Tag Archives: Postal Regulations

August PostScripts Magazine

2013-08 Postscripts - BEB We were thrilled to see that we were included in this month’s National Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) publication, PostScripts!

The August edition features the year’s winners from the Awards of Excellence program.  Each year the AMSP holds a gala, celebrating excellence and innovation in the marketing service provider industry,  Companies across the nation compete within eight categories and are measured by an independent panel of judges.  Winners are revealed and awards distributed during the association’s annual conference in June.

PRC LOGOBEB (Business Extension Bureau) took home the top prize as we accepted a first place win for the Ed Sisk Excellence in Education Award for our internal PRC (Postal Certification Certification) program.  The program’s purpose is to raise competence of postal compliance with our staff.  Required participants include sales, client service representatives, operations managers and company executives.  We encourage all BEB employees to enroll in the class, which is available to staff twice a year.

2012-PRC Kristin with her CertificateRecent graduate Kristin Howell (DP) shows off her framed PRC certificate.  Kristin participated in the inaugural class and scored the highest within her class on the final exam!

The course covers 12 modules and classes are conducted in 10, 90-minute intervals over a period of 8 weeks.  The course is completed after participants pass a 100 question written test, and an 80% accuracy rate must be met to earn a diploma.

PRC CERTIFICATIONCreation and execution of this program has brought a level of postal knowledge confidence throughout the company.  Because the course is comprehensive and participants must make a significant amount of commitment time, we have a high success rate.  Also, we must use the program as a means to recognize and praise our employees.  Certificates are awarded in a ceremonial setting in front of the entire company and each certificate is personalized, framed, and presented by the president of the company (who also earned his certification)!

Graduates overall confidence level and comprehension of postal regulations has increased significantly.  They are able to identify when to ask questions, and are comfortable with how and where to find answers.  Through our increased postal expertise, our clients use us an information source more often, and we’re included earlier in the planning stages of programs.

April HPCC Meeting

HPCC Lunch and learn logoWe attended today’s Houston Postal Customer Council Meeting held at the downtown USPS facility.  The focus was on the upcoming prmotional programs hosted by the Postal Service.  The first slide of the presentation read:  “The report of our death is greatly exagerrated.”

So said Mark Twain, and so says Kathy Hall of the USPS, today’s featured speaker.  In addition to outlining upcoming programs such as Emerging Technologies and Earned Value Reply Mail, Kathey discussed the difference between mobile friendly and mobile optimization.  She also educated attendees on Augmented Reality.   We were excited to receive credit for introducing the USPS crew to String Augmented Reality and had fun showing off the animated features using their free app.  AR DRAGON FLYING OUT OF BEB LOGO

Kathy finished with a peek into the 2014 promotions which included mobile wallet, NFC, Green Advertising Mail and Color in Transactional Mail.  We will (of course) keep you informed of details on current and upcoming USPS promotions.


Congress Kills 5-Day Delivery

Congress Kills 5-Day DeliveryThe US Postal Service Board of Governors met yesterday to discuss the Continuing Resolution recently passed by Congress to fund government operations.  Congress included restrictive language as it pertains to 5-Day Delivery which specifically prohibits a new national delivery schedule for mail the US PMG Pat Donahoe wanted to implement the week of August 5, 2013.
The statement released by the Board said; “Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule.”

Picture Permit Indicia

A Few Words From Bob with blue backgroundThe USPS is hoping to boost visual impact and increase open rates of mailpieces by introducing the Picture Permit Indicia program.  It’s a great idea, incorporating a logo, brand or trademark within a mail permit or indicia.  The regulations for indicia elements (verbiage, location and placement) are the same, however, there are so many additional stipulations that the “great idea” is buried in a mountain of red tape.

  • The service is available for mailing of First-Class or Standard letters and postcards using Full-Service IMb.
  • Graphics must be in color because black and white images did not perform to satisfaction in operational tests.
  • Registration to use the service is required.
  • A separate application must be completed and approved.
  • Upon approval from the PMO (Program Management Office), a sample PDF copy of the addressed piece must be submitted for approval showing envelope/card dimensions, IMb, clear zone and proposed PPI design.
  • Upon approval, an additional 500 hard copies of live mail samples must be submitted for USPS Engineering, Operations and Acceptance to test and testing takes approximately 30-45 days.
  • After passing the operations test, you will need to submit your mailing schedule including dates and volumes.

