A New Year's Gift from USPS
maybe a little more in the spring...?
The outlook for postal rates in 2016 is
becoming a little clearer, and it looks like good news for mailers and
maybe great news, depending on our friends on Capitol Hill. We have friends there,
At the MTAC meetings in November (MTAC is the
Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, the summa plus ultra of postal nerd-dom),
the Postal Service made two important announcements:
Important Announcement One: They will
not raise rates for "noncompetitive" products (that is pretty much Standard,
First-Class, and Periodicals letters and flats) in 2016. No rate increase in
Important Announcement Two: They
acknowledged that the Exigent Surcharge is a thing, and that they are supposed to
get rid of it in April or so. Up to this point, the Postal Service had preferred
to regard the rates as just the rates not a surcharge. Now they
acknowledge that it is a surcharge, and should be removed sometime in April. They
are in planning stages, changing forms, regulations it's not simple to
change rates up or down.
So, if all goes well, postage should be
reduced across the board some Sunday in April by about 4.3%. "Should" is the
operative word. "Should" and "will" are two different words entirely
different sections of the dictionary. Our aforementioned friends in Congress may
yet weigh in.
The Postal Service is in a tough spot. They
lost $5.1 billion in the fiscal year they just completed of course most of
that was from paying bills they don't like, like prefunding retirement and health
care plans. If you take away the bills they don't like paying, they actually had a
surplus of about $1.2 billion, which they would not have had without the exigent
surcharge. They really don't want to give that back, but the doggone law says they
Unless they can get the law changed!
Meet iPost. No, iPost is not what you hang
your digital fence on. It's the "Improving Postal Operations, Service, and
Transparency Act of 2015." We're not sure why they used a little "i" - maybe
"Improving" is not an important objective, but more likely it just looked cooler
iPost is a postal reform bill introduced by
Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who is often involved in Postal Service
legislation. We talked about this bill in our October
issue. The bill would, among other things, freeze postage rates
until 2018, and make the exigent rates permanent. Since October, the bill has
gained bipartisan support and additional cosponsors, increasing its chance of
passage. It is not a particularly tough sell to the public no new taxes,
no reduction in services, jobs saved all you need to do is not reduce
postage. Plus it makes it look like Congress does something. We think this bill
has a decent chance of passing. See more details here.
So if you were planning on spending your
exigency elimination windfall on an extravagant gift for your favorite direct mail
vendor, you may want to hold off a bit. It's not quite a sure thing yet. Still, a
worst case scenario is a couple of years of stable postage rates, and that's not
such a bad gift.
January 7th's Thinking Out Loud: A Preview of
Finally! A reason
to look forward to January!
We kick off our Thinking Out Loud webinar
series for 2016 on January 7th with our Vice President of Sales and
Marketing, Dave Lewis, previewing what to expect in the coming year. The
webinar is at 12:30, and will last 30 minutes it's the next best thing to
a three-martini lunch.
In this fast-paced presentation, Dave will
offer insights into trends to expect in 2016, as well as what steps you need to
take to prepare and optimize your mailings. Among the topics to be
- Postal rates and legislation
- USPS 2016 Promotions can you really
participate in them? (Hint: maybe
- Cool technologies, and how they work with
- IP Targeting
- SMS Texting
- USPS email notifications
- Other important trends in mailing techniques
Dave has been in the trenches of direct
marketing for decades, and will bring valuable insights to his presentation. This
will be an energetic kick-off to the New Year! Go ahead and break out that 2016
calendar and mark it in ink. Thinking Out Loud: A Preview of 2016, Thursday,
January 7, 2016, at 12:30 pm.
Click HERE to
register. It's FREE!