The USPS® Promotions and Incentive Programs are designed to help businesses and brands save on the cost of direct mail postage, but the programs also encourage companies to think outside the box and incorporate existing new digital technology to help make their direct mail campaigns more interactive and engaging.
A recent report found 71% of people find direct mail to be more personal than digital communication. Integrating some of the tools and strategies highlighted in this year’s lineup of USPS promotions can help brands leverage the consumer desire for more personal communication by creating a dynamic, individualized user experience.
To help you take advantage of these postage incentives and design direct mail campaigns that engage and delight your target audience, let’s look at what you need to know about each of the 2024 programs. Plus, we’ll also look at how partnering with a strategic print expert can help you get the most out of your direct mail marketing in the coming year.
Is there anything new about the 2024 USPS postage promotions?
Much about the 2024 programs remains the same from the previous year, though there are a couple of updates that can help marketers benefit from postage discounts in more flexible ways that better align with their goals or initiatives. For example, marketers can opt into this year’s Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion for a six month period at any time during the calendar year.
The lack of a registration and eligibility deadline gives you a larger window to strategize on how to use this program most effectively, and it also helps you execute direct mail campaigns that incorporate digital technologies on your own timeline.
To help ensure your direct mail campaigns are eligible for this year’s promotions, here’s a brief rundown of the rest of the USPS incentive programs.
- Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Engagement. Brands can take advantage of a 5% discount on postage for direct mailers that incorporate specialty inks, scented papers, and envelope sound chips. Registration deadline is January 31.
- Personalized Color Transpromo. This program offers a 3% discount for critical customer communications like invoices or account statements that incorporate personalization and vibrant colors to increase engagement. Registration deadline is January 31. Here’s an example of a direct mail campaign that one of our partners created that could be applicable for this program.
- Emerging and Advanced Technology Program. Brands that infuse their direct mail marketing with interactive, immersive technology components can save up to 4% on postage. Direct mailers that incorporate quick response (QR) or augmented reality (AR) are eligible for a 3% discount, and designing direct mail that uses more advanced technology like virtual reality or video in print can earn a 4% reduction on postage. This year’s Emerging and Advanced Technology Program does not have a registration or eligibility deadline, though your campaign must run for at least six months during the 2024 calendar year.
- REPLY MAIL IMbA™. IMbA is an automated account system for Business Reply Mail that helps accelerate and streamline payment processing via barcode technology. Brands that adopt the accounting system can receive a 3% discount for using a static barcode and 6% for a serialized barcode. Registration deadline is June 30.
- Informed Delivery™: A perennial favorite, Informed Delivery generates a digital preview to help alert customers to incoming mail or packages. This digital preview can also be used to position unique offers or content before your mailer even arrives. Informed Delivery can save brands 4% on postage. Registration deadline is July 31.
- Retargeting. Using direct mail as a way to nurture online interaction can be an extremely effective way to take a more multichannel approach that uses the trust consumers place in print as a critical touchpoint. Retargeting offers a 5% postage discount for direct mail that retargets website, landing page, or mobile app visitors. Registration deadline is August 31.
How to create direct mail that takes advantage of the USPS incentive programs
Part of the benefit of working with a strategic print expert prioritizes print automation is creating high-quality, engaging direct mail campaigns that are designed to increase response rates and drive ROI. To help ignite your next brainstorming session, here are a couple of ideas on how to create direct mail that takes advantage of these postage discounts and helps you take a more innovative approach to direct mail.
- A postcard mailer that uses a quick response (QR) code to launch a video: Does your product or service lend itself to a more visual explanation? You can take advantage of the Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion to create a direct mail postcard that uses a QR code to open a how-to or demonstration video to better convey what makes your product or service unique and valuable. Plus, incorporating a QR code provides digital performance metrics in the form of scans and video views to better help you assess the success of your mailer.
- A personalized welcome kit after online account creation: Imagine a customer’s delight when, after they create an online account, they receive a welcome kit featuring personalized messaging and custom offers tailored to their specific online browsing or purchasing habits. Quantum can help you create these kinds of targeted direct mailers and save on postage by taking advantage of the Personalized Color Transpromo program.
But these examples are just the beginning. Partnering with Quantum for your direct mail marketing needs can help you reduce your mailing costs and optimize the performance of your print marketing communications. Download our USPS Promotions Guide to learn more about how we can help you unlock next level direct mail campaigns.