Your Guide to the USPS 2020 Promotions

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USPS 2020 Promotions

Your Guide to the USPS 2020 Promotions

Once again, the USPS has unveiled a series of promotions that marketers can take advantage of for some real savings. There are six promotions in total, and, with varying registration dates and promotion periods, we’re here to help you make sense of the promotions and help you get the most out of them.

USPS Promotions

These promotions build on the promotions from years prior, which have been a huge success for everyone. The six promotions this year are similar to those offered last year. They are The Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Promotion, The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion, The Earned Value Promotion, The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion, The Mobile Shopping Promotion, and The Informed Delivery Promotion.

Different promotions are available for both First Class Mail and Marketing Mail. Earned Value and Personalized Color Transpromo can use First Class Mail, Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Engagement and Mobile Shopping promos can use Marketing Mail, and The Emerging & Advanced Technology and the Informed Delivery promotions can use either
First Class Mail or Marketing Mail. Ineligible mail classes include Periodicals, Bound Printed Matter, and Media Mail.

The Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Promotion

Registration Period: December 15th, 2019 through July 31st, 2020

Promotion Period: February 1st, 2020 through on July 31st, 2020

This promotion is available for those mailers that engage with recipients through advanced materials, inks, and interactive elements, etc. This promotion is an upfront 2% postage discount during the promotion period.

To qualify for the promotion using a specialty material, the paper must have one or more advanced features that enhance the overall marketing message. Features include sound, such as an incorporated sound chip, scented paper, a visual element such as holographic features, or a textural element that can be sensed by touch, such as embossed paper or paper treated with soft-touch or UV finishes.

Specialty inks can also qualify mailers for this promotion. Inks and dyes, known as thermochromic or Leuco dyes, that change color with temperature are considered a specialty ink, as well as photochromic ink, which changes color when exposed to UV light. Metallic ink is a qualifying specialty ink that has reflective metal particles such as copper, bronze, zinc or aluminum in it which, when dry, reflect the light creating a sheen. Optically Variable Inks, which are similar to metallic ink, incorporate metallic substances in the ink to give it a sheen at certain angles of light, will also qualify a mailer for this promotion. Hydrocrhomic and clear ink are also qualifying specialty inks. Hydrochromic ink changes when exposed to water, and clear ink is a clear toner that’s added to 4-color processing as a fifth color. It can be used to highlight images, add watermarks or other security features, or be used to add another creative element to the send-out.

Interactive mail pieces can also entitle mailers to benefit from the Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Promotion. Qualifying for this last category in this promotion can be a little bit more ambiguous. Mailers will need to exhibit some sort of interactive quality that supports the overall marketing message. Interactive qualities can include pop-ups, folding, twists, bends, or other elements that can be physically manipulated. Standard half folds and tri-folds, as well as gatefolds and accordion folds, do not qualify for this promotion. The interactive elements must be dynamic and thematically linked to the marketing message.

The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion

Registration Period: Jan 15th, 2020 through August 31st, 2020

Promotion Period: March 1st, 2020 through August 31st, 2020

This promotion is available for mailers that take advantage of some of the latest technologies and techniques to help communicate the overall message. With direct mail having its own advantages, such as high response rates and trustworthiness, combining these advantages with some of the latest technologies available in the digital realm can help businesses take advantage of the best of both worlds.

In order to qualify for this promotion, USPS customers are encouraged to explore opportunities to incorporate technologies including Near Field Communication (NFC), “Enhanced” Augmented Reality, Video in Print, Virtual Reality, Digital to Direct Mail, and other developing technologies like Mixed Reality and Integration with Voice Assistants.

The utilization of Directional Copy can qualify mailers for this promotion. Directional Copy can include a place to scan in order to activate a game or other interactive experience, a logo, image, or icon to be scanned which activates an interactive experience, an app download which likewise scans the mail and launches an interactive experience, an experience for NFC enabled smartphones or a send out that can be assembled into a VR or AR viewer.

In order to meet the Directional Copy requirement to qualify for this promotion, the mailpiece must contain text near the logo, icon, or image, etc., providing guidance or specific instructions to the consumer to engage using the technology trigger. The location of the directional copy must be prominently displayed. It must also clearly state what element on the physical mailpiece must be utilized in order to activate the technology. This copy must be present on any page where the technology trigger is. Finally, if the viewing experience is only available on a specific mobile device (either iOS or Andriod only) then the directional copy must clearly state which platform and/or tool the experience is available on, for example, “only available on iOS devices.”