There’s also an additional charge connected to service as well.  First-Class Mail cost is one additional cent per piece and Standard Mail costs two cents a piece.  The idea of using an indicia branded with a corporate image is exciting and let’s hope that in the future the USPS eases up on the rules and the cost to allow their client base to incorporate this new marketing tool in their mail programs. BUREAU - PICTURE PERMIT INDICIA

From the President

Ron Bi-LineWe are already at the start of the second quarter of 2013…that is hard to believe.  January has brought our semi-annual BEB Summit meeting where the executives of BEB meet to plan a strategy for the future.  We examine where the marketplace is going five-years out, review technology changes that impact our business and conduct a client review to determined how we can better serve our existing clients and where to find new business.  Our plan to add a second digital press in the first quarter has already come to pass.  Other items for the coming year include expansion and upgrade of our 15,000 square ft facility, Postal Reform and the enhancement to direct mail with online interaction.

2013-SummitThis year’s summit was very informative and we look forward to the coming year as we find better ways to serve our clients by planning for the future.  Our first ever BEB Calendar has been a big hit with customers and vendors alike!  Don’t forget, in addition to the beautiful photos (featuring our great state), we highlighted events unique to Texas and added a QR Code for each month.  The QR Code will take you to a landing page that has fun videos or photos specific to the month.  We hope you enjoy the interactive experience throughout the year.2013-03 Bureau POSTAL 101 COLLATERAL
January and February brought appointments with our clients as we were invited to conduct our POSTAL 101 class several times.  The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve managed to keep the presentation down to 30-minutes!  We cover the new postal regulations surrounding the FSM (Folded Sel-Mailer), review the new rates and want to expect in Washing with  Postal Reform.  We’ve created several classes with content geared specifically toward individual companies and provided “cheat sheets” branded with their logos that will allow our customers to distribute the reference materials as their own.  Business Extension Bureau “hit the road” in February too.  Joy Zehrbach, our VP of Marketing traveled to Florida for the  annual AMSP (Association of Marketing Service Providers) Mid-Winter Conference.  She participated on a panel discussion covering the emergence of cross media marketing, conducted a round-table on self-promotion and even though she is a newly elected Director on the nation Board, was invited to join the Government Affairs Committee.  Our sister company, BEBdata (one of the largest bankruptcy data compilers in the nation) was in Florida last month attending the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual conference.  We mixed and mingled with several of our valued clients and got a chance to meet some new ones too!  We are always looking for ways to connect with you clients in a face-to-face manner and we managed close a deal with a new client just a few days after the show.  It was a great success and we look forward to participating again next year!

Ron Royall

ROI = $20K

2012 The BurueaToday we finished our ROI analysis of our publication called The Bureau.  The Bureau was launched in September of 2012 and serves as a center point for information on direct marketing and the happenings within our 64-year old company.
Our maiden issue asked and answered the question; “What IS multi-channel marketing?'”  Other issues announced upgrades and expansion going on within our plant, introduced readers to our YouTube page, outlined FSM (Folded Self-Mailer_ regulation changes in a simple fashion, educated on Augmented Reality (AR) and shares some case studies from our marketing campaigns.  Two of our newsletters included rate-cards for easy reference of the new postal rates that took effect in January and all included an interactive element connecting us to our client and enabling us to track results.
We were able to directly connect an additional $20K in new business to our newsletter through the articles covering our existing or new services, inquiries pertaining to specific topics included in the publication or the acquisition of new clients by incorporating prospects into our Bureau marketing plan.
Direct mail is (still) mighty and is a powerhouse to drive business online.


Postal Class 101 A Hit!

2012-12 The bureau EinstineBEB-Business Extension Bureau conducts a seminar to make USPS Postal Rates and Regulations EASY TO UNDERSTAND!! Several of our clients have already been through our 30-minute class!  We have reviewed the new rates and regulations with several of our clients’ in-house graphic artists, procurement staff and marketing associates.
As you understand the changes better, you will also understand the effects those changes have on your postal rates.
We will discuss the new regulations surrounding FSM – Folded Self-Mailers, teach you how to estimate postage quickly for budgeting and review the latest happenings in Washington as it pertains to Postal Reform.
We’ll be happy to come to your location, set up a meeting at our facility – located in the Museum District of Houston – or conduct an online webinar.  We’ll create a seminar suited for you and your staff.  Contact us to set up a POSTAL 101 class today!