USPS Seriously Considers Another 'Summer Sale'
If you are an ACMA member, you are well aware that the USPS is anticipating launching a 2010 version of the “Summer Sale.” You have been following the updates through emails, conference calls and the member side of the ACMA website postings (www.CatalogMailers.org) so the rest of this will be no surprise to you.
The latest news is that a USPS filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission for this incentive is expected at the end of this month or early next month. This coming incentive is very similar to the prior one. Here is what the program looks like right now:
- Incentive period: July 1 to Sept. 30, 2010
- Products: All Standard Mail (SM) letters and flats
- Control months: June and October
- Rebate amount: 30% off applicable rate above baseline
- Baseline: Same Period Last Year (SPLY) + 5% (i.e. 105% of what you actually mailed in the July to Sept. 2009 period)
- Control: Downward adjustment if June or Oct volume are below baseline (prevents shifting of volume into incentive period)
- Qualification: Customers must have mailed more than 350,000 SM pieces in the baseline period of July 1 to Sept. 30, 2009. This covers approximately 3,525 customers or 67% of SM. Mail Service Providers (the printers and preparers that physically execute your mail and give it to the USPS) are not eligible to aggregate volume on behalf of their customers.
The fine print is expected largely to be the same as in the past. Note that this is not official yet. The USPS must sign off and submit the program to the PRC then the postal regulators must approve it before it is definite. But ACMA is now handicapping this as 85% likely.
In the interest of brevity, we won’t cover all the issues or our perspective on this plan. ACMA has been very active on these issues for more than a year. We are continuing our work with the USPS on developing a permanent incentive structure that can be put in place. That is a much better solution for both catalogers and the USPS than a temporary incentive program that may or may not occur.
If you are not a member of ACMA, not only were you not aware of all these details until a public announcement was made today, but you are also failing to have your company’s needs represented in the work. Also, since ACMA still does not have the appropriate level of resources needed to make all of this happen on your behalf accurately and quickly, all catalogers are suffering. Please do your part to change that!
Quick industry remainder: May 2011 is the deadline for having a valid Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) on all your mail pieces to qualify for automation discounts. POSTNET codes will not qualify after this date. More information on these and other topics will be posted shortly on the member side of the ACMA site (www.catalogmailers.org).