Customers who mail are uniquely sensitive to postal costs. When promotions come along that promise discounts, they move to the top of mind for everyone who uses the USPS to communicate with their customers and prospects. This year, the USPS Board of Governors created six new promotions that bring the promise of great postal savings options, but there is a tougher requirement for planning and execution this time around. Mailers will need to read and understand the requirements to ensure they (and/or their clients) get the best results.

For each of the six programs, there are specified program requirements that include defined registration periods and proscribed dates when the promotion can be in the mail. Each mail piece must be submitted to a dedicated USPS email address for final review and approval in advance of lodging the campaign for mailing.

The 2019 promotions were created to move mail communications toward long-term and sustainable growth by leveraging their unique value to jump-start engagement and drive digitally connected commerce, particularly on mobile devices and among GenZ and Millennials.

2019 Promotions Summary

The promotions available for the 2019 cycle have something for every type of marketer, so you will want to review all the available options.

Informed Delivery: From September through the end of November, business mailers who register for Informed Delivery and launch an interactive campaign within the platform can claim a two percent discount on postage.

Earned Value Reply Mail: To stall the decline of First-Class mail, the USPS will award registered mailers a $0.03 credit for each Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail, and Share Mail piece they send in April, May, and June. Participants can apply their accumulated credits to future mailings of First-Class Presort and Automation cards, letters and flats, as well as Marketing Mail items.

Personalized Color TransPromo: From July 1 to December 31, the USPS is offering a two percent discount to first-time participants who use color and marketing messages to enhance their bills and statements. Mailers who have taken part in this promotion in previous years will have to use dynamic color and personalized messaging to qualify.

Mobile Shopping Promotion: This promotion offers an upfront two percent discount on the postage of Marketing Mail flats that include a call to action and a print/mobile technology that can be scanned to allow recipients to make an online purchase. This promotion is available from August 1 to December 31, 2019, with registration beginning June 15, 2019.

Emerging and Advanced Technology: Like the Mobile Shopping Promotion but significantly broader in scope, this offer is designed to encourage mailers to enhance the effectiveness of a physical direct mail piece by making it a part of a more cohesive campaign and a distinctly multi-channel experience. To qualify for this promotion, which runs from March 1 to August 31, and receive a two percent discount at the time of mailing, a piece must incorporate technologies like Virtual/Augmented Reality, Digital to Direct, Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon, Near Field Communications, Video in Print, or one of the newcomers to the program, Mixed Reality, Addressable TV, and Integration with Digital Assistants.

Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive (TSI) Mail piece Engagement: This promotion leverages print innovations to heighten recipient experience and response rate through sensory engagement with specialty inks (including ones that conduct electric circuits or react to exposure of water, pressure, or light), paper (ranging from those with holographic effects to pieces with edible components), and interactive elements (like pop-ups or infinite folds). From February through July, the USPS is offering a two percent postal discount on qualified Marketing Mail and Nonprofit letters and flats.

Make Sure Your Mail Meets Program Requirements!

These promotions can provide significant value to mailers, but to achieve them takes some work. Build enough time into the campaign planning to submit the campaign to the USPS for review and approval well ahead of the target mail date. Take the time to educate your client on all of the requirements and the timeframes so that there are no surprises.

For the details on how to create a campaign that meets the USPS requirements, go to Pay careful attention to the registration periods and the different email addresses for each of the promotions. Mailers should be prepared to respond to questions from the reviewers and to make changes to meet their requirements.

Maximize Results with Postal Discounts

There are options on the menu for both novice and advanced mailers. Add some color and personalization to transaction communication to access the Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion. Link an offer to the mail piece to engage the Informed Delivery solution. Working with Augmented Reality of using enhanced print and finishing techniques? Consider the Emerging and Advanced Technology or Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive promotions. No matter which postal discount you leverage, the key to success is planning. Become a hero for your customers by educating your client about these USPS promotions. Be their guide on the timelines required for capitalizing on each program’s discounts. Create a promotional piece for your own marketing collateral to walk the walk and talk the talk with your customers on these programs, and include a production calendar to guide them on production deadlines and important reminders such as approval processes through the USPS. Look for opportunities to help generate ideas for your clients that leverage the discounts. With the right guidance you might find that the postage savings for your clients comes right back to your bottom line!

Pat McGrew is Senior Director, Production Services, Keypoint Intelligence. If you have stories to share, reach out to her! @PatMcGrew on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or are the best ways to reach her.