From PSDAs Blog

From PSDAs Blog

6 USPS Mailing Promotions for 2013

As the holidays approach, they serve as a reminder that the end of 2012 is upon us. There’s much to be thankful for this year, and there’s even more to be excited about next year. For the first time, the United States Postal Service is publishing a yearly promotional calendar to help marketers prepare earlier for upcoming mail promotions. The 2013 calendar will contain six promotions created to bolster interest in the different uses and varied benefits of mobile barcodes in direct mail, among other opportunities.

“The promotions that are being planned for the coming year will help grow awareness of the ways in which technology can improve the effectiveness of direct mail,” said Gary Reblin, vice president of Domestic Products. “The ‘2013 Mailing Services Promotions Calendar’ also will give commercial mailers more time to plan their campaigns so that they can take full advantage of both postage savings and marketing opportunities to engage their customers with targeted, tangible and personal communications.”

The proposed promotions include the following:

March 1 to April 30, 2013: Mobile Coupon/Click-to-Call

This promotion provides an upfront postage discount on the integration of mail with mobile technology and will promote the value of direct mail in two ways. First, it will encourage customers to integrate hard-copy coupons in the mail with mobile platforms for redemption. Second, it will drive consumer awareness and increase the use of mail with mobile barcodes that provide click-to-call functionality.

April 1 to June 30, 2013: Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion

Customers who include First-Class Mail Business Reply and Courtesy Reply envelopes will receive postage credit for each returned piece that is scanned in the postal network. This promotion is designed to encourage mailers to promote First-Class Mail as a primary reply mechanism for their customers and to keep the Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) envelopes in their outgoing mailpieces by providing a financial benefit when the BRM/CRM envelopes are used.

Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2013: Emerging Technologies

Building on the successes of past mobile barcode promotions, this promotion provides an upfront postage discount for customers who integrate specific emerging technologies into their mail campaigns. The planned cutting-edge innovations to be highlighted are near-field communication, augmented reality and mobile-enabled authentication technologies. This promotion is designed to elevate awareness of how innovative technologies can be integrated with a direct mail strategy to enhance the value of direct mail.

Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2013: Picture Permit

The Picture Permit promotion is designed to promote the use of Picture Permit imprint indicia, which can improve a mailpiece’s visibility and impact as a marketing tool. During this promotion, it is proposed that the Picture Permit fee be waived for eligible customers mailing First-Class Mail letters and cards and Standard Mail letters and cards.

Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2013: Product Samples

Designed to re-invigorate product sampling via the mail, the Product Samples promotion will provide mailers with an upfront postage discount on qualifying mail that contains product samples. The promotion will raise awareness of the effectiveness and value of having samples delivered to the home and highlight the new proposed “Simple Samples” pricing in Standard Mail, effective Jan. 27, 2013.

Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013: Mobile Buy-it-Now

This promotion provides mailers with an upfront postage discount to encourage them to adopt and invest in technologies that enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail and demonstrate how direct mail combined with mobile technology can be a convenient method for consumers to do their holiday shopping.

(Source: Printing Impressions)

Alexa Schlosser

Managing Editor

Print Solutions

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Why PURLs are Perfect for Your Printing Company AND Your Clients

Why PURLs are Perfect for Your Printing Company AND Your Clients

PURLs, or personalized URLs, reflect marketing’s new emphasis on highly relevant marketing. PURLs allow you to create marketing messages tailored to fit your printing company’s prospects exactly. It’s also an effective measurement tool. With PURLs your printing company can track which prospects interact with your direct mail messages, and which ones ignore them. (And you can refine your message and try again with those who don’t respond.)

Integrate PURLs in your printing company’s direct mail pieces for marketing campaigns that are cutting-edge, on-trend and affordable.

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Personalized Printed Products Market Will Continue to Grow According to InfoTrends

 Personalized Printed Products Market Will Continue to Grow According to InfoTrends

Due to the popularity of products like photo books, photo calendars, and photo cards, the photo merchandise market has experienced strong growth over the past few years.

InfoTrends is pleased to announce the completion of a new multi-client study entitled, Next-generation Personalized Printed Products. Due to the popularity of products like photo books, photo calendars, and photo cards, the photo merchandise market has experienced strong growth over the past few years. This study examines the “next-generation” of printed products with a focus on developments in custom printed cards, stationery items including products like contact cards and journals, and photo-based home décor.

Today’s consumers are expressing their personalities through the products they buy on a daily basis. Printed products have capitalized on this trend, thanks to a rising installed base of digital printing presses that allow for short-run production of a wide range of products, as well as new creative tools and software that give consumers the ability to customize printed products with elements such as text, borders, graphics, and personal photos. “The overall market for personalized printed products in the U.S. is estimated to grow from around 113 million units in 2012 to nearly 158 million units by 2017,” says David Haueter, Associate Director for InfoTrends’ Photo Merchandise Trends Service. “It should be remembered that many of the products in this category have been around for many years and reside in a relatively mature market. Personalization is breathing new life into many of these products, resulting in growth rather than flat or declining volume.”

The growth in the market for personalized printed products is driven largely by getting consumers to think of traditional products in new ways, which is encouraged not only by the ability to personalize products but also by the availability of new designs and new ways to create and order these products. InfoTrends recommends that in all product categories, vendors must continue to develop and promote mobile ordering, focus on marketing messaging, conveying quality of products, and targeting new demographics. Personalized printed products are an excellent option for photo merchandise vendors looking to expand their reach, as these products are less vulnerable to seasonality issues and are typically printed on the same equipment, allowing for greater production efficiency.

InfoTrends Next-generation Personalized Printed Products study provides valuable and relevant information that profiles buyers and non-buyers of personalized printed products, evaluates consumer interest levels and needs, examines workflow issues and the creative process, analyzes purchasing decisions, and also explores the use of electronic cards and do-it-yourself products. Market size estimates and forecasts are provided for the card, stationery, and photo home décor categories and key vendors are profiled.

As a supplement to the main report that focuses on the consumer market, InfoTrends has also conducted additional research on the opportunity for photo-based products in the small and medium business (SMB) market. This research was obtained through a web-based survey of 500 SMB marketers and/or decision makers across key vertical industries, and focuses on what applications are being printed and how, applications that are growing and declining, and print volumes that are being generated. This SMB research is available in PowerPoint format as an optional supplement to this report.

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