The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced at the recent Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings that assessments for errors above published thresholds for eInduction mailings will begin in May 2017. The assessments will be based on April 2017 mailing data, and the invoice reports will be issued on May 11, 2017. The assessment process will mirror the process currently in place for the Full-Service® assessments.
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is introducing Informed Visibility (IV®), to provide the mailing industry with more powerful insight into the USPS mailstream. This new program is designed to provide a one-stop shop for mail tracking data, consolidated into one system, as opposed to tracking the data via IMb Tracing® and PostalOne!®. The key to the success of this new program is the near real-time expanded visibility into mailings as the mail moves through the mailstream, that is much more powerful than the tracking data that exists today which can sometimes be delayed. Another benefit is a user-friendly data provisioning and data delegation, so it is much easier for mailers to specify what data they want, when they want it, and who receives the data. The result is increased value of the mail, enabling mailers to better plan mailing campaigns and resources.
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) filed a Federal Register notice on February 27, 2017 requesting comments from interested parties on the revision to their pending proposal regarding a new measurement and assessment procedure for evaluating mailing address quality. This new procedure would impact mailers who enter eligible letter- and flat-size pieces of First-Class Mail® and USPS Marketing Mail® (formerly Standard Mail®) that meet the requirements for Basic or Full-Service®mailings. In addition, the USPS is proposing to extend free Address Change Service (ACS™) to mailers who enter qualifying mailpieces. Comments regarding the published notice are due on or before March 29, 2017.
One of the upcoming offerings in the United States Postal Service® (USPS)® 2017 promotion and incentives program is the Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion, which runs from March 1 through August 31 of 2017. Registration for this promotion started on January 15, 2017 and runs through August 31, 2017. This promotion builds upon previous promotions and continues the strategy of encouraging mailers to integrate direct mail with advances in technology. Examples include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, Video in Print (ViP), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)/Beacon technology, enhanced "augmented" reality, virtual reality and Digital to Direct Mail. The goal of these technologies is to allow the recipient to engage in an interactive experience using the mailpiece and mobile devices.
Just as you share electronic information with friends and colleagues via the internet, you can now do the same thing using the mail. Ah, but I need to pay postage to do that, you might say. Well, not any longer. The USPS program Share Mail (formerly Alternate Postage) allows you to send letters and postcards to share valuable information, without affixing a stamp!
The second offering in the United States Postal Service®(USPS®) 2017 promotion and incentives program is the Tactile, Sensory & Interactive (TSI) Promotion, which runs from February 1 through July 31 of 2017. Registration for this promotion started on December 15, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2017. This promotion leverages some of the latest technological advances within the print industry that encourages sensory engagement with a mailpiece. Features such as special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, pop-ups, infinite folds, and even taste may be used to enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail.
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) 2017 promotion and incentives program begins with the Earned Value Promotion, which runs from January 1 through June 30 of 2017. Registration for this promotion ended on December 31, 2016. The goal of this promotion is to slow the decline of First-Class Mail® volume, and specifically Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM). This promotion is offered to participants who use BRM and CRM enclosures. New for 2017 is the addition of Share Mail™ enclosures.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) 2017 price changes take effect this Sunday, January 22, 2017. These price changes impact virtually all classes of mail and processing categories in both the competitive and market dominant services. The PostalOne! production system was updated to support the pricing changes on Sunday, January 8, 2017. At that time, the new Mail.dat® client download for the Production Environment became version 22.214.171.124_PROD; all previous versions of the Mail.dat client were expired. Details of the changes for this update may be found on the USPS RIBBS® web site for the 126.96.36.199 Release Notes.
As we told you in an earlier e-Tip, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems. However, the USPS is eliminating this FTP option to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. The planned effective date for this change was January 31, 2017, but the USPS has now postponed this to May 31, 2017 in order to give shippers more time to make the transition.
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, January 8, 2017. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update process, on Sunday morning January 8, 2017 between 12:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. CT.PostalOne! will then be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, January 9, 2017 and TEM will be unavailable during that update period, from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm CT.