Author Archives: bebtexas

The Bureau – April 2018

Heading to your desk right now, we hope you enjoy the latest version of The Bureau, our award winning company newsletter.  Inside this issue:

Super Charged Informed Delivery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPER CHARGED INFORMED DELIVERY

Informed Delivery allows users to see images of their mail in the form of an email.  The USPS is hoping that marketers will Super Charge those images by bringing them to life through interactive Informed Delivery campaigns.   Interactive campaigns allow you to create a custom image that can be linked to a URL within the recipients email.

Each unique set of customized supplemental content is associated with an individual mail campaign.  Multiple campaigns can be conducted at one time for a single mailing. Each campaign is triggered by and mapped to a single Mailer ID (MID) that is used on the mail piece and can be customized to be active during a defined date range.

The USPS is very excited about this program and hope that marketers take advantage of this new digital channel that ties hardcopy mail to digital content. Because multiple people within a single household can sign up; you get an extra bang for your mail as additional digital impressions will be fed to the other  household members when they open their email. So far, the USPS is experiencing high email open rates, up to 72% daily as of March.

Informed Delivery interactive campaigns provide additional benefits, allowing mailers to enhance the presentation of the scanned mail piece images that consumers are already receiving.

It gives the mail recipient or other household members the opportunity to take action immediately on the     mail piece by clicking on a campaign image/website link –regardless of whether or not they retrieve mail from the physical mailbox.

You can coordinate multi-channel campaigns, and collect information on campaign reach and results (e.g., open rates, click-through rates) through data analytics too.

Virtually any mailer can conduct an Informed Delivery campaign if the following criteria are met:

  • Mail pieces must be automation compatible
  • Mail pieces must contain a valid IMb
  • Mailer or MSP must be IMb certified

At this time, there are no fees associated with conducting  an Informed Delivery campaign.

There are a couple of drawbacks to the program though.  Not everybody is jumping on the bandwagon to opt-in yet.  So far, 50,000 users in the Houston metropolitan area have signed up and 12 million have opted-in to the program nationwide.

Also, packages and flats are not available yet; but should be coming online very soon.

The USPS is leading a huge push to get people signed up and are courting marketers across the nation to experiment with this technology.

Ironically, after signing up some people have reported that they have stopped going to the mailbox every day.  Instead they are using the email to determine the priority of the contents and visiting the mailbox less frequently.

A lot of people are really excited about this program and believe it will “deliver” the post office into a healthy state.  At least it is good to see the USPS  heading in the right direction to try and make mail and digital a powerful and sustaining combination.

 

 

The Bureau – Letter from Ron

The first quarter of 2018 has been a wild ride.  The S&P 500 Index looks like a Swiss mountain range with  dramatic ups and downs, and the US Postal Service is focused on some pretty exciting programs that could give a lift to direct mail marketing.  However, at the same time, the USPS is also considering implementing a new rate increase structure that threatens the very livelihood of the industry.  It is as nerve racking as a super fast roller coaster, and makes for exciting times.  Especially because our client base is using direct mail more today than they did 5-years ago.  We continue to see increases in print and mail, and our digital media clients have started to experiment with smaller, very targeted and personalized mailings and getting excellent returns.

A large portion of this issue of The Bureau is dedicated to bringing you up to speed with the latest happenings in Washington surrounding postal topics.  We will define informed Delivery and introduce you to the interactive campaigns available.  We will outline Geo Framing, a cutting edge technology that tracks latitude and longitude from electronic devices and we will highlight IOT, The Internet of Things. 

We have included a schedule of our award winning Marketing for Local Business classes for the balance of 2018.  We have several guest lecturers this year and our previous four series have sold out.  We  update content  prior to each class to keep it fresh and relevant and as a result, I’ve noticed that several of our past graduates have attended classes on multiple occasions.

We are working on an educational series that is dedicated specifically to nonprofits; if you or your staff have an interest, please let us know as we can bring the seminar to you as well.  Click here for more information.

We are joining MD Anderson’s Sprint for Life 5K on May 5, 2018 as we are walking to honor the memory of our beloved Rama Moore who fought and lost a valiant battle with ovarian cancer this past Christmas.  We are trying to raise $1,500 and every dollar counts.  If you would like to donate please go to runforrama.com            Employees and their families from every department within the company will be there.  It will be a great time and is supporting an excellent cause.

We hope that  you find the content of this newsletter informative and helpful, and if you have questions about anything contained within, please don’t  hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your business and partnership.

