Every year the post office provides discounts to mailers who incorporate technology into their catalogs to bridge the gap between print/mail and online marketing. These promotions ensure that Direct Mail continues to be a relevant part of the marketing mix as new technologies emerge.

We are highlighting a few of the promotions approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) that our catalogers may find beneficial.

The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion encourages mailers to engage readers by incorporating emerging technologies such as “Enhanced” Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Near Field Communication (NFC), Video in Print (ViP) featuring Shoppable Video, Integration with Voice Assistants, and Digital to Direct Mail in their direct mail campaigns.

In a time when many Americans are still isolated because of the pandemic, consumers are looking for engagement more than ever. These enhanced experiences keep readers immersed with your brand for longer periods of time, increasing exposure to your products and improving the likelihood of a sale.

READ: HOW COVID HAS INFLUENCED MARKETING AND ADVERTISING

If you’re new to Augmented Reality (AR), it’s a way to view digital content that has been superimposed onto a real-world environment. AR adds magic to this environment with graphics, sound, and other enhancements.

It’s easiest to think of this augmented environment as the printed page overlaid with digital content that comes to life when scanned by a mobile app.

How Does It Work?

By adding an interactive layer of content to your printed page, AR enhances your printed product.

  1. The consumer downloads the free AR app to their mobile device.
  2. They launch the app and scan the Zap Code then aim at entire page.
  3. The app unlocks the unique Zap Code.
  4. Information/interactive content is displayed to engage the consumer.

READ MORE ABOUT HOW AUGMENTED REALITY WORKS

Regular and nonprofit Marketing Mail letters and flats, and First-Class Mail letters, cards, and flats that meet the promotion requirements will be eligible for an upfront 2% postage discount during the promotion period.

Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion (Augmented Reality)

  • Postage Discount = 2%
  • Promotion Period = 03/01/21-08/31/21
  • Estimated Cost to Qualify = $649

Another offer worth highlighting is the 2021 Mobile Shopping Promotion. This offer encourages mailers to integrate mobile technologies like QR (quick response) codes with their direct mail pieces to facilitate a convenient online shopping experience for consumers.

To be clear, the mail piece must include mobile technology that can be read, scanned, or activated by a mobile device and leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website with the ability to complete a financial transaction. The recipient must be able to purchase a tangible advertised product from the website that can be mailed/shipped.

Regular and nonprofit Marketing Mail letters and flats that meet the promotion requirements will be eligible for an upfront 2% postage discount during the promotion period.

In addition to the postage discount, print-to-mobile QR code technology can create HUGE marketing potential! Because QR codes are so dynamic, they can be incorporated into your catalog to drive a variety of actions, including:

  • Link to a website or landing page
  • Send a text message or email
  • Direct users to leave a review on Yelp, Clutch, etc.
  • View message or access special offer
  • View Google maps location
  • Visit a social media profile and more!

For companies that do a lot of offline marketing, QR codes are advantageous because they connect your online and offline advertising efforts.

READ MORE ABOUT QR CODES

The Dingley Press can work with you on developing proper QR codes and accessing in-depth analytics, which can help you track interactions that contributed to a purchase decision.

Mobile Shopping (QR Code)

  • Postage Discount = 2%
  • Promotion Period = 08/01/21-12/31/21
  • Must have a Mobilized Web Site
  • Estimated Cost to Qualify = $0

Catalogers have plenty of time to implement these technologies into their mail campaigns for next year, and they’re worth exploring, not only for the postage benefit, but for the exponential marketing advantages.

Keep in mind that a 2% postage savings, for an average “piece weight” catalog, would be approximately $ 5.75 per 1000.

  • 1,000,000 Catalogs Mailed = $   5,750.00 in Savings
  • 2,500,000 Catalogs Mailed = $ 14,375.00 in Savings
  • 5,000,000 Catalogs Mailed = $ 28,750.00 in Savings.

Another promotion to consider is the Informed Delivery Promotion. It rewards mailers who adopt the use of the USPS omni-channel feature, Informed Delivery.

Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing feature that provides users the opportunity to digitally preview their household mail and manage packages arriving soon; business mailers can conduct an “interactive campaign” which integrates colorful and interactive campaign elements to enhance and extend the mail moment for consumers, thus reaching their target audiences on a digital channel.

The United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Informed Delivery (ID) Promotion offers a 2% discount on postage for business mailers who register for the promotion and conduct an Informed Delivery interactive campaign on qualifying mail pieces. The intent of the ID Promotion is to encourage business mailers to participate in Informed Delivery campaigns and create a positive user experience throughout the campaign submission process.

If you have questions about any of the 2021 Postal Promotions, or would like to inquire about other ways to save on postage, please feel free to reach out to your Dingley representative for more information.