Intelligent Mail: USPS' Tom Day Answers Your Questions
On Feb. 23, DirectMarketingIQ hosted a webinar entitled Save $ and Gain Efficiency with Full-Service Intelligent Mail. For this information-packed event, I was lucky to have on hand the premier expert on Intelligent Mail, Tom Day, senior vice president of Intelligent Mail and address quality, U.S. Postal Service, as well as David Henkel, the president of Johnson & Quin, a direct mail print services providers that recently became fully IMB (Intelligent Mail barcode) compliant.
Afterward, listeners flooded me with questions—too many to answer in the allotted time period. Hence, here are some of the pertinent questions that you—if you're part of a business that is considering going IMB soonish—may have asked, and the authority, Day, was happy to answer.
If/when will businesses be required to move to full-service IMB? Or would we be able to indefinitely stay with basic service?
Day: At this time the Postal Service has indicated that mailers will be required to use the Intelligent Mail barcode on automation mail pieces by 2011, which is the basic option. There is no requirement for migrating to full-service at this time.
Is there a postage increase planned for 2011 (for First-Class and Standard mail)?
Day: While it is too early to discuss plans for 2011, the Postal Service has committed to not increasing prices for market dominant products (including First-Class mail and Standard mail) in calendar year 2010.
Is there an approval process to switch to basic IMB?
Day: Mailers should work with their business mail acceptance personnel to ensure their basic Intelligent Mail barcodes meet USPS specifications.
What processes were automated? Creating sequence numbers, for example?
Day: Full-service mailings require electronic documentation and unique barcodes on mail pieces, trays and sacks, and containers. Mailers should work with their software providers to determine the capabilities to generate electronic mailing documentation for submission to the Postal Service and unique barcoding schemas for the mail pieces, trays and containers.