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July 01, 2016

6 USPS Direct Mail Promotion Programs for 2017

11.1.2016_USPS Postal Rate Guide


The USPS has announced six direct mail promotion programs offering incentives to increase mail volumes for the 2017 calendar year.


These promotions—including one new and five continuing ones—are intended to provide marketers incentive to use direct mail to increase customer engagement with dynamic color, new print techniques, mobile technology, and traditional and innovative mail techniques. On average, participation in the promotions will provide a 2-5% postage discount.


1. The Earned Value Reply

Extended to six months (from three), this program offers credits for Alternate Postage mailpieces (in addition to Business Reply Mail and Courtesy Reply Mail pieces), and increases the per-piece credit amount from $0.02 to $0.05. 


Incentive:  $.05 credit per piece, includes Standard Mail

Registration Period: November 15-December 31, 2016

Promotion Period: January 1-June 30, 2017

2. Personalized Color Transpromo 

As in prior years, this promotion enhances the value of First-Class Mail by encouraging mailers to invest in color print technology in order to foster a better connection with, and response from, customers. It will allow new participants to qualify without meeting the personalization requirement.


Incentive:  2% discount at time of mailing

Registration Period: May 15-December 31, 2017

Promotion Period: July 1-December 31, 2017

3. Emerging and Advanced Technology

Flipping the physical-to-digital model, this promotion encourages mailers to incorporate mobile and other technologies like virtual reality into their direct mail pieces to facilitate programmatic and retargeting marketing strategies. Unlike last year’s promotion, 2017 will not be offering an A/B Testing option.


Incentive:  2% discount at time of mailing

Registration Period: January 15-August 31, 2017

Promotion Period: March 1-August 31, 2017

4. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement

Direct mailers who “enhance customer engagement with the mail through the use of advanced print innovations in paper and stock, substrates, inks and finishing techniques” will be considered. Standard mail that meets the requirements will be eligible for an upfront 2% postage discount during the promotional period.


Incentive:  2% discount at time of mailing

Registration Period: December 15-July 31, 2017

Promotion Period: February 1-July 31, 2017

5. Mobile Shopping

Geared towards e-commerce marketers, this promotion offers a 2% discount for Standard Mail letters and flats that include qualifying technology (i.e., QR codes, snap tags, watermarks) inside or on the mailpiece that facilitates consumer purchases through a mobile-friendly website or social media “Buy Now” features.


Incentive:  2% discount at time of mailing

Registration Period: June 15-December 31, 2017

Promotion Period: August 1-December 31, 2017

6. Direct Mail Starter

New to the 2017 roster, this promotion incentivizes smaller businesses to start using direct mail as a marketing channel. The Postal Service says it is “aware that complex participation requirements can create barriers for many small business mailers that would otherwise respond to promotional incentives by maintaining or growing their direct mail volume.” Requirements-abiding Standard Mail will be eligible for a 5% postage discount up front.


Incentive:  5% discount at time of mailing for up to 10,000 pieces

Registration Period: March 15-July 31, 2017

Promotion Period: May 1-July 31, 2017



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