Charley Howard

When your editor makes a decision to defend you in the comments section below a feature article, then the article must have hit a nerve! I talked to several mailers, and association leaders who represent them, in a feature this month in the magazine ... as I should: mailers have a lot to say about goings-on at the Postal Service

October 1 marked the New Year—that is, the 2014 fiscal year of the U.S. Postal Service. But it's the same old (sad) song, delivered by a dysfunctional Congress. Thanks to our elected Senators and Representatives, we not only have to endure not just another year of postponed reforms, but also an exigent rate case on top of a regular Consumer Price Index-capped rate hike slated for January.

As direct marketers, we're closely watching the changes at the United States Postal Service. Discussions about full-service requirements, the consolidation of facilities, elimination of Saturday delivery, proposed exigent rate increases on top of the annual CPI-capped increases, and the ongoing battle over postal reform continue. The decisions made on these issues will have a lasting impact on mailers.

There are many sources of pressure to reduce or minimize the cost of postage in hardcopy mailings with commensurate hurdles at every turn. Over the years, postage has been mitigated with workshare discounts that depend on mailing list density, file hygiene, currency of the mailing list and mailpiece shape and design. As the USPS attempts to remove unnecessary costs and employ automation to the max, mailing requirements increase—such as heavier more expensive paper, more tabs or glue, and other creative and preparation demands that can increase costs. So where is the next realm of postal efficiency and savings going to come from?

In a recent post, I addressed the issue of undeliverable as addressed (UAA) mail, and how brands, businesses and other mailers lose more than $1 billion a year by not getting their mail addressed properly. It's a solvable problem. Both the USPS and the DMA have made public commitments to reduce UAA as an industry goal, both of which would help marketers and their bottom lines. Progress toward UAA reduction, however, has not been uniform.

"Too many advertisers are leaving money on the table," says Charley Howard, VP of Postal Affairs at Harte-Hanks, "overlooking critical discounts and incentives, and not planning and tracking their mail precisely." This webinar, featuring Howard alongside the VP of Domestic Products for the USPS, Gary Reblin, will give an up-to-date insider's look at the U.S. Postal Service's discounts and programs.

With DirectMarketingIQ Chief Content Officer Ethan Boldt, we'll identify current USPS discounts and programs that companies are eligible for, including the summer promotion involving mail and QR codes for mobile marketing tie-in.

Attendees can also expect to learn the following:
-The formats and techniques that cost $ vs. save $ for the printer and mailing company
-The amount of work, details and time that's required to fulfill the requirements of each of these discounts/programs
-Case study examples of mail campaigns that took advantage of each of these discounts
-The kind of programs that the USPS is likely to launch in the future

Click here to view this webinar today!

Couldn't make it on May 22nd? No problem! All Target Marketing Group webinars are archived for 90 days after the live event. Click above to register and get access to this webinar on-demand.

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