Planning for 2024 USPS Promotions and Incentives!
by Leigh Ann Doyle, Senior Specialist of Mail Design and Postal Procedures, PMG
With all that goes into planning a successful direct mail package - from strategy, creative, data, production and more - postal promotions should be a part of the planning!
Going into 2024, we know that the USPS will be raising postage rates again in January and likely again in July. The USPS offers several Promotion and Incentive programs throughout the year that mailers should plan to take advantage of. Planning ahead will allow the time to consider the registration process, any creative development, and more.
All of the promotions from 2023 are returning for 2024 and, while the guidelines are mostly the same, there are some key differences to consider when planning the year.
- Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Engagement Promotion (2/1/24-7/31/24)
- Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion (6 months from flexible start date)
- Informed Delivery Promotion (8/1/24-12/31/24)
- Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion (2/1/24-7/31/24)
- Reply Mail IMbA™ (7/1/24-12/31/24)
- Retargeting Promotion (9/1/24-11/30/24)
One key difference for 2024 is that mailers can choose when they want to take advantage of the Emerging Technology and Advanced Technology Promotion! The promotion is returning with a tiered discount just as in 2023. Depending on the technology used, this promotion can earn a 3% or 4% discount. Mailers can use “enhanced” augmented reality, basic integration with voice assistant, or a QR code via Mobile shopping for a 3% discount and/or more enhanced technologies such as Virtual Reality, video in print, NFC, and more for a 4% discount.
Each mailer can choose their start date and can then take advantage of this promotion for 6 months from that start date. This means that if there is a time in your calendar that you don’t have mail that qualifies for another promotion but want to take advantage of adding a technology, such as QR code, you could use this promotion, with its flexible state date, and qualify for up to a 3% discount!
Planning is important for the Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Engagement Promotion as this involves specials inks, scents, textures, visual effects, and interactive elements such as trailing edge die-cut envelopes that need to be planned for, produced and approved for the promotion. Think of this promotion as utilizing interactive elements that appeal to the five senses, and this promotion can be up to a 5% discount on postage.
The Informed Delivery Promotion is also returning which is great news as it continues to be popular among many mailers and Informed Delivery subscribers. The most recent USPS data at the end of September noted that the USPS continues to see a growing number of Informed Delivery subscribers - up to 58.9 million. While the promotion for up to a 4% discount doesn’t start until August, ensure enough time in schedules to create ride-along images, representative images, and landing pages that add value to the mail piece. Some mailers even run Informed Delivery campaigns all year!
Brand new for 2024! The USPS has a new incentive that is different than the promotions where mailers can earn postage credits to apply to future mailings if they plan to increase their mail volume-through the 2024 Mail Growth Incentive. Registration just opened up at the end of November and goes through June. This incentive aims to provide up to a 30% postage credit for mailers that plan to grow their mail volume in 2024 in two separate classes of mail - Marketing Mail (nonprofit) and First-Class Mail. There are some specifics to consider for this new incentive from the baseline quantity to how the credits will be calculated. Mailers baseline volumes will come from the USPS fiscal year (October 1, 2022-September 30, 2023) which will be compared to mail quantity for calendar year 2024 (January 1, 2024-December 31, 2024), and mailers will have to agree to their baseline via the registration process.
From everything we know, we do expect that there will be another postage increase in July 2024 so planning now to be able to take advantage of any and all USPS Promotions and Incentives throughout 2024 will benefit your direct mail program while also creating unique ways for donors to interact with your mail piece!
Leigh Ann Doyle is the Senior Specialist of Mail Design and Postal Procedures at PMG and can be reached at 443-539-2613 or email@example.com.