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 2% is equal to $3,734,694 in discounts to mailers  Participants: 81 (and 319 mail pieces), which seems low and presents us all with an opportunity  Most common techniques used in 2020:  Specialty paper that uses visual/ textural elements: 84%  Specialty paper that uses sound/ smell elements: 6%  Interactive mail pieces: 6%  Specialty ink: 4% It was proposed in the price change filing in May that the two percent discount be increased to four percent for 2022. This is welcome news and increased incentive for all of us. Promotional Period: February 1 – July 31, 2021 Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion (2% discount off eligible postage) To ensure that direct mail continues to be a relevant part of the marketing mix, this promotion encourages incorporating technologies such as “enhanced” augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, near field communication (NFC), video in print (ViP) featuring shoppable video, integration with voice assistants, and digital to direct mail technology applications into their mail campaigns. Current promotion performance as of June 7, 2021:  Volume: 2,426M, which is a 19% increase compared to 2020  Revenue: $536M  2% is equal to $10,938,776 in discounts to mailers  Participants: 266

It was proposed in the price change filing in May that the USPS create a tiered structure for Emerging Tech where some technologies qualify for a two percent discount and some for a three percent discount. More good information to incent us all to participate. Promotional Period: March 1 – August 31, 2021 Earned Value Promotion (Receive $0.02 credit for each BRM, CRM, and/or Share Mail piece) This promotion offers earned credits to eligible businesses who use Business Reply

Mail (BRM), Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM), and Share Mail pieces. Mailers who register may receive a postage credit for each mail piece that is placed in the mailstream and scanned during the promotion period. This is my personal favorite. I think this is especially attractive to utility and other companies. They utilize reply envelopes to facilitate a great many of their payment transactions and should be participating without question. As of June 7, 2021, here are some recent statistics:  Volume: 363M pieces  That is $7,260,000 in postage credits earned!  USPS Revenue: $189M  Participants: 531, which is a 43% increase compared to 2020 It was proposed in the price change filing in May that the USPS make no changes to the promotion’s incentives (two-cent credit per piece, no mailer thresholds). Promotional Period: April 1 – June 30, 2021 Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion (2% discount off eligible postage) This promotion incorporates marketing messages that use color, dynamic variable print, and personalization. By using color messaging in bills and statements, business mailers can enhance the value of mail and foster a better connection and response from customers. This promotion seems perfect for creative marketers and organizations who may have the opportunity to leverage the “real estate” on their documents to highlight and generate revenue from their partners and associates. These opportunities have existed for years and now that they can earn postage discounts, this promotion makes it an even better practice. The MTAC reports I have accessed for the data presented here did not provide an update on the next three promotions (each has a start date after the MTAC report was generated on June 7). It was proposed in the price change filing in May that the USPS increase the Color Transpromo discount from two to three percent. Who can think this is anything but good? Promotional Period: July 1 – December 31, 2021

Mobile Shopping Promotion (2% discount off eligible postage) This promotion encourages mailers to send mailings that highlight the connections between the mail piece and digital shopping. It is designed to conveniently enable these connections/interactions/ experiences. The platforms most used are quick response (QR) codes, snap tags, watermarks, and other advanced technologies. Again, your organization’s creative staff would welcome information on this promotion. Building strong relationships with this group is valuable, and now they can access deeper discounts while stretching their creative spirit! It was proposed in the price change filing in May that the USPS shorten the promotion period from five to four months. This is a loss to some but the incentive is still great and should be taken advantage of when possible. Promotional Period: August 1 – December 31, 2021

Informed Delivery Promotion (2% discount off eligible postage) This promotion is designed for business mailers who launch Informed Delivery interactive campaigns with their physical mail pieces to reach and engage customers. Do you subscribe to Informed Delivery? If not, do so now. If you do, then you have seen the links available to some of the mail piece images you receive. This promotion is what enables those connections. Free money at its best, and actionable data is an added value. It was proposed in the price change filing in May that the USPS increase the promotion period from three to five months and increase the discount from two to four percent. That’s doubly good news for the industry and our customers — and more reason to participate in these promotions! 

Mark Rheaume is a Services Engineer, Enterprise Services Sales Engineering, at Ricoh USA, Inc. He has over 35 years of industry experience developing, designing, and implementing solutions. Mark is and has been an active member in several postal industry associations as a board member, speaker, and writer. These associations include: MTAC, Idealliance, NPOA, PCC, MSMA, Mailcom, NPF, and Printing Industries of Minnesota. He can be contacted at Mark.Rheaume@ricoh-usa.com. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2021

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