The USPS Might Just Be Onto Something - A Postage Sale!
Last week, word quickly spread that the USPS is looking to offer a "summer sale" on postage for large volume mailers of Standard mail, pending Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approval. Friends and readers, if this is true, I'd have to say that for the first time in my career in direct marketing, the people running the USPS may be thinking like businesspeople and not as a bureaucracy.
Having gotten the following details from a mailing industry source closely involved in the negotiations with the USPS, here's the major takeaway point: The idea is to reduce postage pricing for standard and letter mailers who increase their mail volumes during the third calendar quarter of 2009 (July through September).
The idea for this "mail sale" came through Mailing Industry CEO Council meetings with Postmaster General Jack Potter. Last Friday, the postmaster general convened a smaller group of CEOs from the printing and paper industries to discuss the reactions of mailers surveyed about discounted pricing for incrementally increased volumes above an established baseline. The meeting was very productive, ending with a concept on how to stimulate mail volume during off-peak times.
To qualify for the reduced postage rate, a calculation would be performed to determine the change in a mailer’s applicable USPS volume in two specific time periods, and the variance in the number of pieces mailed between Period A and Period B would be the baseline for determining the minimum required mail volume to qualify for the discount.
Again, the program would apply to all standard mailers and letter mailers of any size — even those who may already have increased their volumes.
The USPS is going to recommend a discount ranging somewhere between 20 percent and 30 percent for this program, but we won’t know the final percentage until the time of the filing. The proposed "test pricing" will be presented to the PRC within the next three weeks. The PRC then has 45 days to rule on the proposal. If it passes, the reduced rates are anticipated to be in effect July 1 through Sept. 30. It's possible, however, that these dates will change before implementation.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.