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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

6 USPS Promotions to Take Advantage of in 2019

USPS Promotions to Try in 2019
Credit: Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock

While it sounds old-fashioned, direct mail marketing is still a viable way to reach new and existing customers. In 2016, 100.7 million U.S. adults purchased a product or service from a catalog. Direct mail response rates vary between 3 and 5 percent, depending on the type of customer you're reaching. With direct mail marketing strategies still going strong, it's important to cut costs where possible. Especially since the price of stamps will increase by approximately 2.5 percent on January 27, 2019.

In 2019, the U.S. Postal Service is reintroducing promotions on direct mail. While the USPS usually has some promotions for businesses, there were no promotions in 2018 because of "the absence of any presidentially-appointed governors" within the USPS. 2019 means the return of some discounts that could be substantial for your business. Before diving in, however, it's important to understand what promotions apply to each type of business.

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The USPS breaks down its promotions by mailer type – either First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail. These two types are common classifications for direct business mail.

First-Class Mail encompasses cards, letters, flats and parcels weighing 13 ounces or less. Minimum quantity to mail at commercial prices is 500 pieces.

Marketing Mail has a minimum quantity of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail and is used to send flyers, advertisements, newsletters, bulletins, catalogs and small parcels.

The USPS breaks its six promotions up so there is ample opportunity for senders in both mail classifications to benefit.

  • Mail Class: Marketing Mail
  • Registration Period: December 15, 2018 to July 31, 2019.
  • Promotion Period: February 1 to July 31, 2019
  • Promotion Details: Participants are eligible for a 2 percent postage discount. It only applies to Marketing Mail, and it can be used for pieces that leverage innovated technological advances in the print industry. That means mail that uses multisensory experiences through special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments and even taste. For more information on this promotion, you can visit the USPS's guide here.
     
  • Mail Class: Marketing Mail
  • Registration Period: June 15 to December 31, 2019
  • Promotion Period: August 1 to December 31, 2019
  • Promotion Details: Participants are eligible for a 2 percent discount off eligible postage. This promotion is for businesses offering products for sale, especially during the 2019 holiday shopping season. It encourages mailers to integrate mobile technology features into its mails, like QR codes. You can read more about this promotion here.
     
  • Mail Class: Marketing Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Registration Period: January 15 to August 31, 2019
  • Promotion Period: March 1 to August 31, 2019
  • Promotion Details: Participants are eligible for a 2 percent discount. This promotion applies to mail that engages customers in a new and exciting way. That means incorporating technologies like augmented or virtual reality, near field communication, video in print or digital assistant integration. You can read more about this promotion here.
     
  • Mail Class: First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail
  • Registration Period: July 15 to November 30, 2019
  • Promotion Period: September 1 to November 30, 2019
  • Promotion Details: Participants are eligible for a 2 percent discount off postage. This promotion is being established to increase adoption of the Informed Delivery campaign from the USPS. To qualify, businesses must sign up for Informed Delivery and launch an Informed Delivery Interactive campaign. Other requirements for this promotion are detailed here.
     
  • Mail Class: First-Class Mail
  • Registration Period:  May 15 to December 31, 2019
  • Promotion Period: July 1 to December 31, 2019

Promotion Details: Participants are eligible for a 2 percent discount. This promotion applies to direct mail that incorporates marketing messages highlighted through the use of color, dynamic variable print and personalization. If you want to read more about this promotion, visit the USPS website.

  • Mail Class: First-Class Mail
  • Registration Period: February 15 to March 31, 2019
  • Promotion Period: April 1 to June 30, 2019
  • Promotion details: Instead of a discount, new participants can qualify for a $0.03 credit for each business reply mail, courtesy reply mail and hare mail piece counted. Participants in the 2017 promotion who are returning for this promotion can qualify for a $0.03 for each BRM, CRM and share mail piece counted based on meeting or exceeding a 95 percent of volume threshold. If you do not meet this volume threshold, you won't qualify for the credit. You can read more about this promotion here.
Matt D'Angelo

Matt D’Angelo is a Tech Staff Writer based in New York City. After graduating from James Madison University with a degree in Journalism, Matt gained experience as a copy editor and writer for newspapers and various online publications. Matt joined the staff in 2017 and covers technology for Business.com and Business News Daily.