The USPS is offering financial incentives to commercial mailers that enroll in its SeamlessAcceptance program. If you partner with a company like United Mail that’s part of the program, you may qualify for a discount on your direct mail campaigns.By leveraging electronic submissions and processes, the USPS Seamless Acceptance program streamlines the time-consuming process of verifying, accepting, paying for and receiving direct mail. As the USPS encourages more businesses to move toward electronic submissions and reduce manual handling, this can save you money.
What Is the Seamless Acceptance Program?
To qualify for these discounts, companies have to use a direct mail process that submits mail pieces digitally using what’s called an eDoc. Each mail piece must have a unique barcode.
Currently, each mail campaign goes through manual verification with a postal service mail acceptance employee before it’s accepted and finalized. The employee will review the material, conduct performance-based verification and finalize postage. It’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive process to manually verify campaigns.
Under the USPS Seamless Acceptance program, the process is smoother and more automated. Mailing companies send the eDoc, which is then validated by the system. Postal employees sample the direct mail batch by scanning a certain number of pieces as the mail is being processed. The data collected is compared to the eDoc for verification and to identify errors.
This dramatically shortens the manual labor and time required to process and send direct mail, which leads to lower costs for all parties.
The Seamless Acceptance program also requires the use of the USPS eInduction mailer system. This means small volume mailers are unable to take part because eInduction requires that you palletize your mail to participate. However, direct mail providers such as United Mail can take care of this for you as part of their service.
Only companies — such as United Mail — that have entered into the USPS ParallelAcceptance program can participate in the SeamlessAcceptance process currently. This is the first step in compliance.
The Benefits of the USPS Seamless Acceptance Program
The USPS Seamless Acceptance program streamlines the entire direct mail process from start to finish. Verification happens electronically and senders have more control over the timing of the mail release schedule.
- A decrease in mail verification cycle times
- An increase in mailer flexibility and delivery
- Real-time visibility as pieces are mailed
- Feedback to promote mail quality
- A more consistent experience
The USPS Seamless Acceptance program also allows for longer mail production cycles.Often, printers had to ensure there was plenty of padding in the schedule to make sure there was enough time for USPS employees to review and verify a mailing. This meant it was difficult to make last-minute changes or adapt mailing campaigns to relevant events.With the Seamless Acceptance program, the process is quicker, allowing for less pad time.
Also, this program allows senders to release mail whenever they want. For example, you can send an entire mail job at once or release only certain portions within a mailing job.This can help you segment your direct mail or target areas at specific times and provides more predictable delivery dates. The USPS also says it will reduce the number of undeliverable pieces.
The Mailer Scorecard
The Seamless Acceptance program also provides mailer scorecards that offer a dashboard view of the results of letter or flat mailing activity using the postal service. At the end of each month, a scorecard evaluates preparation and quality, equipping you to improve direct mail marketing strategies to provide better results for you.
Think of these as the report card for your direct mail campaigns that you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your direct mail process.
The Risks Involved in the Seamless Acceptance Program
If you don’t use the Seamless Acceptance program properly, you could lose any discounts.On top of that, there can also be additional fees, fines and sanctions. That’s why it’s so important to work with a partner that understands the Seamless Acceptance program and can ensure compliance.
The USPS measures error thresholds in mailers during the calendar month and compares them to the eDoc that’s prepared in advance. It will test for things such as:
- Postage: Postage payment methods and whether postage matches what was identified
- Weight: Whether the weight is different than specified
- Delivery Points: Whether specific delivery points match USPS delivery points
- Nesting and Sorting: If pieces are placed on different trays or bundles than outlined
- Mail Characteristics: Any mismatches for processing category or mail class compared to the eDoc
If error rates reach certain thresholds, you will owe additional postage and may lose any discounts that were part of the Seamless Acceptance program.
Without active monitoring of the campaign, it can get expensive quickly. Since there is no human verification point to catch errors, you would be stuck paying for the overage at the end of the campaign. Even if the errors only occurred across a small sampling, you would be responsible for paying the difference for all of your mailings.
These are just a few of the reasons you’ll want to work with a direct mail provider that is qualified to handle Seamless Acceptance campaigns for you.
United Mail Is Qualified to Handle Seamless Acceptance Campaigns for You
United Mail is uniquely positioned to help you with your USPS Seamless Acceptance Campaigns. We have entered into the Parallel Acceptance program and invested in the electronic payment and documentation platforms required to participate successfully in Seamless Acceptance. This includes an auditing system to ensure you remain within the parameters USPS requires for you to qualify for the discount.
Not only can United Mail handle your USPS SeamlessAcceptance campaign for you, but we also actively monitor and manage the campaign so you get all the postal discounts available to you without any of the risks.
There are also additional ways to save on your direct mail campaign with United Mail. For example, combining direct mail pieces with other companies sending to shared ZIP codes allows us to ship them together. There is no difference in the way mail pieces are handled once they arrive at the post office and get sent to homes, but using the comingling method for direct mail allows senders to see significant savings of 10% to 20% annually.
Direct Mail Effectiveness
Direct Mail continues to show strong response rates and ROI. In the past six months, half of the consumers surveyed said they had tried a new product, service, or business after receiving a direct mail advertisement.
If you’re looking to break into a new market, stimulate your business or remind customers of what you offer, direct mail provides a cost-effective way to reach consumers.
Here are some of the businesses that have benefitted the most:
- Auto Services
- Health & Beauty
- Home or Lawn Services
- Financial Institutions
- Laundry or Dry Cleaning
- Leisure Activities
- Real Estate
It’s not just Baby Boomers and older Americans that are responding favorably to direct mail. Millennials also post a similar response rate and, in many categories, Gen X consumers respond to direct mail more often than any other group.
According to the Data and Marketing Association, direct mail gets viewed — even in today’s increasingly digital world, 90% of direct mail gets opened. That’s a rate three to four times higher than email. Direct mail also sees a much higher response rate than other marketing channels.
When used in conjunction with other forms of marketing, direct mail has a multiplier effect on your ROI. Combined with digital marketing, direct mail in 2020 led to a 12% lift in response rates in multichannel campaigns.
It’s simple. Direct mail works for business whether you’re marketing B2C or B2B campaigns. Now, direct mail using the USPS SeamlessAcceptance program also saves you money to boost your ROI even further.
Contact United Mail to Learn More About Direct Mailand Seamless Acceptance
As an industry-leading marketing company with deep expertise in direct mail and digital marketing campaigns, United Mail can handle your marketing from start to finish. UnitedMail is a HITRUST CSF, SOC 2 Type 2, and ISO 9001:2015 certified direct mail and printing company, so we can meet compliance requirements even for sensitive data and material.
United Mail offers a range of printing and marketing solutions, including:
- Direct mail services
- Printing services
- Digital marketing service
- Variable data printing
- Billing and document management
As a USPS Seamless Acceptance qualified provider, United Mail will manage every phase of your USPS Seamless Acceptance direct mail campaign for you. You can improve delivery, reduce costs and let us worry about the process.
Contact United Mail today for more information or to get a quote.