Spending bill preserves 6-day delivery but doesn’t forbid consolidatons

The $1.01 trillion spending bill crafted by lawmakers to avoid a government shutdown keeps the rider that requires the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail six days a week, but doesn’t forbid the U.S. Postal Service from going ahead with plans to consolidate and/or close more mail processing facilities.

How direct mail can help re-establish personal relationships with your customers

It’s lonely online. Hard to believe, in this age of online dating, marriages, shopping, banking and everything else, isn’t it? And yet, a survey conducted in Australia found that customers are increasingly feeling isolated from their favorite brands. Why? You guessed it—because the online marketing component has grown so big there’s no longer “personal” interaction. That’s where your direct mail campaign can make a difference, because it has the golden touch that online marketing sometimes lacks.

Senate approves 3 new PRC commissioners

The Postal Regulatory Commission filled its two open commissioners’ offices yesterday when the Senate approved the appointments of Tony Hammond and Nanci Langley. The two are ex-commissioners whose terms had expired in 2013. The U.S. Postal Service, meanwhile, still seeks to fill five vacancies on its nine-member board of governors.

QR codes can make your direct mail more effective

Direct mail is an effective way to reach prospects and customers. But, we have to admit that both customers and prospects are becoming more mobile, and therefore digital content is becoming more important. QR codes are simple 2-D barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone or tablet to create a bridge between direct mail and digital content. To be effective, QR codes need to be easy to scan, so make sure that you leave room for the barcode.

5 top catalog FAQs

Susan J. McIntyre writes, “The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below are real questions I’ve been asked over and over through the years. I’m not making these up. If you get asked these questions too, here are quick and simple answers you can use.”

Only 4 days left to save $150 off of your full registration!

This offer ends this Friday, Dec. 19!

Don’t miss out on savings for what is shaping up to be a rich and informative event in a great location in 2015.

If you register before Dec. 19, 2014,
you are eligible to receive an additional $150 off of the already reduced price of an early Full Registration. To take advantage of this “Special Early Bird” discount, during the second step of registration check the box labeled “I have a different discount code” and enter the code EB2015 in the space provided (this early bird registration is non-refundable).

If you are in the Business of Mail, you should not miss this opportunity to learn from USPS Executives and Industry Professionals about the future of mailing and the thriving industry that has grown around it.


2015 will see the comeback of direct mail

Isn’t it always the way? Wait long enough and even the most unfashionable things will eventually be back on trend. From the comeback of flares during the 90’s, double demin, which made a return in the last few years, and most recently bushy brows led by Cara Delevigne. This is also true when it comes to outdated marketing channels. Direct mail being the most relevant.

Here’s why retailers keep sending you catalogs

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps. Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There’s a good chance you’ll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it’s the holiday season.

You better watch out: Mail center security

Ben Franklin said, “Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge.” Security in your mail center is always important, and the holiday season is no exception. Increased volumes in packages, a festive atmosphere and planned celebrations can lead to a lax attitude. Managers must take a proactive approach towards security and awareness.

Labeling List Changes

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced changes to the Labeling List data, effective January 1, 2015, with a mandatory use date of February 1, 2015. The Labeling Lists affected are L001, L002, L003, L006, L007, L008, L012, L201, L606, L607, and L801.

The Labeling Lists are located on the Postal Explorer web site under the Additional Links tab.

Use of Labeling List Data
The Labeling List data is used to define the specific destination information to be printed on sack labels, tray labels, and pallet labels. This destination information is used to route the mail inside the sacks, trays and pallets to the correct postal facility for processing. The destination information is based primarily on 3-digit ZIP Code prefix, and varies based on the class of mail, processing category, and other criteria. Virtually all container labels are generated using computer software, which accesses this Labeling List data in a file format, operating much like a look-up table.

Why the changes?
There are many reasons why the USPS makes changes to the Labeling List data. Recently, many of the changes are being made as a result of their efforts to consolidate processing facilities to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Changes also take place when the USPS makes alterations to the service areas for certain processing facilities, which can be the result of shifts in population, mail volumes, staffing and many other reasons. Keep in mind that approximately 12% of the US population moves each year and there are about 1,800 new delivery addresses added each day. So, there are lots of ZIP Code changes happening all the time!

Time for change
The USPS provides for a transition period when these changes are announced, to allow software vendors time to update their software and for mailers to use up existing labels. During this period, the USPS encourages mailers to use the new Labeling List data as soon as possible, but it is acceptable to use the old Labeling List data until the mandatory date. In the case of this most recent update, the mandatory date is February 1, 2015.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to work with their software vendors and mail service providers to make sure that the changes are implemented on a timely basis. This is critical so that the correct destination information is populated into the Mail.dat® files, or any other files or printed documents that are used to process or submit postage statements (and other postal documentation) and to create sack, tray, and pallet labels. Keep in mind that the Labeling List changes involve not just the facility names, but the ZIP codes associated with those facilities. This affects the destination line on the tags and the mailpieces that are placed into the sacks, trays, and pallets. As such, these changes MUST be incorporated into the presort software first; if the data is incorrect during this process (and thus incorrect in the Mail.dat files), it cannot be corrected in Post-Presort software, such as DAT-MAIL™.

Automatic Postal Data Updates System
Window Book makes these updates easy for our clients by providing an automated method to update the Labeling List information into your Post-presort software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for Labeling List updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you! You can just set it and forget it!