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Catalogs, after years of decline, are revamped for changing times

In this digital age when filling a shopping cart requires little more than clicking on a screen, the printed retail catalog keeps vying for a place on the coffee table. From Anthropologie to American Girl, Pottery Barn to Patagonia, retailers are still relying on direct mail even as they spend considerable resources on improving their websites to accommodate the steady increase in online shopping.

White House backs major postal overhaul

From March 12, 2014: President Obama renewed his longstanding call to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service in his fiscal 2015 budget, saying the agency must be reformed to ensure its future viability. Obama recommended restructuring the Postal Service’s requirement to prefund the health care of retirees. His plan would defer the fixed payments due in 2014, and part of the payments due in the two years after that. Those payments would then be restructured into a 40-year amortization schedule starting in 2017. The proposal would provide more than $9 billion in relief to U.S. Postal Service through 2016.

The Postal Service emerges as shipping powerhouse for small businesses

Harry Whitehouse writes, “The other week I was reading an article about how shipping carriers fared over the holidays. FedEx and United Parcel Service were mentioned, but noticeably absent was the U.S. Postal Service. As someone who works closely with the U.S. Postal Service and developed technology to print its shipping labels from home, this baffled me. The postal service delivered 524 million packages in December (an 18 percent increase over 2013) versus UPS and FedEx’s projected 585 million and 290 million respectively. (The latter two companies haven’t released their figures yet.)”

Why creative direct mail ticks all the boxes

Thinking a little more creatively will add that vital spark to the performance of your direct mail campaign. This quick checklist shows you how.

Numbers never lie – using empirical creativity to drive direct mail results

Consistency is at the core of any successful direct mail campaign. Part 2 of our series based on the book Great By Choice, looked at how fanatic discipline=consistency and why it is so important in direct marketing. Today, we continue our series with a look at how using empirical creativity drives direct mail results.

You too, can make your own envelopes

Mike Porter writes, “I ran across an article on the internet a couple of weeks ago. At first I thought it was a joke, but the author was serious. He provided step-by-step directions on how to make a business-size envelope using your inkjet printer and Google Docs. There were eight or ten steps. The process involved cutting, scoring, folding, and glue.”

The 2015 National Postal Forum promotional catalog is now available online!

The full color National Postal Forum promotional catalog will be hitting the mailstream just days from now. In the mean time, take a sneak peek online at what the mailing industry’s premier conference has in store for 2015!

Including:

  • NPF Solutions Theater
  • Technology Tuesday General Session
  • Mailpiece Design Professional Course
  • Over 135+ educational workshops

And much, much more!

IMpb codes now required for commercial package pricing

The day has come that the U.S. Postal Service requires all parcels to bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) to qualify for Commercial Based Pricing, the most favorable pricing structure for packages. Small- and medium-sized business shippers will realize two main benefits from doing so, according to Pitney Bowes: better visibility and tracking for parcels and avoidance of a possible rate increase for those not following suit.

The 3 pillars of customer lifetime value

These are odd times. As several traditional publishers continue to fold pricey magazines under the weight of the digital revolution, print magazines become a luxury item. Music sales—digital or otherwise—continue to decline, yet vinyl sales were up more than 50 percent in 2014, marking the record configuration’s seventh straight year of growth. Marketers have a similarly dichotomous relationship with direct mail.

5 tips for effective multichannel campaigns

Your audience is in more than one place—you need to be too. multichannel marketing means reaching your audience across more than one channel. A good multichannel campaign could be the key to your marketing success. Customers these days rarely communicate with any brand through one channel alone. These tips will help you craft your multichannel marketing campaign to not only include the latest digital channels, but also direct mail.