November 01, 2005

How the USPS Postal Rate Hike May Affect Email Marketing

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Thought you'd like to know the USPS has at last announced the official new postal rate hikes. The new rates should "take effect in early 2006":

First class letter - .39 cents (up from .37); Postcard - .24 cents (up from .23); Bulk mail - up 3%; ECR mail - up 5.5%; Non-profit ECR mail - up 12.3%.

How will this affect email? Most marketers who were ulttra-concerned with postal mail cost have already made substantial shifts into online and email, so we don't expect massive changes. However, the rate hike makes transactional email deliverability all the more critical, along with allied growth in the Print on Demand industry.

Many organizations have switched from print to email to save budgets in the past five years. Now, those transactional emails (receipts, shipping, account updates) are more likely to be filtered in the general run of things. *Plus* smart marketers are including campaign messages/offers within the body of regular transactional emails, which again ups the false positive filtering quotient due to content filters.

If email response is critical to your business, you'll want to build in database communications between email delivery indicators on the individual account level and your postal mail system. For example, if you can tell a critical email may not have gotten through, your automated Print on Demand system can quickly substitute a postal mailed version to that customer.

The Print on Demand industry is ready and waiting to be integrated into your email system for that purpose. This extra postal hike will mean mailing smarter and more carefully, not stopping mailing.

Here are two useful links for you if you're interested in the subject:

#1. USPS rate hike announcement: (click on the scrolling red headline)

#2. The Digital Printing Initiative (PODi)

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