The Earned Value Promotion

Registration Period: April 1st, 2020 through June 30th, 2020

Promotion Period: February 15th, 2020 through March 31st, 2020

Credit Redemption Period: July 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

This promotion is for First Class mail for mailers making use of Business Reply, Courtesy Reply and Share Mail envelopes and cards, providing a rebate of sorts when their customers put those pieces back into the mail stream. New participants will earn a 2-cent credit per counted reply piece between April and June 2020. Repeat participants who meet between 93-100% of their overall volumes counted during the same period in 2019 will earn a credit of 2 cents per piece, while repeat participants who exceed their 2019 volumes will earn credit at 4 cents per piece. Credits received may be applied to postage for First Class Mail presort & automation card, letters, and flats, and also Marketing Mail letters as long as they are used by December 31st, 2020.

The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion

Registration Period: May 15th, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

Promotion Period: July 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

The 2020 Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion is intended to incorporate marketing messages highlighted through the use of color, dynamic variable print, and personalization.

With this promotion, USPS is encouraging mailers who send bills and statements to incorporate color messaging to increase responses from their customers. This promotion is for First Class Mail presort and automated letter, bills and statements only, and they must meet the updated dynamic print production requirements. Making use of this promotion will result in a 2% discount on postage.

Mailers taking advantage of this promotion must include a full-color marketing/consumer message printed in-line with the bill or statement. Examples include rewards/loyalty program incentives, renewal offers and renewal incentives, supplementary or complementary products or services, cross-sell or upsell Promotions, coupons for returning customers, or charts/graphs depicting payment history.

The Mobile Shopping Promotion

Registration Period: June 15th, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

Promotion Period: August 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

This promotion is geared toward mailers that can conveniently integrate the mobile shopping experience into their marketing materials. The use of scannable mobile barcodes, such as QR codes, is another great way to combine the power of digital tools with the marketing effectiveness of direct mail. Acceptable mobile activation formats include Dotless QR Codes, Voice QR codes, Twitter QR Codes, Amazon Smile Codes, Pinterest pin codes, and Messenger codes. This promotion is for Marketing Mail letters and flats only and making use of it also results in a 2% discount on postage.

The mobile print technology must lead the recipient directly to a mobile-optimized website, social media site, etc., where an advertised product can be conveniently purchased through a page that is optimized for mobile browsing and shopping. In order to qualify for this promotion, the destination page or pages must contain information relevant to the content of the marketing message included within the mailer.

The Informed Delivery Promotion

Registration Period: June 15th, 2020 through November 30th, 2020

Promotion Period: September 1st, 2020 through November 30th, 2020

The USPS wants to encourage mailers to use the new USPS omnichannel marketing tool to increase the adoption rate of Informed Delivery by offering the discount. Informed Delivery is a program that allows recipients to log into the Informed Delivery web portal, or check their email, to view a scanned grayscale preview of their mail. This more straightforward promotion also gives a 2% upfront postage discount. Regular and non-profit marketing mailings of letters and flats and First-Class presort or automation mailers of postcards, letters, and flats can qualify for this promotion.


At a Glance

The Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Promotion applies to mailers that use special papers, inks, or dynamic and interactive shapes and folds. Taking advantage of
this promotion will result in a 2% discount on postage.

Registration Period: December 15th, 2019 through July 31st, 2020
Promotion Period: February 1st, 2020 through on July 31st, 2020

The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion applies to mailers that make use of digital technologies in conjunction with a print send-out. Those making use of this promotion will receive a 2% discount.

Registration Period: Jan 15th, 2020 through August 31st, 2020
Promotion Period: March 1st, 2020 through August 31st, 2020

The Earned Value Promotion applies to Business Reply, Courtesy Reply and Share Mail. This promotion allows you to earn credits per reply which can be redeemed throughout the rest of the year.

Registration Period: April 1st, 2020 through June 30th, 2020
Promotion Period: February 15th, 2020 through March 31st, 2020
Credit Redemption Period: July 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion applies to bills and statements that have some sort of variable data printing applied and full-color marketing. Recipients of this promotion will be eligible for a 2% discount on postage.

Registration Period: May 15th, 2020 through December 31st, 2020
Promotion Period: July 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020

The Mobile Shopping Promotion applies to mailers with features that can be scanned by a mobile device thereby linking the end-user to a mobile-optimized shopping experience. This promotion is also a 2% discount on postage.

Registration Period: June 15th, 2020 through December 31st, 2020
Promotion Period: August 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020
Registration Period: June 15th, 2020 through November 30th, 2020

The Informed Delivery Promotion rewards mailers taking advantage of the Informed Delivery program with a 2% discount on postage.

Promotion Period: September 1st, 2020 through November 30th, 2020

If you’re looking to get the most out of these USPS promotions, look no further than United Mail. Give us a call today to find out how you can take advantage of these savings on your next direct mail project.

By: Kenton Jetton

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