When I started in direct marketing, a meeting with the United States Postal Service (USPS) wasn’t high on my list of things to do. It was often a painful discussion between a creative agency trying to think outside of the box and a postal rep trying to push them back into said box, seal it and double wrap it with cellophane tape. The result was more often than not a relationship further strained by the inability to find a creative solution that satisfied both parties.
But times have changed – in a big way. The USPS has evolved in recent years to not only be a great marketing partner, but a proactive ally for both agencies and businesses. Here’s just a few examples of how they can help.
- Educational Content: USPS Delivers® is a great place for a wide range of articles. While many of them focus on traditional direct mail, they’ve also showcased their awareness of how mail can partner with many other forms of media including email and AI.
- Informed Delivery (ID): ID is an easy-to-use tool that allows consumers to digitally preview the mail being delivered to their homes. The USPS is projecting growth from 20M users in 2019 to over 40M by the end of this year, due in part to required sign up on change-of-address or mail hold request forms. This is great news for businesses who can now provide digital impressions to individuals they may not have previously been able to reach – for free!! There’s a wealth of information on their website, including statistics, FAQs and a video overview of how it all works.
- Promotions: The USPS is actively encouraging increased use of the mail through a series of promotional opportunities. Recognizing that direct mail is no longer a standalone marketing vehicle, their promotions include a multi-sensory campaign (using visual, sound, tactile and scent applications), an advanced technology campaign (encompassing elements like AR/VR or Video in Print) and an Informed Delivery promotion. Businesses can sign up online or through their printers to earn a 2% discount on eligible mailings.
My recent interactions with our USPS representatives were not only beneficial and informative – they were actually fun. They’re excited to help grow their business and yours and have thrown the cellophane tape away. If you’d like more information, give us a call and we’ll work with our reps to deliver a direct mail promotion that exceeds your expectations.