Tag Archives: Business Extension Bureau

HPCC WINS PLATINUM

Congratulations to our Kathy N. Hall as she is now Co-Chair of the     Houston chapter of the Postal Customer Council.  The Postal Co-Chair is Houston Postmaster, Chenise LaDoux.

The Postal Customer Council (PCC) was organized in 1953 to provide a forum for communication with and cooperation between commercial mailers and the USPS.

HPCC shares information and facilitates the exchange of ideas about new and existing Postal Service products, programs, services and  procedures that affect all businesses that use the mail; and help industry members and their organizations grow and develop professionally through focused education programs.

A national program, PCCs are postal sponsored organizations, and membership consists of both Postal Service  employees and representatives of the mailing industry.

Executive Board Officers are elected for a two-year term.  The Houston Postal Customer Council was recently presented with a Platinum Premier PCC Recognition award during the 2017 National PCC day.  Congratulations!

 

Target Social Media Ads Work

Be sure to distribute some of your holiday  marketing budget toward targeted ads using social media. 

One of our clients recently spent only $250, over a        17 day period on an a multi-channel ad posting to   Facebook & Instagram.  The ad was presented to 69,625 people (Reach), 138,736 times, (Impressions), and generated 835 website clicks.  774 of the clicks were unique.  That’s a lot of traffic!

Let BEB help you with the set up, creation, and       distribution of a highly targeted social media ad    campaign.  Costs are very affordable, and the          demographics that are available are amazing.  Geo, income, age, households with children, and a plethora of general interests such as music bands, politicians, foods, and hobbies, are only a few of the many selects available.

 

 

WHAT IS INFORMED DELIVERY

Informed delivery is a free and optional notification service that gives residential consumers the ability to see a preview of their letter mail, wherever they are,  BEFORE IT ARRIVES.

Participating customers (6 million strong so far), receive an email containing an image of the outside of their  letter-sized mailpieces that will be arriving soon.  Packages will be presented starting in 2018, and instead of the current grayscale images of today, full color  images will start early next year as well.

Notifications can also be viewed on the dashboard at informeddelivery.usps.com.  Notifications are not sent on days when there is no mail to be delivered, or on  Sundays and federal holidays.

There is a lot of potential for marketers as this program takes root.  You have the option to make the images  interactive by connecting to your website or landing  pages.  We’ll review this new service in more detail  within our next newsletter.

 

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

  • Visit informeddelivery.usps.com
  • Click View My Mail
  • Go to My Preferences. Under Account Management, you will see a box for Informed Delivery.  Click Manage Your Mail
  • Opt IN to Informed Delivery by selecting the check box and confirm your address.  Complete ID verification process.
  • Start receiving notifications within the next few days!

 

Estimate 2% for Jan Rate Increase

The USPS said it will propose higher postal rates (for   market dominant products) based on the August 2018  Consumer Price Index (CPI).  The proposed filing will be submitted sometime in October and the rate hike will take effect on January 21, 2018.

The actual proposed changes are unknown at this time, and we are uncertain how much the USPS will draw on “Banked Pricing Authority” (see below right for more information).

However, based on statistics released by the Bureau of Labor, the Consumer Price Index Figures for August (including those used to construct the USPS pricing   authority), reflect the calculated “cap” at 1.987%.  Therefore, our advice to mailers is to estimate around a 2% increase for your 2018 postal budgetOf course specific prices can change plus or minus.

What is the USPS Banked Pricing Authority

 An amount not used in a previous filing or developed through discounts tied to incentives & promotions.  This can be added  to what is available under the CPI cap to increase the net percentage applicable to each class of mail.

 

 

Postal Rate Case Update

Today the USPS filed it’s rate case with the PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission), for a rate hike to take effect January 21, 2018.

