It’s official. The Postage Rate Hike has been approved and will take effect on January 27, 2019.
Prices were approved raising rates approximately 2.5% across the board. Shipping Service price increases vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express will increase 3.9 percent and Priority Mail will increase 5.9 percent. Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping Service prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions.
The new prices include a 5-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 50 cents to 55 cents. Click below to review Price Comparisons by Type of Service.
96% of People Surveyed Said They Would Attend Church If Invited*
Increase attendance, neighborhood fellowship and church membership by sending a simple invitation to the families in your neighborhood. You can mail a beautiful invitation using a jumbo postcard (sized 6X11″), created specifically for your organization and in full color to 3,000 residences surrounding your facility for only .40 cents each – INCLUDING POSTAGE!
Contact us at 713-528-5568. Ask for Roland, Angel, Diane or Joy Z. We’ll learn more about your unique offering and create a custom postcard. We will print it, and mail it to 3,000 residences surrounding your location.
$1,200 over your budget? That’s okay, we are offering the same package for 2,000 cards at for only .52 cents each – INCLUDING POSTAGE.
Direct mail works; if you haven’t tried it, or it has been a long time; call us now. You can use the art created for your mailing to post on social media sites and add a link onto your website using the same art. You will see an increase in web traffic almost immediately when you use direct mail; and it’s a fantastic way to touch those families around you. Call us today!
A very special Thank You to everyone who helped us raise money for Team Run for Rama. Our goal was to raise $1,500 and have at least 10 people walk/run in the MD Anderson’s Sprint for Life 5K in May.
Thanks to you, we surpassed both of our goals. We raised over $5,000 and had over 30 people (from all over the country, including Alaska) not only participate, but complete the 5K course. Many were first time racers.
It was a fantastic experience and for a wonderful cause. We came together in memory of our Rama Moore who lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer last year. Thank you again for your support.
In Memory of Walter Barnes
A very special thank you to our extended family for the outpouring of condolences and for sharing so many sweet memories after the passing of our Walter Barnes, at age 70, in July.
Walter was recruited to BEB back in August of 1981 by our founder, Bob Royall. Walter was known for his mechanical talent and extensive knowledge of the USPS rules and regulations. It has been said that Walter could listen to the sound of a machine and know what was wrong with it; and his expertise with all things postal earned him the nickname “Mail Guru” as he was considered a Houston Postal Industry Leader. Our BEB family mourn the loss of Walter and we miss him every day. Rest in peace, Walt.
NONPROFITS, MAKE YOUR MULTI-CHANNEL MAIL CAMPAIGNS YIELD BETTER RESULTS.
PROMOTE YOUR DIRECT MAIL MESSAGE ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
Be sure to use your direct mail campaign message and art to its full advantage. Use different segments of your letter and/or brochure to create multiple social media posts. Also, create a blog on your website using the content of your appeal and reuse the graphics from your printed materials to help tell the digital story. Lastly, every time you post or blog, be sure to include a link to allow your audience to donate.
MAKE ONLINE GIVING SIMPLE AND EASY
It is essential to make certain that your audience can quickly and easily give money. If potential donors are required to click through several pages or give a lot of personal information, you will lose a large portion of traffic. Also, keep in mind that 51% of all website visits today are from a mobile device. Make sure that your online donation process is accommodating to mobile users.
TELL PEOPLE HOW DONATIONS WILL BE USED
Use specific dollar amounts to tell people how their funds will benefit your cause. For example, “$100 can feed 4 students lunch at school for 4 weeks.” Quantify how previous amounts have been used to impact donation value. “Last year we raised $250,000 and build two facilities that housed over 100 children for an entire year.” Make sure your messages are emotional and heart-felt. This helps to create loyal donors and expands your donor base.
KEEP YOUR DONOR BASE CURRENT
Donor renewal mail yields a 3.7% response rate. Make sure that you take the time to keep your donor base current. Have your list “scrubbed” to ensure maximum delivery and to prevent unintentionally alienating champions of the cause. Scrubbing includes but is not limited to; NCOA (National Change of Address) updates, de-duplication by names and addresses, as well as an update using the deceased persons file.
Using these simple tips can help to create a successful direct marketing campaign and help give you a great start to the new year.
The USPS wants to restrict Standard Mail (now known as Marketing Mail) content to paper based only. All other items would become parcels. They list three reasons for the proposed change:
Service Level Retention
Move fulfillment of merchandise out of the Marketing Mail Environment
Reduce automation operational inefficiencies
Nonprofits would be severely impacted by the content restriction and The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers were quick to respond to the notice. They countered by stating the proposal is a classification change and the USPS cannot legally make such changes without the authorization of the Governors and the approval of the Commission.