 

 

Ron Royall, President

Jaw Dropping GeoFraming

What would you think if someone told you that they could give you the addresses of 85% of the people that have entered your store over the past six-months?  On top of that, what if they could tell you who entered your competitors stores   during the same time-frame?  They Can!

Welcome to JAW DROPPING GeoFraming

Whenever a digital ad is pushed to your phone or other mobile device, the advertiser uses a unique Advertising Device ID (Ad ID).  It is the industry standard for all commercial ads airing in the US.

GeoFraming captures the Unique Ad ID of mobile devices present at a specific location using latitude and longitude data, then maps it to the home.  Let that sink in for a minute.

Third party data providers are supplying anonymous unique AD ID data for devices that have been present in specified locations for marketing companies to target.  Data is obtained in as little as 72-hours (soon to be within 24-hours) after a device was in the targeted location, such as a shopping mall on Black Friday or a car dealership. This allows for timely data without personal security or privacy hurdles associated with real-time location data.

Data derived from GeoFraming will not include names, email addresses, or report the specific matching of devices to the household.  It will provide you with a list of addresses from the devices present at your GeoFramed Event or locations.  From there you can overlay information from a consumer database by matching the address to create a profile of the audience that includes names, estimated incomes or any other demographic available.

Not only are advertisers using the cutting edge technology to help define their audience; they are also using it to see who is shopping at their competitors location.  Imagine the  jeweler who can identify the couple that  visited their engagement ring sale from the week before, and be able to determine that the same couple visited other jewelers as well.  This would signify a couple that is intending to buy and very soon.  That is a hot lead.  

Collection of Ad IDs and location data is, of course, limited based on users that have opted-in or have the appropriate settings running on their apps.

Don’t confuse GeoFraming with other GEOMining; check out these other jaw-dropping products used today:

Geo-Fencing: Drawing a virtual fence around an area or location and showing your ad, to people inside that “fence.”
Geo-Retargeting: Following people AFTER they leave the geo-fenced location and continuing to show them your ads.
Geo-Retargeting Lookalike: Following people AFTER they leave the geo-fenced location and continuing to show them your ads as well as showing their neighbors your ads.
Geo-Framing: To go back in time to previous events where we have captured people’s mobile Unique Device ID’s, map those Unique Device ID’s to their homes, and show those people ads now through the Household IP technology on all devices.

 

 

 

 

Marketing for Local Nonprofits

We have had an overwhelming response to our award winning Marketing for Local Business Seminar Series.  In the process; we have had several companies request that we develop a series focused on nonprofits.  We are in the process of creating that series now.  We have reached out to national influencers to contribute and partner with these presentations.  We will review:

  • The impending USPS rate hike for nonprofits – Leo Raymond of Mailers Hub
  • How to compensate for upcoming postage increases through grants and other measures
  • What prompts people to donate – tips on creating your direct mail campaigns
  • How to use your direct mail campaign content in the digital realm through blogs, email marketing and social media

This series will be conducted at an offsite facility from 10am – 3pm with lunch included to be scheduled in mid-to-late September 2018.  If you have an interest in this series, please click here and we’ll contact you with details.

Postal Reform Act of 2018

Today, the Postal Reform Act of 2018 (a bipartisan bill), was introduced to the Senate.  It has similarities to the bill introduced last year, which has not advanced to a floor vote yet.  The new Postal Reform Act will include:

  • Elimination of the statutory payment schedule to prefund future retiree health care costs, cancel any outstanding payments, and amortize payments over 40-years.
  • Allow a one-time 2.15% across-the-board rate increase, representing half of what was authorized for the “exigent surcharge”, while freezing any further rate increases until the controversial new rate setting system can be finalized by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
  • Require “strong service reforms”:
    • By improving mail service performance across the country
    • Require transparency and enforcement to ensure the USPS’ accountability
    • Service performance would be stabilized by preserving current services standards for at least two-years.
  • Introduce new non-postal products and services; allow the shipment of beer, wine, and distilled spirits; and urge partnership with state and local governments in offering government services.

Leo Raymond, President of Mailers Hub (a industry advocate) said; “That the bill was introduced is a good sign of awareness among legislators that action is needed to restore the USPS to financial stability, but it’s only one step in the process.”

Both chambers of Congress need to pass the same measure which would be sent to the president for signature.  Given the precarious and combative nature of Washington; we will have to see what becomes of the bill.  We’ll keep you posted!

