Tag Archives: BEB

HOW COVID-19 AFFECTED DELIVERY

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the financial, operational, and service performances of the USPS. Here’s how:

Employee Availability
The cumulative number of employees quarantined reached 19.1%, while  non-career employee turnover rate hit 40%.

Transportation
Lack of airplane and truck capacity, and industry competition for both, disrupted the supply chain and transportation resources particularly during the holiday season

Shift in Mail/Package Composition
A dramatic decline in First Class Mail combined with an unprecedented package volume increase of 40%

The postal service continued to deliver to its 160 million address client base throughout 2020. However, constraints in processing and transportation networks prevented timely and consistent arrival of product.

Package delivery is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade.  While this dynamic will create strong opportunities for the Postal Service and may leverage it to be even
more relevant, it also requires significant changes to its operating model. In the coming months we are anxious to learn what USPMG Louis DeJoy’s 10-year vision for the postal will be.

USPS Gets a Boost From COVID Bill

After passing a series of multi-trillion dollar COVID-relief measures, Congress has finally provided some financial support for the Postal Service with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

The bill changes the $10 billion loan to the Postal Service authorized by the CARES Act (enacted March 27, 2020) into a grant.

Also, the STOP Act from October 2018, requires the Postal Service to receive from foreign postal administrations electronic information about the sender, recipient, and contents of 100% of inbound parcels, and transmit to Customs and Border Protection, by December 31, 2020.  Most foreign posts aren’t able to provide that data yet, and the USPS and Customs and Border Protection have encountered other challenges in meeting the deadline. This extends the cut-off date to March 15, 2021.

Voice Search Defined

So, what exactly IS Voice Search? Voice search (also known as voice-enabled) is a voice activated Internet search. The search method is same as the performing a normal search on your computer or mobile device. Voice search is often interactive and allows a system to ask for clarification. The search can be done on any device with a voice input dialog system.

Language is the most essential factor for a system to understand and provide the most accurate results. This covers multiple languages, dialects, and even accents. Systems can recognize speech in hundreds of languages, as users want a voice assistant that both understands them and speaks to them understandably.

Mechanisms use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for input. They can also include Text-To-Speech (TTS) for output. Users might sometimes be required to activate the virtual assistant before performing the search. The search system will detect the language spoken by the user, then detect the keywords and context of the sentence. Next, the device will return results depending on its output. A device with a screen might display the results, while a device without a screen will speak them back to the searcher.

Voice search is currently not a part of Google’s algorithm; however, it is still dictating current search results. Voice search queries often yield different results than if the user had typed in a text-based search. For SEO, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on their toes with voice search components for their consumers who are adapting and switching over to that medium.

Voice search content must be specifically optimized for voice. It needs to be more direct and conversational so that it will accurately sync with search queries. This will help boost traffic by staying relevant and more visible to consumers.

Below are some mind-blowing statistics as it pertains to voice search. It is the wave of the future and marketers need to construct their digital marketing plans with a focus on how Voice Search can benefit their business.

  • Grocery shopping accounts for more than 20% of voice-based orders
  • Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022
  • By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market is estimated to be worth $30 billion
  • 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months
  • 55% of teenagers are using voice search daily
  • Top 3 common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, what” and “best”.

All About Data

When preparing a direct mail campaign for prospecting new business, be sure and take advantage of the wealth of expanding demographics that are available today.

So much data is being collected, and a lot of it is self reported, allowing for a wide variety of demographics to select. Before you purchase your next prospecting list, take the time to
research the criteria of your best customer. Then use that criteria to select your list.

In addition to the tried and true staples such as age, income, and occupation; additional
demographics available today include:

  • Lender Information
  • Buying Activity | Average Spent
    • Vehicle types
      Primary or Secondary
  • Children in the Household
  • Generations in Household
  • Hobbies & Lifestyle Indicators
  • Newlyweds
  • Newly Divorced
  • Type of Vacations:
    Casino
    Cruise
  • Social Concerns
  • Music Preferences
  • Pets

Data from a source known as an ailment file is also available. Due to the nature of the data collected, there are a few restrictions that include pre-approval of art. However the data is reliable and net excellent returns. Data available from ailment files include:

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Birth Control
  • Bladder Leakage
  • Diabetes
  • Hair Loss
  • And more

Business list compilers are expanding their available demographics to include:

  • Expenses
  • Advertising
  • Payroll
  • Rent and Lease
  • Sales Volume
  • Square Footage
  • Woman Owned

Even saturation or walk sequence data is benefiting. Compilers stack the saturation file with consumer data and aggregate at the carrier route level enabling mailers to take advantage of the carrier route walk sequence postal rates.

Don’t limit your data when launching your next direct mail campaign. Expand your criteria
selects and watch your return expand too. With the data selects available today, we could probably find a list of skateboardinggrandmas!

The Company Website. An Under Utilized Communication Tool

Your company website is a reflection of your business. It is the billboard for potential clients,
an invaluable resource tool for your existing clients, and a central focal point dedicated solely to
promoting your business. Why then, do so many companies neglect their website?

