The rate case proposed in May by the U.S. Postal Service is full of complexities, extending beyond a rate increase to include changes to classifications, definitions, discounts and preparation rules. Between all these adjustments and the ever-looming possibility of postal reform, mailers are faced with only a vague idea of what their postal costs will look like come spring 2007, when the new rate case is slated to go into effect. To help mailers get a handle on what all of these mail modifications may mean for them, Target Marketing reached out to postal expert Donald Harle, who currently serves as industry vice chair of
How are you planning to deal with 2007’s postal rate increase? If you aren’t already thinking about your preparations, you should be, advises David Colatriano, senior vice president and general manager of direct marketing and premedia for Baltimore, Md.-based direct marketing consulting company Vertis. “My primary piece of advice is don’t wait,” asserts Colatriano. “Start to explore how you are executing your mailings right now, and work with your partners on ways to update the formats or evaluate the current mailing plan to look for opportunities to bring more efficiencies. They’re very complicated regulations, but there [are] ways to minimize the cost through good
On Jan. 8, 2006, the U.S. Postal Service implemented a postal rate increase of approximately 5.4 percent for Standard Mail and 3 percent for Nonprofit Standard Mail. It’s the first increase since 2002, and was established to fulfill the requirement of a federal law passed in 2003 that commands the Postal Service to establish a $3.1 billion escrow account, with use of the funds to be determined by Congress at a later date. Christopher Cleghorn, executive vice president, direct and interactive marketing for Chicago-based nonprofit Easter Seals, spoke with Target Marketing on how the increase may affect his organization’s direct mail efforts. Target Marketing: What is
The new year is a good time to review your direct mail efforts and look for opportunities to get more from your investment. Whenever you're paying for postage, you want your mail piece to work as hard as possible to achieve your marketing goals. With that in mind, here are 15 suggestions to help you maximize your direct mail investment in 2006.
Postage can do more than just get your mail delivered. Your mailbox tells the story. Most direct mail bears ho-hum, routine-looking postage, whether it’s a stamp, metered postage or a preprinted indicia. Sure, it does its job. It gets the mail piece delivered. But if you’re the direct marketer paying for the postage, you also should consider how to make your postage investment work harder to: - make your mail piece stand out from the rest of the stack; - make it look important and valuable enough to get past the mail screener; and - get it opened and read, instead of
Have you ever seen a Web site sign-up form with separate boxes to enter city, state and ZIP code, but only a single line for address? The Web designer made things simple and fast for the visitor. Unfortunately, the marketer is then left with an unusable address. Historically, businesses have compartmentalized for efficiency. And this is one reason why database marketing isn’t easy. Unless you can control the focus, another department’s objective may become your problem. The value of your database rests on small things. Many of your larger purposes will depend on how well your addresses can be matched up to external data.
Users of First-Class mail who have not yet complied with U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Move Update rules are feeling the sting. Earlier this year, the agency began reclaiming postage discounts from marketers who have not run their lists through National Change of Address (NCOA), Fastforward or Address Correction Service (ACS). "It has become a huge financial burden for the USPS to deal with undeliverables," says Gary Van Roekel, vice president of sales and marketing for Melissa Data, a postal automation software provider. To maximize postal savings, Van Roekel recommends marketers take advantage of the benefits of Move Update features: NCOA: The file contains