It’s time to start thinking about 2017 postal promotions to save money on your mailing costs next year. The good news is that the USPS is already working to get next year’s promotions approved earlier than ever before. They’ve listen to your feedback to provide more advanced notice, and are targeting approval from the PRC this Summer, rather than the Fall or Winter.

Putting mail in mailboxFive of the promotions offered this year are planned to be repeated next year, plus one additional one. Some of these promotions have changes that we’ll explain in this post. We’ll also help you target which ones you should focus on since some don’t apply to catalogers.

Earned Value Reply Mail – (January through June)

This promotion will be extended to six months if approved. This year it was only 3 months. To qualify you’d need your mailpiece to contain a Business Reply Mail (BRC) or Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM). Another proposed change for this promotion is increasing the per-piece credit amount from $0.02 to $0.05 for every returned card/envelope. This is encouraging news for those that have BRC/CRM pieces already included in their catalog.

Emerging and Advanced Technology – (March through August)

This promotion encourages catalogers to incorporate mobile and other technologies into their mailpieces. We’ve found that the easiest technology to adopt is augmented reality (AR), however this year they are adding two new categories:  virtual reality, and technology that facilitates programmatic and retargeting marketing strategies. As more information is released on these we’ll certainly share. We suspect the discount for participates will be 2% again this year.

Mobile Shopping – (August through December)

This promotion will likely only be offered five months instead of six. The Mobile Shopping promotion encourages catalogers to integrate QR Codes that facilitate an online shopping experience which creates a convenient method for consumers to shop your website. In order to qualify for this promotion you must have a fully functional mobile optimized website all the way through the checkout process. The postage discount is expected to be 2% again.

NEW … Direct Mail Starter – (May through July)

This promotion is similar to the Mobile Shopping promotion, however it’s geared for small business mailers. You’ll still need to have a fully functional mobile optimized website and a QR code with directional copy. What’s different is that you aren’t allowed to mail more than 10,000 pieces during the promotion duration to receive the discount. The proposed discount is 5% for those meeting these requirements.

The two promotions we didn’t talk about  don’t apply to our market. These are listed below:

  1. Personalized Color Transpromo – This promotion is for mailers of bills and statements to use color messaging.
  2. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement – This promotion focuses on advance print innovations in paper and stock, substrates, ink, and finishing techniques.

It’s encouraging to see the USPS continue these promotions into 2017. As more information becomes available we’ll share details to help you plan for next year’s mailing campaigns.