The Postal Service has announced some of their tentative plans for 2024 incentive programs. While all the promotions from 2023 have been approved again for 2024, USPS has also announced some other planned promotions that may hold interest. These proposals are “pre-decisional” (a word only the Postal Service could invoke), and, as such, inherently subject to change (subservient to the flux of evolution.)
The First-Class Mail Incentive will offer mailers a credit on any First-Class mail they send in 2024 in excess of their 2023 volume. Sort of. The baseline 2023 volume is based on mail volume for the Postal Service fiscal year, which runs from October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023. The promotion period is from January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024. Weird, huh? It’s not quite apples to apples…more like apples to some other apple. So, all that election volume you were hoping to cash in on in 2024 will have to exceed what you mailed in October and November of 2022. Oh, and you had to do at least 1,000,000 pieces of First-Class Mail in the baseline period. If you did less, your baseline will be 1,000,000 pieces anyway.
The credit will be issued in the form of a postage credit deposited to a designated permit. Those credits will need to be applied to First-Class Mail only before December 31, 2025. That’s right, you can’t use your credits earned on First-Class Mail on Marketing Mail.
These credits will be distributed quarterly beginning July 2024, just in case you are an overachiever and have already exceeded your total FY 2023 volume in six months.
How all of this will be measured and documented is still to be determined, but it will be based on CRIDs for the mail owner.
The amount of the incentive has not been determined, or at least not revealed. In the information released so far it was presented as “X%.” Perhaps, following the lead of the NFL Super Bowl, they are using Roman numerals, and it is a 10% credit. More likely, it’s an “X” from that algebra class you hated in the 8th grade, an as yet undefined variable, although to the best of our memory, X=a*b.
There was also an entirely different promotion announced as well, known as the Marketing Mail Incentive. If you replace the words “First-Class” with “Marketing” in the description of the entirely unrelated First-Class Incentive described above, you will know about this incentive program as well, and I will not need to type it all over again.
If all of this is confusing to you, you are not alone. Hopefully, clarity will emerge as the dates approach. Remember, all of this is pre-decisional. It is expected to be part of the January 2024 rate case, which will likely come out in October. If approved, registration will begin in November 2023. If it is not approved, then it won’t.
If you want to track some mail or set up an Informed Delivery campaign, contact us. If you want to learn more about these two distinct and separate incentive programs…maybe wait a bit.