The USPS is constantly introducing new promotions and incentive programs to help businesses, institutions, and nonprofits generate engagement for their direct mail campaigns. In 2023, the USPS is offering six major promotional campaigns for First-Class and USPS Marketing Mail. These programs are intended to increase visibility and boost ROI for direct mailers.
What are USPS Promotions & Incentive Programs?
USPS Promotions and Incentive Programs are great opportunities for businesses to increase their direct mail open rates, boost response, and reduce spend through postage discounts. The USPS has been offering a variety of promotions since 2013, including the popular Every Door Direct Mail and Informed Delivery programs.
For 2023, the six available USPS promotional campaigns include:
- Tactile, Sensory, Interactive: The Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive (TSI) Promotion encourages businesses to excite their customers’ senses by incorporating multi-sensory experiences through visual effects, sound, scent, texture, and even taste. Dimensional treatments like pop-ups and other unique folds can be incorporated to increase mail piece interaction and drive customer engagement. This program offers a 5% discount on First-Class and Marketing Mail and runs from February 1 – July 31, 2024.
- Personalized Color Transpromo: The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion is designed for mail pieces communicating bill, statement, or account summary content and encourages mailers to highlight marketing messages through the use of color, dynamic variable print, and personalization. By incorporating a reply mechanism (BRM/CRM) to increase customer engagement, mail pieces will be eligible for an additional promotional discount. This program offers discounts from 3-4% on First-Class Mail presort and automation letters and runs from February 1 – July 31, 2024.
- Emerging Technology: The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion encourages organizations to incorporate the latest technologies to communicate their message in unexpected ways that let their customers watch, listen, or speak with their mailer. Qualifying technologies include Augmented Reality, Integration with Voice Assistant, Mobile Shopping, Video-in-Print, Near Field Communication (NFC), Mixed Reality, and Virtual Reality. This program offers discounts between 3-4% on all eligible First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, and Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail and runs from May 1 – November 30, 2024.
- Reply Mail IMbA: The Reply Mail IMbA Promotion enables businesses to improve mail piece visibility and delivery speed by adopting Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting (IMbA), Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM), and High Volume QBRM. By incorporating static and serialized barcodes, businesses can reduce processing times and receive customer responses efficiently. This program offers discounts of 3% for static barcodes and 6% for serialized barcodes on all eligible single-piece, First-Class Business Reply Mail letters and cards, running from May 15 – December 31, 2024.
- Informed Delivery: Back by popular demand, the Informed Delivery Promotion enables organizations to deliver a multi-channel experience to households where consumers can sign up to track and receive a digital preview of their household’s mail. Informed Delivery allows business mailers to engage users through an integrated mail and digital marketing campaign which is a proven way to maximize the ROI of direct mail. To be eligible for the promotion, mailers must pair a digital Ride-Along Image with a strong call-to-action (CTA) and a Representative Image to provide recipients with a full-color preview of the incoming mail piece. This program offers a 4% discount on all eligible First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, and Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail and runs from August 1 – December 31, 2024.
- Retargeting: New for 2023, the Retargeting Program encourages businesses to send personalized First-Class Mail postcards to recent website or app visitors that didn’t convert. Bringing the concept of digital retargeting to the mailbox, businesses can stand out with in-home messaging that avoids the clutter of digital advertising. Retargeting campaigns are triggered automatically to be sent out based on the interest a business’s customers show online and are dynamically printed with targeted messaging encouraging those customers to reengage with the brand. This program offers a 5% discount on First-Class Mail Postcards and runs from September 1 – November 30, 2024.
What is the USPS Promotion Approval Process?
If you are interested in an eligible USPS Promotions & Incentive Program, you must apply for the promotion to the USPS before the program start date. For some promotions, applications must be approved by the USPS before the mail date. The USPS will then review the application and determine eligibility. Once the promotion is approved, you will receive a letter or certificate from the USPS.
It is important to note that only one promotional discount can be applied per mailing. While incorporating multiple qualifying promotional techniques on a single mailing might increase your direct mail response rates, it will not increase the discount amount.
Tips for Getting Started
If reading through USPS documentation isn’t your forte, that’s okay. Prisma is here to help. We offer a full spectrum of direct mail marketing services in a streamlined approach. You can count on our expertise and knowledge of postal promotions and regulations to avoid delays and eliminate unexpected costs for a seamless campaign.
Before you start to plan the use of USPS promotional discounts, make sure you have established clear and specific goals for your direct mail campaign. After you have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish with your mailing, craft your message and create a call to action. Once complete, you are ready to create your direct mail piece and start considering how you will incorporate a USPS promotional discount offering.
Are you driving an audience to an event? Bring the event experience to your mailing with the Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive promotional offering. Are you selling a product online? Incorporate the Emerging Technologies promotion utilizing Mobile Shopping.
Whatever your goals are, there is a USPS promotional offering available to help you save money on postage and even more importantly, help your organization increase your direct mail ROI.