Submitting eDoc for USPS Promotions
As we have mentioned in previous e-Tips, most of the USPS® Promotions and Incentives programs require mailings be submitted to the USPS electronically using the PostalOne!® system. However, we often get questions from mailers regarding what specific data needs to be in the Mail.dat® files to claim these incentives and how to troubleshoot issues when submitting these files to PostalOne!
Promotion and Incentive Eligibility
The first thing that Mail Owners and Mail Service Providers (MSPs) need to do is to become familiar with the eligibility and enrollment requirements for the various promotions and incentive programs. The requirements are different for each program, so it is important to access the requirements guide for each individual program.
Eligibility may be dependent on the class of mail, processing category, Full-Service participation, postage payment method, previous mail volumes, and many other variables – not to mention the content of the mailpieces themselves.
Registration and Enrollment
All of these promotions and incentive programs require registration or enrollment with the USPS. In some cases, both the Mail Owner AND the Mail Service Provider need to register. There are defined periods of time for the registration and enrollment for each incentive program.The registration and enrollment process may require identification of the mail owner Customer Registration Identification Number (CRID), Mailer Identification Number (MID), permit, mail volume, or other pertinent information. Again, mailers should consult the individual program guides for complete details.
Populating the Mail.dat files
Mailers need to insure that the Mail.dat files for mailings participating in these programs are generated using the applicable classes of mail and processing categories, and also meet any additional requirements such as automation, presort, or Full-Service participation. A critical element that must be correctly populated in the Mail.dat file is the Component Characteristic Record (CCR) file. This file must be included in the Mail.dat file and be populated with the correct incentive/promotion code. If there are multiple mailpiece components in the file, all applicable components must be properly identified with the incentive/promotion code.
The “By/For” information must also be correctly populated in the Mail.dat file. Most promotions and incentive programs require that the Mail Owner and the Mail Preparer be identified with the CRIDs provided during the registration/enrollment process, as well as the correct permit information. Another critical data component is the postage statement mailing date because only mailings submitted during the period the promotion or incentive is offered are eligible for the discounts or rebates.
Submitting files to PostalOne!
Unfortunately, most of the promotion and incentive discounts are not visible in mailing jobs on the PostalOne! dashboard until after the postage statements are finalized by the USPS. Likewise, these discounts are also not visible on the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) portion of PostalOne! This major drawback can make it extremely difficult for mailers to know if they have submitted their eDoc correctly until it is too late. If you submit files that you feel were populated correctly and the mailing meets all the eligibility requirements, the mail owner and mail service provider
enrollment/registrations have been completed, but the discounts are NOT given on the finalized postage statements, you will need to submit a help desk ticket to PostalOne!. Make sure you include the Mail.dat file that was submitted to PostalOne! and a screen shot of the PostalOne! postage statement. Be advised, once statements have been finalized on PostalOne!, only PostalOne! can cancel these statements, so if it is determined that you can make Mail.dat file corrections and resubmit the mailing job, PostalOne! will need to cancel the incorrect statements first.
Window Book is here to help
Window Book’s industry-leading post-presort solution, DAT-MAIL, can help you take advantage of these USPS incentive promotions. DAT-MAIL allows users to easily insert a CCR record into the Mail.dat file if one was not generated during the presort process. Users can also very easily edit the incentive codes in the CCR file, the “By/For” information in the Mail.dat file, as well as the postage statement mailing dates. To schedule a free Mailing Optimization Analysis, visit www.windowbook.com/4you.
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