from the current version 14-1 to the new 14-2 version. Window Book anticipates having updated releases of our software reflecting these new prices, new postage statements, and supporting the new 14-2 Mail.dat version available in August.
These changes will also require a PostalOne!® software update, which is scheduled for August 24, 2014. USPS sends out notifications of all PostalOne! outages and software updates using the DMM Advisory. You can subscribe to the DMM Advisory by sending an email to email@example.com. Don’t miss out on our educational mailing webinars! Log on to our webinar registration site to sign up.
Don’t miss out on our educational mailing webinars! Log on to our webinar registration site to sign up. To schedule a free Mailing Optimization Analysis, visit www.windowbook.com/MOA