Numerous companies will dedicate an extensive amount of time building or rebuilding their site. Once it’s published, they forget it until four or five years pass when it’s time to make a new one.

At a minimum, every business owner should monitor their website activity monthly. And it only takes a few minutes.

Using the free version of Google Analytics, you can (very quickly) see so many important things. Items such as how many people are visiting your site, how many are first time visitors, the length of time visitors stay on your site, what pages they visit, and how they found your site.

It also helps to identify areas that are weak or maybe even irrelevant. Every business has tried to sell a new product or expand service offerings with something that just didn’t sell. It’s part of growing your business. Lack of activity and visits to certain parts of your website may be telling you that its time to delete the page, or simply update it.

Successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a tricky balance. For example, Google likes for your homepage to be relatively static. You gain better traction when your homepage doesn’t receive a lot of alterations or changes too often.

On the same token, Google gives you “points” for keeping information on your homepage refreshed and current, which seems to be a conundrum, but it isn’t.

Adding a blog to your homepage is a great way to keep content current and fresh without changing the basics of its layout. Blogging also gives you a library of posts to use for your social sites which also enhances your SEO. A blog is an excellent medium to show your business expertise too. Enhance your blogs using keywords to help potential clients find you faster via the web.

Finding subjects to blog about isn’t as difficult as you may think. Go through the pages of your website, and use Google statistics as your guide, and you will find a wide variety of topics to blog about that clients are hungry for.

If your business is consumer based, you may benefit by adding a picture carousel to your home page. This allows you to feature selling points such as sales events, special offers, or highlight products.

The images that are loaded onto the carousel can enhance your SEO too. Be sure that you name every photo that you upload to your website. Instead of uploading “Image 9652q7”, save the image using your company name and specifically what the image is about. For example, save the image of a 15% off coupon as ‘Arrow Stores 15 percent off coupon’. This naming convention allows for search engines to verify content and will enhance your optimization.

If you haven’t reviewed your website or its statistics lately, now is a perfect time to check it out and see what is working or what isn’t. If you need assistance, we can help. We offer a website review for only $500. Call us for more information at 713-275-9045.

The Bureau – August 2020

Be on the lookout! Our award winning newsletter, The Bureau, is on its way to you soon!
Inside this issue:

Didn’t receive a printed copy, but want one? Just click here and give us your mailing information, we’ll send it to you right away!

BEB Wins Graphic Excellence Awards

We are so excited to announce that The Printing United Alliance of the Gulf Coast has bestowed upon us two print awards:

The Award of Excellence for our 2020 Digital Calendars

An Award of Merit for our Digital Cookbook

We are (so) excited to be recognized by the Printing United Alliance. They are the largest graphic arts trade association, representing an industry with approximately one million employees and serving the interests of thousands of member companies through advocacy, education, research, technical information, and cost-saving resources.

 

Small Business COVID-19 Sign Packages

BEB is your small business partner. We have created a variety of COVID-19 signs for small businesses to post throughout their facility/facilities. You can order the signs individually starting at $5.50/each, or discounted package pricing, and you can place your order ONLINE! Posters are available in English or Spanish.

All posters are printed on 130# Card Stock. They are intended for indoor use. Click here to check out our incredible pricing and to order yours today:

 

COVID-19 Operations Update

Business Extension Bureau did not close during the COVID-19 stay home order as we are deemed an essential business within the CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency). We remain open today and are conducting our operations using recommendations given by the CDC, global, national, and local government agencies and The World Health Organization.

The safety of our staff, customers, and partners is paramount and we have implemented stringent safety procedures that include:

  • Only employees, maintenance staff, and delivery personnel are permitted inside our buildings.
  • Anyone entering our buildings must wear a mask.
  • Deliveries are only accepted through the warehouse.
  • Employees must sanitize their work stations before the start of each shift, mid-day, and again at the end of each shift.
  • Gloves and hand sanitizers are positioned throughout all of our buildings and office areas, and all staff are encouraged to use them throughout the course of each day.
  • Employees whose job functions allow them to work from home are working split shifts. Every other day at home, every other day at the facility; altering days weekly. This will be seamless to our clients and vendors.

We are operating with a core-group of people and understandably our turn times may not be as fast as usual. Your patience is appreciated as we work through this crisis. We appreciate your business and partnership and we will keep you abreast of any changes in our operating schedule as it unfolds.

The Postal Service has so far experienced only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International destined for China and Hong Kong, remains in effect since Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, due to widespread airline cancellations and restrictions into this area. In addition, customers may see delays in mail and packages destined to China as well as from China, as well as to and from European countries subject to restricted passenger airline travel. The Postal Service is undertaking all reasonable measures to minimize the impact to our customers.

Please exercise caution and common sense during this trying and extremely unusual time. As always, we appreciate your business and partnership.

Stay safe & healthy-
BEB-Business Extension Bureau