I’m here to bring you the hot takes direct from the 2018 National Postal Forum. The news wasn’t quite as sizzling as the San Antonio weather, but I discovered a number of things worth relaying from the largest USPS-focused event in the country. Along with 4,000 other attendees, I had a chance to meet with industry experts, USPS leaders, vendors and peers, all while remembering the Alamo.
A few highlights:
The Postal Service Really Wants to Keep You Informed
Informed Delivery (ID) continues to be a significant focus for the USPS. ID allows enrollees to receive a digital image of letter sized mail pieces coming to their home that day, and the service gives marketers the opportunity to replace that grayscale copy of their mail piece front with a full-color digital image that may include a click through URL. Currently there are over 9.6 million registered users of ID, and 4.9 million of these are email enabled users. USPS continues to encourage participation, with their goal of enrolling millions more users in the coming years.
The USPS reports significant increases in response rates by ID participants. My opinion is that marketers should give it a try. It only makes sense that those most interested in mail, ID enrollees, will be the most likely to respond to a mailpiece.
An Enhanced Informed Visibility
Enhancements to the USPS Informed Visibility (IV) platform were also well discussed. IV offers mailers a great way to validate USPS receipt and processing of pallets and trays of mail as it can be used to provide location, date and time stamps for when these containers were handled by the USPS. I had conversations with several industry leaders that work for companies specializing in dissecting USPS-provided data. The main topic of these conversations was forthcoming improvement to customers’ user experiences allowed for by the USPS IV upgrade.
CAPS Migration and Replacement
The USPS has started the migration of users from CAPS to their new Enterprise Payment System (EPS). Mail owners need to be aware that moving forward, permits will be linked to accounts that can be funded via direct account link, ACH or check. Further, once permits are linked, checks funding these permits may be deposited at any USPS Facility or via a mobile AP scan. Ultimately, permits linked to CAPS will need to be transitioned to EPS.
Director Postal Affairs and Logistics