Archive of posts filed under the USPS News category.

Forever stamp celebrates Lunar New Year

NEW YORK CITY — The U.S. Postal Service rang in the Lunar New Year by issuing the Year of the Monkey Forever stamp today.

Richard Allen honored with Forever stamp

PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Postal Service today kicked off the national observance of Black History Month with the dedication of a Forever stamp honoring preacher, activist and civic leader Richard Allen for his inspirational life and profound contribution to American history. The ceremony was held at Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded by Allen.

Beautiful flowers decorate Forever stamps

ATLANTA — The U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of beautiful floral-themed stamps by dedicating the Botanical Art Forever stamps featuring vintage illustrations taken from 19th- and early 20th-century plant and seed catalogs.

Don’t Forget: USPS® Price Changes Take Effect This Weekend!

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved all of the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) proposed price increases. The implementation date for these approved prices is January 17, 2016.

Again – the final implementation date for these price changes is January 17, 2016. That’s this Sunday! 3 days from today!

Overall Changes
The new prices are available in Excel and .csv format on the Postal Explorer web site. The draft postage statements are also available on the same web site. Please note that this price change does not impact all mailing classes, so for some mailings the new January 2016 postage statements will be required, whereas for other mailings, the current May 2015 postage statements may still be used.

Software Updates
If you have not already done so, mailers will need to update their mailing and shipping software to accommodate these new prices. There is no new Mail.dat® file format specification version associated with this price change. Here is what will be supported as of January 17th:

January 17, 2016

  • USPS will support Mail.dat 14-2 Errata versions 14.2.1.8 and 15-1 Errata 15.1.0.4
  • USPS will continue to support all Mail.dat 14-2, errata versions including 14.2.1.8
  • USPS will continue to support all Mail.dat 15-1, errata versions including 15.1.0.4

As a reminder – there was a mandatory PostalOne! update on January 3, 2016, which means that if you are a mailer who submits eDoc, you should have downloaded and installed the new USPS MD Client software on the 3rd.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PostalOne! will be releasing a patch to the MD Client software on Sunday, January 17, 2016. This patch is to correct issues with Mail Anywhere submissions, so if you submit Mail Anywhere mailings, you will need to download and install this patch. This is not a mandatory update, so non-impacted mailers are not required to download and install this patch, but are encouraged to do so.

 

2016 Love Stamp showcases stunning three-dimensional artwork

DALLAS — Love takes to the air tomorrow from Dallas Love Field with the dedication of the Quilled Paper Heart Forever stamps as the 44th inductee into the Postal Service’s Love stamp series.

Don’t Forget! PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The USPS is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne!® production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, January 3, 2016. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available on Sunday morning January 3, 2016, between 12 midnight and 10 a.m. CT. PostalOne! will also be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM); that update will occur on Monday, January 4, 2016. The PostalOne! TEM environment will not be available between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT on January 4. The new Mail.dat® client download for the Production Environment will be version 42.0.0.0_PROD; all previous versions of the Mail.dat client will be expired.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Postal Service previews 2016 stamps

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is providing a preview of its 2016 stamp program that is sure to attract the interest of fans of Sarah Vaughan, Star Trek, NASA’s New Horizons mission, Trucks, Shirley Temple, flowers, soda fountain fans and the holidays — just to name a small handful.

USPS ready to deliver on busiest day

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is prepared to deliver more than 30 million packages across the United States today on the busiest delivery day of the year.

PRC Approves Promotion Programs for 2016

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) proposal for five promotional programs aimed at increasing mail volumes by offering incentives to mailers. These promotions will be available during the calendar year 2016. Way back in 2011, the first Mobile Barcode incentive was introduced by the USPS, and these successful promotions have been offered every year since then. The five promotions proposed for the calendar year 2016 are:

  1. Earned Value Promotion
  2. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion
  3. Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video In Print Promotion
  4. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion
  5. Mobile Shopping Promotion

The Promotions

The Earned Value Promotion: This program will run from April through June 2016. This promotion is available for First-Class Mail® only, and builds on the success of previous years promotions. The promotion is in the form of a credit on qualifying BRM/CRM reply pieces, which can then be applied to postage for future mailings. Details on the eligibility and enrollment for this promotion can be found in the guide posted on the USPS RIBBS web site.

The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion: This promotion will run from July through December 2016. Similar to the program in 2015, this promotion is only available for First-Class Mail. Added this year is the requirement that the color message must either address the recipient by name or contain information relevant and specific to the recipient. The USPS posted a guide on the RIBBS web site with further details on the eligibility and enrollment for this promotion.

The Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video in Print Promotion: Set to run from March through August 2016, this promotion is available for both First-Class Mail and Standard Mail®. Added this year is an A/B testing option, which allows mailers to test customer response rates to mailpieces featuring the qualifying technology compared to customer response rates to mailpieces without the qualifying technology. For more detailed information on the eligibility and enrollment requirements, mailers can visit the USPS RIBBS web site.

The Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion: This program will run from March through August 2016. The USPS recognizes that advanced print innovations are distinct from the more digitally focused technologies addressed by the Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video in Print Promotion, so this is offered as its own promotion for 2016 and is available only for Standard Mail. As with the other promotions, a detailed guide is posted on the USPS RIBBS web site.

The Mobile Shopping Promotion: This promotion will run from July through December 2016. As in prior years, this promotion encourages mailers to integrate mobile technology into their direct mail during the 2016 holiday season. This promotion is available only for Standard Mail. Visit the RIBBS web site for a detailed guide on this promotion.

The incentives
The Earned Value Promotion incentive is in the form of volume-based credits: $0.02 per BRM or CRM pieces for first-time participants or those who did not exceed their threshold; $0.03 per BRM or CRM pieces if the total number of BRM and CRM pieces exceed the total number of the mailer’s BRM and CRM pieces counted as part of the 2015 Earned Value Promotion. These credits may then be applied to future mailings of First-Class Mail presort and automation cards, letters and flats and Standard mail letters and flats.

The other promotions each have an incentive of a 2% postage discount, taken at the time of mailing. The only exception is for the A/B testing option: the 2% postage discount will be taken at the time of mailing only for the pieces that meet the eligibility criteria. Up to 10% of the pieces may have non-eligible characteristics for the A/B testing purposes; the discount for these pieces will be applied as a credit to be used for future mailings.

Resources
There is a RIBBS web page dedicated to USPS mailing promotions; this has been updated with additional details on the 2016 promotions, including the calendar shown above and guides for each individual program. This page also has a more generic guide for enrollment in promotion programs, for both mail owners and mail preparers.

Your Solution
Window Book’s software allows you to easily edit your Mail.dat® files for the applicable promotion code (2-digit Characteristic Type in the CCR file of the Mail.dat file) so that you can accurately submit eDoc for these promotional mailings to take advantage of all the benefits being offered by them.

Window Book can help you manage the promotion codes for these incentives in your mailing operation and automate your processes using our software and service solutions.

Window Book offers a free Mailing Optimization Analysis.
Call us at 1-800-524-0380 for more details or to sign up for your FREE Mailing Optimization Analysis!

Postal Service Prepared for Busiest Mailing Day of the Year

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service expects the busiest mailing day of the year for customers will be Monday, Dec. 14.