The new USPS delivery standards for First Class and Standard Mail that take effect on July 1, 2015 have been published. However, we have continued to experience slow delivery both local and regional, especially with standard mail. We encourage our clients, especially those mailing to promote scheduled events, to drop your mail an extra 7 days earlier to ensure timely delivery of your marketing mail! We will continue to keep you apprised of delivery in the coming months as we prepare for the upcoming back to school and holiday seasons.
New delivery standards for Standard Mail will take effect on July 1, 2015. See below for details:
We have experienced slower than normal standard mail delivery locally and regionally. See details on what Houston mailers are experiencing and read our recommendations for the coming back to school and holiday seasons. Read More…
No, you’re not imagining it. It does, in fact, take longer for letters to get to their destination via snail mail. Since January, letters that used to be delivered overnight are now taking an extra day or two to reach their destination.
The slowdown is the result of far less volume (people are sending fewer things by USPS) and processing plant closures. The Postal Service closed 150 plants to save $865 million and another 82 starting in January to save an additional $750 million.
The USPS has had billion-dollar budget shortfalls in recent years, prompting the agency to ask Congress for help. It wanted to cut Saturday service all together, but an outcry prevented that measure.
Former postmaster general Patrick Donahoe argued, just before he retired earlier this year, that the longer delivery times only affect between 2.5 percent and four percent of the mail anyway. “So you can’t hold an entire system hostage and continue to run up debt and continue to avoid making investments over 2 percent to 4 percent of the mail,” he told the National Press Club.
After three tries, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) finally approved the proposed prices and classifications for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services yesterday.
The new pricing and classification changes for all market-dominant mail classes and competitive products take effect on May 31, 2015. Below are the new rates:
Would you like a 2015 BEB POSTAL RATE CARD? These cards are double sided with nonprofit rates on one side, and for profit Standard & First-Class rates on the other. They also include handy dimension minimums/maximums and other mailing requirements. Printed on sturdy card stock and measuring at 9″ high X 8″ wide, these cards are excellent reference material and they are FREE! If you would like one mailed to you, click here.
Two weeks ago the Postal Regulatory Commission sent the Postal Service’s rate and classification proposals for Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services back for corrections and amendment. Last week the revised proposed rates were resubmitted, and for a second time, the PRC remanded the rate case stating the Postal Service has not complied fully with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Once the rate proposal is updated, the PRC will allow 7-days for public comment. In a statement released last week, the PRC also noted; “The Postal Service states that the revised prices are scheduled to go into effect on April 26, 2015. … Pursuant to [statute], no rate shall take effect until 45 days after the Postal Service files a notice specifying that rate.”
Our good friend and postal expert, Leo Raymond of Epicomm wrote; “Though I’m not a lawyer, that last sentence seems to sink the Postal Service’s plans for an April 26 implementation date — at least for Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services. (The proposed rates and classification changes for First-Class Mail, and competitive products were approved earlier, and there’s no legal reason why implementation of those rates would have to be delayed, though implementing them separately would be a major headache for mailing companies and their software providers.)”
If the USPS HQ can update and resubmit by Monday, and allowing for the seven days for comment, add another few days for the PRC to deliberate, and assuming it doesn’t remand the filing a third time, it’s reasonable to not expect an order on final rates in April. This means that it is possible that the 45-day clock won’t start until the date of the PRC order putting rate implementation (for the three classes involved at least) into mid-May.
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has issued orders approving some of the price changes proposed earlier by the Postal Service. After its review of the USPS filing, discussion of the input from commenters, and its own analysis, the PRC found that “the planned” prices for First-Class Mail do not violate the price cap.
The PRC has also approved the price increase for competitive products (proposed on January 26), except for some rates associated with products whose transfer from “market dominant” to “competitive” remain under review.
Rate increases will take effect on April 26, 2015. You can view the new rates by clicking below:
If you currently hold a mailing permit number that is issued from the Downtown Houston Post Office, you will need to make some changes.
As closure of the Downtown Post Office completes, all permit numbers issued from there must be re-issued from the North Houston office.
To make the transition, you are required to re-apply (at no additional charge) for a North Houston permit number. However, North Houston may not be able to assign the same number you were given from the Downtown Post Office. If the number issued from Downtown is not currently taken by another mailer in North Houston, you will be assigned the same number. Otherwise, you will be issued a new number.
This process must be completed no later than June 15, 2015
Inventory of items already printed with the Houston permit information will be accepted throughout the balance of this year. If you currently use a permit with the verbiage “Houston”; when creating new inventory, you will need to use the verbiage, “N. Houston” going forward. A sample for your review is below.
You can see detailed standards for mailing permit verbiage by clicking here or you can contact the North Houston Post Office at 713-226-3032.
If you need additional information or assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us at 713-528-5568.
The final 2014, Marketing for Small Business Seminar Series kicks off next week with with our Blogging class on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 between 11:30 – 1:00pm.
We have compiled results from the over 48 surveys submitted by participants since the inception of this program in July; and are proud to share the results! 90% of the respondents rated the classes as Excellent, 70% attended multiple classes within the series, and 97.3% said they would recommend classes to their friends and colleagues.
Each class covers a specific topic and is focused on teaching ways that small businesses can market using leading-edge technology without “breaking the bank” or having to hire a large staff to execute the plan. The classes (Blogging, Social Media, Two Mails: Direct Mail | e-mail, and Search Engine Optimization) are limited to a maximum of 8 people to keep interaction at a high level and allow for personalized teaching. For details and registration on the remaining classes, click here.
Our students gave specific examples of what they thought was good about the seminars. See below for a glance at a few highlights:
Our valued graduates let us know that they are looking for additional class offerings as well. We are currently creating content for the most requested subjects and will offer continuing education in the first quarter of 2015. The new curriculum will include more guest lecturers and expanded content from the our original series. In case you missed one of the original sets or would like to recommend someone, we will continue to offer the introduction of Marketing For Small Business Series once each quarter in 2015.
We look forward to working with more new companies and expanding our relationship with our existing clients through further education of Marketing for Small Business.
Our Fall Seminar Series on Marketing For Small Business has been awesome! We’ve met such great people and gotten to know some fabulous companies! This week’s class covered, The Two Mails: Direct Mail | e-mail. 100% of the attendees submitted a survey and 100% rated the class EXCELLENT! Thank you! See you next week for our Search Engine Optimization class hosted by our partners at Siteboxpro.