Now that the Intelligent Mail barcode requirement for automation mail has been relaxed, mailers can put off converting from POSTNET, right? No! That's not a good plan. The Intelligent Mail barcode will eventually become the standard, so conversion is inevitable. Plus, there are many advantages to converting to IMb prior to it being required.

    For users of Confirm service to track mailpieces, the IMb has clear advantages over using POSTNET and Planet barcodes. The IMb requires only one barcode to carry both the Confirm and the routing information, so the address block looks cleaner and takes up less room on the mailpiece, leaving more room for marketing and design. The IMb also makes it possible to assign a unique ID to each individual piece, which gives users deeper visibility than using just Planet Coding.

    In addition to making OneCode Confirm possible, there is another service available with the Intelligent Mail barcode called OneCode ACS. This address correction service returns valuable undeliverable as addressed information, much of which cannot be captured by the usual address cleansing processes. Critical information, such as a confirmation that the address itself was correct, however, the piece was not delivered, can be returned by OneCode ACS. No mail receptacle, refused, in dispute are just some of the reasons a piece could not be delivered even though the address was correct. Knowing if pieces were not delivered is crucial to marketing teams trying to gauge response.

    Both OneCode services are available to both Basic and Full Service IMb mailings. Full Service IMb also carries the advantage of postage discounts of $3 per thousand for First-Class mail, and $1 per thousand for Standard mail. Mailers don't need to jump headfirst into trying to satisfy all of the requirements for Full Service right away, now there is more time to adopt Basic Intelligent Mail barcodes and phase in Full Service over a period of time.

    The USPS reprieve has taken the requirement pressure off - but - mailers in the know should keep the pressure on their customers to convert ASAP.