It would seem that the USPS must now decide to either reconsider the proposal or prepare for a legal battle.
Back in April, President Trump launched a USPS task force through an executive order and gave the group four months to report recommendations to reform the USPS.
The task force delivered its recommendations to the White House in August, but findings won’t be made public until November. Trump directed the task force to make their recommendations actionable, either through legislation or regulation.
Over the summer, the team met with a variety of stakeholders including industry groups and employee representatives.
The industry expects that the report will make some mention of the administrations reorganization plan, which includes a proposal to privatize the USPS once it becomes profitable. An idea that has been met with tremendous opposition from the industry.
If the task force takes the legislation route, bills in the House and Senate could help to eliminate the USPS mandate to pre-fund future retiree’s health care benefits. Though the USPS has defaulted on these lump sum payments over the last few years, it continues to show as a deficit to their bottom line. By shifting retirees to Medicare as the primary provider and amortizing the remaining liabilities over the next 40-years, the USPS would reduce the liability to the Federal Employees Retirement System, provide a permanent boost to USPS pricing, and gain freedom to seek new revenue streams.
The task force was asked to submit recommendations that don’t shift cost to taxpayers and to consider the views of the USPS workforce, its customers and competitors. They were also to evaluate declining mail volume, growth of package delivery, and the general state of their business model.
In other news, the Senate approved two Board nominees and has received nominations for two more.
The board has been without a quorum for four years. Only the postmaster general and her deputy serve on a temporary emergency committee today. If the two newest nominees are confirmed, the board would have the six members it needs to cast votes and make decisions which could finally get things moving in Washington. Let’s just hope it moves in the right direction. We’ll keep you informed as things unfold.
As we enter the fourth quarter of 2018, I pause to reflect on the impact that Hurricane Harvey had on Houston and our business over the past year. The damage to homes and families from the August 2017 storm were reported around the world. However, the lasting impact on our economy has received less coverage. All things considered, the Houston economy is recovering well.
During the fourth quarter of last year, the region added over 35,000 jobs in the construction, retail, and restaurant sectors making it the city’s best fourth quarter on record.
The Houston economy in 2018 continues to show promise. Some key economic indicators worth noting are:
The Houston Airport System (HAS) handled 55.6 million passengers in the 12 months ending in July. That’s up 1.2% from the previous 12 months
Strengthened by a strong post-Harvey stimulus, higher oil prices and a robust national economy, the Houston BCI (Business Cycle Index) rose 8.9% during the three months ending in June 2018
For us, the year has been relatively fluid. Hand fulfillment projects are growing in numbers and our in-house envelope printing has increased by 35% over the past year. Perfect for small runs and fast turn-times, our Xante, (pronounced zawn-tay), envelope press outputs beautiful and personalized envelopes at an extremely competitive price. It’s a great addition to our print department.
Lastly, our digital marketing division is expanding. We’re on a search for an intern to help with our social media, graphics, and website projects.
Marketing is vital to growing your business and inside this edition of The Bureau, we introduce you to the nine (9) new Facebook Company Page templates released on August 22nd and outline the differences between each to help ensure you are using the template that will best showcase your business.
We also share postal updates on the USPS Task Force Report and the USPS request to restrict Marketing Mail content to paper-based matter only.
The holiday season is fast approaching and that means it’s time to start your direct mail marketing projects now. Check out the article, geared specifically for nonprofits, to help convert a traditional direct mail project into a multi-channel campaign and reap greater results.
As always, we sincerely thank you for your business and partnership. On behalf of all of us at Business Extension Bureau, we hope that you and yours have a safe and happy Halloween. And good news, we have already started working on our 2019 Texas Calendar!
We are about to go to press with our Fall version of The Bureau. We are presenting it in a different than normal format (a 16 page booklet inserted into an envelope) just to change things up and give it a fresh look. We hope you like it.
The upcoming edition includes the following stories:
We hope you enjoy this edition of The Bureau, and hope you have a happy and safe Halloween. If you haven’t received a printed version, and want to; just click here and we’ll add you to our mailing list and get one right out to you.
As always, thank you for your business and partnership.
Our 2019 Marketing for Local Business Classes are now open for enrollment. We are so excited with the line up of guest professors for next year! We hope you will join us for these lively, informative and highly educational series. Some of our guest lecturers include:
Allie Danziger, Founder of Integrate, a local PR and Digital Marketing firm has partnered with us again in 2019. Experts from Integrate will be conducting the two email marketing classes. Allie always provides amazing and diverse guest speakers.
Of course, ourJoy Zehrbach will be hosting the series and conducting a few classes as well.