Timing and Planning the USPS Promotions
April 28, 2022   Dave Lewis

So many promotions, and so little time!  Since it appears postage rate increases are going to be going on twice a year for the foreseeable future, smart mailers (that’s you, right?) will be looking to leverage as many promotions as possible.  There are six promotions, but you need to choose those in which you wish to participate.  In most cases you can only do one promotion per mailing.  For 2022, the ship has sailed on some of these, or at least it’s getting close to port, to badly stretch an analogy, so you really need to be planning now. 

USPS promotions are designed to encourage certain behaviors.  In some cases, it’s not really worth participating just to save a bit – although you may qualify because that’s what you were planning anyway.  Why not grab a discount?

Here are the promotions for 2022:

  • Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement.  We sometimes call it the furry mail promotion.  The objective is creative use of paper and other substrates to enhance the appeal of the piece.  It is a 4% discount, which is cool, but that may not cover the cost of covering your mailpiece with leather.  The rules are a bit vague (maybe just glossy stock will do?), and the pieces need to be approved locally.  The promotion is already running and ends July 31, so if you think your mail may qualify, get it approved quick like a bunny.
  • Emerging and Advanced Technology.  This offers a 2% - 3% discount for incorporating fancy technology like augmented reality, or NFC.  You won’t do it for the discount, but it may be worth claiming if your mail already qualifies.  This one ends August 31, and is already open.  No, a QR code is not techy enough to qualify.
  •  Earned Value Reply Mail.  This one is already closed for registration this year, which is a shame because it’s one of our favorites.  Sign up your reply mail and get a two cent ($.02) discount for each BRE or CRE returned.  Share Mail, too.  And you can run this at the same time as other promotions…but not this year, because you had to be registered by March 31.  Don’t forget it for next year!

These next three all kind of run at the same time, so you may need to pick your favorite.

  • Personalized Color Transpromo.  This is for statement and billing mailings, First-Class Mail only.  It requires color personalized added inserts along with an invoice.  The discount is 3%, and it runs from July 1 through December 31, so it is not too late. But it mostly overlaps with our favorite…
  • Informed Delivery.  OK, we’ve talked this one to death, but come on – 4% for adding an Informed Delivery campaign?  No changes required to the mailpiece.  This is probably the simplest of the promotions, and runs August 1 through the end of the year – during prime mailing season.  Letters, flats, First-Class, Marketing Mail – they’re almost all eligible. 
  • Mobile Shopping.  If you use leverage mobile technology that allows prospects to buy or donate from a mobile device (typically through a QR code) you may qualify.

So, if you had the whole year to do over again, you could choose to participate in the Furry Mail promotion, OR the Advanced Technology (“Alexa, buy the thing on this postcard!”).  You could, and should, simultaneously participate in the Earned Value Reply Mail promotion.

For the second half of the year, choose your favorite:  Mobile Shopping (2% discount), OR Personalized Color Transpromo (3% Discount), OR Informed Delivery (4% discount).    

Of course, there are scads of rules, qualifications, and details with each promotion that we didn’t touch on here.  You can read all about them here: https://postalpro.usps.com/promotions.  Our main point is to start figuring what will work best for you and start planning for the rest of 2022 and 2023 now.  Need some help?  Click here.  We know things.