PRC Next Steps

As you have already heard, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has issued a proposed change to the rate setting process that would authorize a series of over -Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases that could sharply increase postal rates over the next five years.  (For details see our blog; The PRC is Threatening Your Livelihood)

March 1, 2018 marked the deadline to receive comments about the proposed changes, and the PRC got plenty.  The comments received had a consistent theme from industry associations, individual mailing companies and direct mail organizations.

The American Mail Alliance represents associations and individual signers that have come together for the sole and limited purpose of showing unanimity in asking the PRC to reconsider its proposed solution.  The AMA is by far, the largest ad hoc group submitting comments.  They criticized the prefunding burden and noted that the PRC was placing too much focus on the financial health of the USPS as impacted by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), stating that most stakeholders in the industry, predictability, rate stability, and transparency have been achieved.  In turn, the group argued that the commission over zealously sought ways to pay the accumulated debts caused by the unnecessary prefunding requirement.

Another rally against the proposed plan came from three groups commenting jointly; (the National Postal Policy Council, Major Mailers Association, and the National Association of Presort Mailers).  They not only argued against the higher prices but questioned whether the PRC has the authority to advance changes to the CPI-based rate setting system.

Other powerhouse organizations that “chimed in” questioning the PRC’s authority to move forward included the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, the American Catalog Mailers Association, the Association for Postal Commerce (PostComm), Idealliance, and the Association of Magazine Media.

So, what’s next?  March 1st marked the first phase of comments; reply comments in which commenters critique each other, are due by the end of the month.

After that, the PRC faces the task of digesting the input it has received and developing responses to comments.  They can produce a revised proposed rule (presumable acknowledging the industry’s concerns); or they can issue a final rule presenting the changes it plans to implement.

A second proposed rule would repeat the comment and, perhaps, reply comment periods, while a final rule would set a timeline on which it would be implemented.

The commission’s deliberations could reasonably take at least sixty days, meaning a revised proposal or a final rule shouldn’t be expected until late May or early June at the earliest, with implementation (under a final rule) sometime later this year. If a second proposed rule were issued, that would add another sixty to ninety days, at least.

Whether a presumed late-2018 rate filing by the USPS would be impacted is unknown at this time but, regardless, nothing will change about how USPS rates are set until the PRC’s rule making is concluded.

Of course, it’s widely anticipated that a law suit in federal court against the PRC’s final rule – no matter what it is – particularly given the opinion of some commenters that the commission lacks the legal authority to do what it’s proposing. If there is litigation, the final outcome is anybody’s guess!  We will keep you posted as this important issue unfolds.

Run for Rama

HELP US RAISE MONEY TO FIGHT OVARIAN CANCER

RUN FOR RAMA – MAY 5, 2018

 

This race is about creating and raising awareness about ovarian cancer.  It is the cancer with the lowest survival rate and has no cure. The staff of Business Extension Bureau (BEB) are raising funds and participating in this event to pay homage to Rama Moore, whom we lost on Christmas day last year to this devastating disease.  Rama worked for our family owned business for over 40-years, and is missed today.  Won’t you join us in helping to raise money to combat this type of cancer that often lays in wait for long periods of time before being detected.  Help us to honor the life of a wonderful woman who gave so much love and was the “face and voice of BEB” for many years, our Rama Ray Moore.

Also, you don’t have to be a “BEBer” (an employee of BEB) to join us for this fabulous event.  Join our team and bring the family with you to take part in this important gathering.  It is a Run AND a Walk so that everybody at every fitness level can enjoy.

Our goal is to raise $1,500 – please donate as much as you can today.  All donations are tax deductible.   We are grateful to you.

Go to RUNFORRAMA.COM to donate or to join our team!

 

UID’s Explained

A unique identifier (UID) is a numeric or alphanumeric string that is associated with a single entity within a given system. UIDs make it possible to address that entity, so that it can be accessed and interacted with.

Examples of Unique Identifiers:

URI-Uniform Resource Identifier is a unique identifier that makes content addressable on the Internet by uniquely targeting items, such as text, video, images and applications.

URL-Uniform Resource Locator is a particular type of URI that targets Web pages so that when a browser requests them, they can be found and served to users.

UUID-Universal Unique Identifier is a 128-bit number used to uniquely identify some object or entity on the Internet.

GUID-Global Unique Identifier is a number that Microsoft programming generates to create a unique identity for an entity such as a Word document.

UDID-Unique Device Identifier is a 40-character string assigned to certain Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.