Postal

BREAKING NEWS: Postal Reform Passage Imminent?
December 8, 2006

Eleven years in the making, and written off as dead and buried just a few weeks ago, a new postal reform bill is expected to be passed through the House and Senate possibly by the end of Friday — if not, Saturday. The House on Dec. 7 introduced H.R. 6407, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Once approved by both chambers of Congress, sources say that President Bush will sign the bill into law. The new bill has all the elements that the White House has been demanding. In brief, what this means to catalogers is as follows: * Future postal rate hikes will be

Six Ways to Keep the Yikes! Out of the Postal Rate Hike
December 6, 2006

With the sting of one postal rate increase in recent memory and another looming on the horizon, the mailstream can be a pretty expensive place to do business. But the upcoming postal rate hike does not have to be as painful as it looks—if you take the time to explore the many ways you can trim costs from your direct mail program, particularly by taking advantage of the many workshare and automation discounts the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has, or will have with this new rate case, in place. Here’s a look at just a few of the tactics you can try. • Scrub those

The Great Postage Debate: Can it Really Pack a Punch?
December 1, 2006

Oh, the plight of poor, misunderstood postage. You certainly can’t send mail without it. In truth, an outer envelope looks rather bare with an empty upper-right-hand corner; yet, mailers seem to harbor mixed feelings over just how neutral this territory actually is. One camp regards postage as nothing more than an expenditure, perhaps part of a tertiary round of testing (at best) reserved for only the largest mailers with equally large budgets. Others raise postage out of the confines of inconsequence and deem it an integral part of creative development. Caroline Zimmermann, president and CEO of The Zimmermann Agency, even goes so far

Direct Marketing Association’s Peter Johnson on the Year Ahead in Direct Marketing
October 25, 2006

Direct marketers, like everyone else in the business world, fret about and second guess the decisions they made yesterday, and lie awake at night worried about the decisions to be made tomorrow. While such is the nature of the game, marketers can take heart that there’s someone else burning the midnight oil: Peter Johnson, a Ph.D. economist and the Direct Marketing Association’s vice president of research and market intelligence. Johnson keeps late hours analyzing data, crunching numbers and checking his crystal ball, all in an effort to give direct marketers an accurate picture of what happened last quarter, or last year, and of what’s

Custom Postage Goes Commercial
October 1, 2006

In mid-2004, the U.S. Postal Service ran a seven-week market test of custom postage for consumers; the success of that initiative led it to relaunch the program in May 2005 as a longer-term trial. This year, the Postal Service gave its stamp of approval to a one-year test of custom First Class, Priority and Express postage for commercial efforts. According to Nick Barranca, vice president of product development for the Postal Service, this commercial application came about due to the recent amendment of a Civil War-era law that prohibited commercial messages from being used on any obligation of the federal government. The law was

The New Vanguard
September 9, 2006

Every industry has its luminaries—pioneers whose names become synonymous with the techniques or products they developed. Ed Burnett, Ralph Lane Polk II, Richard Benson, John Caples, Leon L. Bean, Lillian Vernon, Jeff Bezos and, of course, Lester Wunderman come to mind. But not every trailblazer operates in the white-hot spotlight. Many conduct brilliant work day after day for their companies in relative anonymity. That is, until Target Marketing decided to nose around and find those professionals who are setting new standards for direct marketing performance. With the help of our Editorial Advisory Board and other key industry figures, we’ve selected eight exceptional direct marketers who

Keeping Down the Cost of Delivery
September 1, 2006

Challenge: Decrease cost and improve efficiency of delivery options Solution: Adopt a new postal delivery system for packages of one pound or less Result: Operational improvements and approximately 35 percent net savings on overall delivery expenses Cost-efficient, timely product delivery is at the heart of any successful mailer’s operation. Empi-Compex Technologies, a division of orthopedic device marketer Encore Medical, is no exception. The New Brighton, Minn.-based pain management and rehabilitation products marketer wanted to lower the cost of shipping its medical devices, particularly those weighing one pound or less. These lighter weight products make up approximately 42 percent of all packages sent by the company, and more

MTAC’s Donald Harle on Postal Matters
August 9, 2006

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

Postal Matters: 5-minute Interview with MTAC’s Donald Harle
August 1, 2006

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

Prepare for the Postal Rate Hike
June 28, 2006

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