For all of you who depend upon direct mail as one of your marketing channels, be aware that there are new postal regulations coming from the United States Postal Service. The USPS is under tremendous pressure to cut costs, boost efficiency and identify new sources of revenue. This pressure is also the catalyst for these new regulations. Here are some of the changes you need to know about:
- Closing of 229 USPS processing facilities. Here in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, we were thrilled when our Bulk Mail Entry Unit was one of those that was announced to remain open. If the decision had been to close it, we would have lost postal discounts or been forced to truck our mail to other BMEUs, thereby increasing costs, which we likely could not pass on to our clients. The USPS has announced that no closings will occur during September-December to avoid disruption in the holiday mailing schedules.
- The POSTNET Barcode will be discontinued starting January 27, 2013. To be able to obtain automation discounts, mailers will need to use the Intelligent Mail Barcode
- Self-Mailers will have new requirements for length, height, thickness, minimum paper weight, maximum weight, shape, maximum number of panels, closure methods and folds. For the full list of regulations, visit http://ribbs.usps.gov/fsm.
- The USPS is offering marketers a way to make their mail more effective by allowing logos, trademarks and brand images to be included in the indecia. However, there will be a surcharge of .01 per piece for First Class Mail and .02 per piece for Standard Mail.
- Only non-perforated wafer seals and tabs will be acceptable. If you elect to use glue dots or strips, there are placement requirements that must be met.
These are just a few of the changes that will affect mailers. So, before designing your next mail piece, be sure to talk to your mail provider for full details on the requirements that must be met to obtain the best postal discounts. We hope this brief update has been helpful and will assist you in putting your direct mail ideas in motion. www.multi-craft.com