MARCH 2012





Photo: NPF Tweetup

When this year’s National Postal Forum (NPF) kicks off April 1. It will feature an opportunity to comment on events using Twitter, the social media phenomenon that lets users send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets.”

USPS is encouraging NPF attendees to tweet on mail-related technology and innovation using one of three “hash tags” — or addresses — during any of three “tweetups.” Attendees can submit their tweets during NPF hours Monday-Wednesday.

“It’s an opportunity to share the advancement of USPS products and services to millions of online users,” said Sam Pulcrano, VP, Corporate Communications. “We’re always communicating with our customers and our employees, and we’re hoping to harvest a collection of thoughts, suggestions and opinions through Twitter that will be useful for the Postal Service as we move forward technologically.”

NPF attendees are receiving postcards from NPF notifying them of the event and encouraging them to register.

Those with Twitter accounts can keep up with the latest news and trends by following @USPS and @postalforum.

Watch for special PCC Insider reports next week from the Forum.



Photo: Mobile barcode

The Postal Service has another summer mobile barcode promotion for 2012.

The Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion will give mailers a chance to integrate QR codes and other mobile technologies into direct mail. The promotion will run from July 1 through Aug. 31, 2012.

The campaign will offer business mailers a 2-percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats, and cards (presort and automation only) which include a two-dimensional barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device.

The Postal Service wants mailers to build on their successes from a similar promotion last year. “By encouraging marketers to invest in integrating the best practices in mobile technology with mail, we can reinforce mail’s relevance as an effective marketing channel,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products.

To qualify for the promotion, mailpieces must include a barcode or similar technology that, when scanned by a recipient, leads directly to either a mobile-optimized Web page that lets the recipient purchase an advertised product or service on a mobile device, or to a unique URL that leads to a Web page personalized for the recipient.

Registration will open May 1 and continue through Aug. 30. Click here for more information and additional resources, or email:



Photo: Imb envelope

A timetable for phasing out POSTNET barcodes has been proposed for all types of mail eligible for automation prices. The proposed timetable is the latest step in a process for mailers to migrate from POSTNET and take advantage of the benefits of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb).

The value of IMb for mailers and their mail is significant, including:

  • increased tracking and visibility across the mail supply chain
  • consistent and reliable service
  • more creative and effective marketing strategies and campaigns to target customers through the mail

Under the recommended timetable, which appeared in the March 2 Federal Register, the discontinuation of the POSTNET barcode for automation prices is proposed for January 2013, along with the requirement that the IMb be used for all automation letters — including Business Reply Mail letters eligible for Qualified Business Reply Mail prices and Permit Reply Mail letters — and automation flats.

Comments from the public on the proposed timetable must be submitted on or before April 2, 2012. Click here for the complete text of the proposed rule.



The “Get to Know the New Click-N-Ship” website.
The “Get to Know the New Click-N-Ship” website.

Click-N-Ship has been redesigned, making it easier and faster for customers to manage and ship domestic and international packages. Customers will see cleaner and less cluttered pages, reflecting the features of the redesigned

The redesign has new features in “Shipping History” and every page of the process is new — including Fast Paths that reduce by 50 percent the number of clicks needed to create a shipment.

“This is a significant improvement of the Click-N- Ship application,” said Kelly Sigmon, vice president, Channel Access. “The original version was a great application and helped the Postal Service compete in the online shipping space. This new version is another innovative leap for the Postal Service and improves upon an already successful program.”

Launched in 2002, Click-N-Ship now draws more than 700,000 customers each month, and handles 41 million shipping transactions each year.

New features and enhancements will continue to be added throughout the year on Click here to learn more about what’s new with Click-N-Ship.


PS Form 3813P, insurance form.
PS Form 3813P, insurance form.

The Postal Service is making sure its domestic insurance limit is consistent anywhere customers do their postal business — online or at a Post Office. Customers can buy indemnity coverage up to $5,000 for items that are lost, damaged or have missing contents. Where?

  • Retail counter
  • Self-service Automated Postal Center (APC)
  • Online through Click-N-Ship
  • PC Postage providers (such as and
  • eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace

“We’re providing consistency and improving the customer experience,” says Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. “We’re offering the same ease, convenience and opportunity for additional peace of mind no matter how or where customers ship their packages.”

Previously, consumers printing USPS shipping labels through some online applications could purchase indemnity coverage only up to $500, although they could take their packages to a Post Office and buy up to $5,000 coverage.

Postal indemnity coverage can be purchased from only one source per item. For example, insurance purchased online cannot be combined with insurance purchased from a retail associate or at an APC.


Photo: Dual-sided EM Flat Rate Box.

No matter which side you choose, it’s a simpler way to ship.

The Postal Service is offering an expedited dual-sided box that features Express Mail Flat Rate on one side and Priority Mail Flat Rate on the other side.

This expedited dual-use concept is possible because the Express Mail Flat Rate Box — new this year — is the same size as a Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box.

The box can be ordered online at The Postal Store on


Photo: EM Flate Rate Box.

USPS offers various international flat-rate shipping options with its expedited services. As mailing requirements and restrictions differ for each country, flat-rate shipping options also may vary.

Do you know what the weight limit is on Express Mail International (EMI) Flat Rate packaging? Did you know that EMI flat-rate shipping options are one price to Canada and a different price to all other countries?

What about Priority Mail International (PMI) Flat Rate Packaging? Did you know that the maximum weight for PMI Flat Rate Envelopes or Small Flat Rate Boxes is 4 pounds?

Click here for more important information ― including pricing ― on the differences in international flat-rate shipping options.


Photo: Election Mail logo.

The Postal Service has announced a series of efforts to ensure that changes at USPS will not adversely affect election-year voting.

These efforts include suspending mail processing network consolidations during the election mailing season. USPS also has formed an Election Mail Task Force to address questions and concerns from state and local election boards.

“Mail is an increasingly important part of the U.S. election process,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “We’re confident in the dependable and timely delivery of election-related mail.”

For primary elections after May 15, USPS is developing a state-by-state outreach program for election boards, political candidates and mailers.

USPS also is making customers aware that the proposed plan to study the closure of 3,600 Post Offices will not affect vote-by-mail efforts. Customers have a variety of ways to deposit mail in addition to local Post Offices, including with their letter carrier or a retail partner, in a collection box, or at neighboring offices within a reasonable distance of their current location.


Don’t miss the Innovation and Technology Pavilion at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, FL, on April 1-4.



  • National Postal Forum, April 1-4, Orlando, FL
  • National PCC Day, Sept. 19, Atlanta, GA



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Photo: New EDDM webpage.

USPS has launched a new landing page for Every Door Direct Mail on, where businesses can sign up for a free kit to get started reaching the markets that matter most — their nearby neighborhoods.

The website also has a link to the Every Door Direct Mail Online Mapping Tool, where you can view a demo or go directly to tools for targeting your mailing.

Every Door Direct Mail reaches consumers in their homes, getting your message directly into the hands of consumers.

It gives you as much or as little space as you need on a mailing, with a flexible range of sizes ― making it ideal for anything from a quick sales announcement to an in-depth product story.

And, it helps your message work harder. With Every Door Direct Mail, you can include coupons, menus, event calendars, store maps, and more — all of which can help bring you business.
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