As expected, the overall postal rate increase falls just short of 2%, excluding Nonprofit (NP), Marketing rates.
As noted within our newsletter, the Bureau, the USPS is trying to change the way nonprofit rates are calculated. Click here to read more.
If the PRC accepts the request (which is uncertain as a legal challenge will most likely follow), nonprofit prices could increase anywhere from 3.3% – 6.9% over and above other increases. As the rate case stands now, Marketing Mail Nonprofit Auto Letters are proposed to increase by 2.9%. All news isn’t bad in the NP realm, USPS marketing Mail 5-Digit Auto Flats entered at Origin are proposed to drop by 6.97%.
First Class stamps are slated to rise to 50¢ and international first class letters, cards, and flats won’t increase at all.
The PRC has up to 45-days to respond and suggest changes. We’ll keep you posted as the rate case moves through its channels.

October Classes Start Oct 24, 2017

DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

  • Classes are conducted at our facility in the heart of the Museum district of Houston, Texas at 4802 Travis St
  • LUNCH IS INCLUDED WITH YOUR REGISTRATION PRICE
  • Desktops, notebooks, and smart phones are welcome as classes are conducted while using live platforms

PRICING

Individual Classes $30/per person

2 Classes $57/per person

3 Classes $81/per person

4 Classes $105.00/per person

USE PROMO CODE B1G1 AT REGISTRATION AND RECEIVE 50% OFF!  REGISTER HERE

The Magic of (USPS) MERLIN is Gone

For over 10-years, the USPS Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup INstrument, also known as MERLIN, has been used by acceptance clerks to test and verify mailings.  When first rolled out, it created quite a stir within industry surrounding measuring mail quality at the point of mail acceptance.

Full-Service mailers have moved to Seamless Acceptance and   enjoy the benefit of standardized acceptance and verification         processes thereby eliminating the need to have mailings tested on MERLIN.

MERLIN is also used to ensure that addresses were updated within 95-days of the mailing date with customer filed COA (Change of Address) orders.  The USPS announced that on January 21, 2018, the method for ensuring compliance with Move Update              requirements will change from the MERLIN Method to a new Census Method.    The new method checks compliance on all mail pieces (unlike MERLIN that verified samplings), and reduces the current 30% threshold to .5%.

This marks the end of the MERLIN era, and the start of greater efficiency in measuring postal compliant mail.

 

The Nonprofit Postal Rate Controversy

The PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) has been petitioned for approval to amend its method of calculating Standard and Nonprofit (NP) prices.

Since 2000, the 60% rule applies to NP rates.  That means that the average NP revenue per piece should be 60% of the estimated average revenue per piece rate, class-wide.  The USPS wants to revert to using a methodology that was used prior to the passage of postal reform legislation where  regular and ECR (enhanced carrier route) rates are considered subclasses of mail.  The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers alerted members that by reverting to the prior methodology, prices could increase 3.3% to 6.9% over and above other increases that are proposed for implementation in January of 2018.

The PRC Public Representative recognized the potential “rate shock” facing nonprofit mailers, and urged the USPS to apply any corrective price adjustments (over the annual CPI cap increase) over more than two       price-adjustment cycles.

There isn’t a time constraint applicable for the PRC to issue a decision on the matter, and the comment period on the USPS proposal ended on September 18th.  Knowing the possibility of a legal challenge, the PRC may be more deliberate in issuing its ruling than usual.  We’ll keep you posted as this issue unfolds.

*from The Bureau-October 2017 issue

 

BEB WINS dotCOMM GOLD

dotCOMM Awards announced winners for the 2017 international awards competition honoring excellence in web creativity and digital communication.  BEB was awarded a GOLD dotCOMM for our Holiday Social Media Video!  Check out this multi-award winning video here.

dotCOMM Awards’ categories are the elements of the web’s evolving tools. Interactivity, content, design, social media, video, apps, blogs and influencers are all important components of digital public relations, marketing and advertising campaigns.

There were over 2,200 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and 13 other countries in the 2017 competition. Entries came from corporate marketing and communication departments, digital shops, advertising agencies, PR firms, production companies and freelancers. Entrants included designers, developers, content producers, digital artists, video professionals, account supervisors, creative directors and corporate executives.

dotCOMM Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (www.amcpros.com). The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production and freelance professionals. AMCP oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.

AMCP judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.

We are thrilled to have been given such a prestigious honor!