Archive for March, 2008

As more details regarding the USPS’ plans for the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) are available, it is possible to start deciding how it will effect you, and planning how to use it.

Originally, the plan was to force the mailing industry to drop the old Postnet bar code and change over to the IMB in January 2009. Even though they have adjusted their schedule, you should begin planning. There are already many benefits you may wish to take advantage of. Currently, you can continue using Postnet  until May 2010. It will still receive the base Automation discounts available with “Basic” IMB. “Full Service” IMB will receive an extra discount beginning in May 2009.

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One of the first steps you want to take when selecting a mailing list is to analyze your customer base. The idea is to find out all you can about them, and then purchase a list that has more people like them. Doesn’t it make sense to mail to the people that are exactly like your current customers?

Developing a mailing list by from your current client database is one of the best ways you can use direct mail. Even if you don’t already have the addresses, there are steps you can take to start capturing this information.

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More details of the May 12 rate increase were released today. With these announcements, the USPS continues it’s shift from a mailing service to a shipping service.

With dropping volume in letter mail, the USPS has been emphasizing their packages services in recent years. They have been particularly aggressive with flat rate Priority Mail boxes, targeted at eBay sellers, and Express Mail services. 

Two rule changes allow them to become even more competitive in the package services (shipping) market. They will now use zones to calculate the postage on  shipments that formerly had fixed prices, and they are now able to offer discounts based on mailing volume and source of sale (online shipments for example). 

Here are some of the details of the new shipping rates…

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Everyone has an off season. The question is, what are you going to do about it? 

By way of example, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the related tourism  industries are fairly close to our location. January and February are extremely down times in their market. Here, we’ll outline some of the ways we’ve developed to help businesses use Direct Mail to combat this.

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Many people are discovering, if you ship books or other materials with the USPS using Bound Printed Matter (BPM) rates, you are in an excellent position to save money on postage. Some of the ideas presented here can give you modest savings immediately, with almost no effort. Others will produce substantial savings as a reward for investing a little more time.

With the recent changes by the USPS to move to shape based rates, Bound Printed Matter is becoming more attractive to catalog mailers, who previously used Standard Mail. Even without the cost saving techniques we’ll be discussing, BPM is now a better option for anyone that mails a large catalog.

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