5 Great Ways to Save Money: USPS Promotions for 2016

Did you know the US Postal Service rewards mailers for using the mail in innovative ways? You could save some money this year, but the savings aren’t automatic. You have to apply in advance.

For the past several years the USPS has run promotions offering extra discounts on mail that meet certain criteria. The Postal Service applies these discounts in addition to the workshare postage reductions normally earned by commercial mailers generating presorted mail.

The Postal Service wants mailers to use new print techniques, personalization, and connections with digital technology to generate excitement about the mail. Making mail more valuable and relevant is good for mailers and the USPS. Mailers can save 2% or more on postage for qualifying mail deposited during the promotional period. Four of the five 2016 programs feature upfront discounts – you realize your savings immediately.

2016 US Postal Service Promotions

FIRST CLASS: Earned Value Reply Mail (Apr – Jun)

Anticipated Registration Dates: Feb 15 – Mar 31

To encourage using mail as a primary response channel, First Class mailers using business reply (BRM) or courtesy reply (CRM) envelopes will receive a 2-cent postage credit for each mailpiece returned during the promotion. Mailers who participated in this promotion in 2015 and meet certain volume requirements will receive an additional 1-cent per piece credit. Of course the return envelopes must bear a valid Intelligent Mail barcode identifying the mailer. If you are already using BRM/CRM envelopes, you can take advantage of these savings without changing your mail or procedures!


FIRST CLASS: Personalized Color Transpromo (Jul – Dec)

Anticipated Registration Dates: Jun 15 – Dec 31

Including dynamic/variable color messaging on bills and statements will earn mailers an upfront 2% postage discount. The goal for the promotion is to establish a greater connection with customers and improve response rates. The USPS believes higher-value First Class mail will retain more of the transactional mail volume that has been migrating to digital delivery. If you are sending transactional documents today, ask us how to add color messaging to your existing designs.


FIRST CLASS & STANDARD MAIL: Emerging Technology /Video in Print (Mar – Aug)

Anticipated Registration Dates: Jan 15 – Aug 31

The USPS has run emerging technology promotions in the past. The 2016 program offers a 2% upfront postage discount on mailpieces using near field communications (NFC), advanced augmented reality (AR), or interactive video. Connecting physical mailpieces to mobile technologies is a way to better engage with customers – especially those who rely heavily on their mobile devices for most of their communications needs.


STANDARD MAIL: Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Mailpiece Engagement (Mar – Aug)

Anticipated Registration Dates: Jan 15 – Aug 31

Innovative use of specialty inks, papers, folds, or dimensional mail increase customer interest and engagement. Registered mailers using these techniques will qualify for a 2% upfront postage discount.


STANDARD MAIL: Mobile Shopping (Jul – Dec )

Anticipated Registration Dates: May 15 – Dec 31

Technologies such as quick response (QR) codes, Snap Tags, or other advanced technologies can send buyers from a mailpiece directly to a shopping app or web site. Included eligible locations in this year’s Mobile Shopping promotion are “Buy Now” buttons for social media. Combining the visibility and response rates of direct mail and easy mobile shopping is the objective of this promotion which comes with a 2% upfront postage discount.

All these USPS promotional programs have strict qualification guidelines. Contact the mailing experts at Earthcolor for more detailed information. Once the PRC approves the 2016 Promotions, the USPS should post the information at https://www.usps.com/business/promotions-incentives.htm

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