2017 Price Change Information: USPS Marketing Mail and What You Need to Know

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A new year always brings with it a variety of different changes, and it seems that 2017 will be no exception, as far as the United States Postal Service is concerned. Anyone who relies on the USPS for their direct mail marketing activities would do well to sit up and take notice, especially with regards to the price change information and other news that has recently been announced.

What’s In a Name?

According to PitneyBowes.com, the USPS “Standard Mail” tier will be rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail in 2017. Additionally, what was previously known as “Alternate Postage” will now be called “Share Mail.” Pricing structures have been changed (and arguably, simplified) accordingly.

When the new branding goes into effect, letters that are 3.5 ounces in size or less will cost $0.284 – a reduction from the current $0.290 pricing structure. Flat rates for items that are four ounces or less, on the other hand, will actually increase to $0.555 from the current rate of $0.546 that is expiring. It’s important to note that these rates are for the USPS Marketing Mail items that are processed through non-automation means.

Other Upcoming USPS Changes

The USPS also announced a number of other changes, particularly to items that fall into the presorted mail category. Overall, people can expect a price decrease on average of about 0.25%, though it’s important to note that certain types of items will actually increase in price at the same time.

One change that marketers will no doubt be happy about is the fact that presorted First Class Mail will see a significant price reduction. Starting at the end of January, sending 3.5-ounce materials will now cost the same price as a one-ounce letter. Up until these changes go into effect, the pricing category ranged from one to two ounces, not 3.5 ounces.

Those First Class letters up to one ounce will now cost you $0.49 as opposed to the current $0.47. Flat rates up to one ounce will increase to $0.98 from $0.94, while First Class Mail parcels will allow you to pay one price ($2.67) for any item up to four ounces in size. Each additional ounce will cost you $0.21, which is actually one of the few categories of pricing that will remain unchanged in the new year.

Changes Behind the Scenes in 2017

It’s also important to note a significant change in the way these types of items are processed. Items that used to fall under the 3-Digit and AADC categories are being combined with First-Class Mail Presorted Automation Letters and USPS Marketing Mail Automation Letters. Ultimately, this won’t really change the price that you can expect to pay when you send your marketing materials out into the world, but in theory, it should make them easier to process and send out once they’ve made their way into the hands of the United States Postal Service.

All of these changes will go into effect on January 22, 2017. Until then, the current pricing structure will still apply. As marketing budgets get tighter than ever during a period where direct mail marketing has never been more important, it’s always essential to stay as up-to-date as possible on any and all USPS pricing changes to help make sure you’re getting the most out of your hard-earned (marketing) dollar.


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How to Court the Younger Generation: Creating the Future of Your Business by Marketing to Millennials Today

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In the world of marketing, there’s a natural instinct to go after certain segments of the population when marketing because those are the ones that spend the most money. That may be good for short-term gains, but any business worth its salt will always be thinking about the future. And regardless of the industry, the future can be summed up in one beautiful little word: millennials.

Commonly defined as anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, or those born in 1982 and up, millennials outnumber baby boomers by roughly a half a million people. They’re the largest generation in the country right now and, make no mistake, the one that the very future of your business will be based on. If you want to court the younger generation and create a solid future for your business, you’ll need to keep a few key things in mind.

Treat Them as Equals

No consumers like to be talked down to or told what to do – but this is especially true with the younger generation. Millennials can absolutely sense “marketing speak,” so don’t think that is going to buy you a whole new generation of customers, either. According to one study conducted by Kissmetrics, 89% of millennial buyers trust recommendations from friends and family members MORE than any claim that a brand could make.

Use the same tactics that you’ve been using to win over older generations, but reconfigured for a younger audience. You should still be putting helpful, relevant content that appeals to the people you’re trying to attract out into the world, but keep in mind that what is relevant to a 20-year-old isn’t necessarily the same thing that’s relevant to a 65-year-old. Buyer personas are going to be hugely valuable in this regard to help guarantee your eye is always “on the prize.”

You’re a Combination Marketer Now Whether You Like It Or Not

Marketing to specific groups of people has always required putting your efforts to where those people actually are, and millennials are no different. Millennials are nostalgic about direct mail and appreciate personalized invitations and advertising they can hold. Likewise, according to a study conducted by Nielsen, more than 85% of millennials own a smartphone. That means your digital marketing needs to marry with your print marketing for the best way to meet your audience where they’re at.

When used together, print and digital marketing successfully target that coveted younger generation. Think digital with a smartphone-based loyalty rewards program, and connect that program to your direct mail campaign. Social media is another obvious example. Tie your social media efforts with posters, envelopes, and more to create the best of both worlds.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that no business – regardless of what it is – is time-proof. If you focus all of your efforts on one particular age range or demographic, you run the risk of accidentally making yourself irrelevant when that group invariably ages out of the product or service you’re offering.


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Print It Plus Advice: What Can Make My Mailers And Post Cards Stand Out? Try Spot UV

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As a full-service printing, marketing and advertising company, we at Print It Plus are often asked what the highest Return On Investment is for the different types of products and services that we offer. The truth is that each and every situation is unique. However, we do share with you our knowledgeable advice based upon our extensive experience, built up over almost 30 years in this business.

In fact, we had a recent experience with our new Spot UV printer that illustrates the significant value to many businesses, and certainly anyone in charge of marketing or advertising an event.

We proudly work with a significant number of charities here in the West Palm Beach area. One of our charitable-based clients is the regional branch of The Boys & Girls Club. They run multiple events in our area every year to raise money to help local children in need.

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When they gave us the proof on their “Save The Date” post card for their upcoming golf event called Play “Fore” The Kids! at Trump International Golf Club on Monday, November 7th, we showed them how our new Spot UV printer could make their card stand out. These pictures only show part of the difference. The Spot UV process also gives the card a unique feel – much like a business card with added dimension and texture.

Here is the most important part of that mailer to you; the results:

  • A couple of weeks after the Spot UV-designed post card was sent out, our contact at The Boys & Girls Club called and said: the “Save The Date” card was so impressive that people called who do not even golf and said they would buy a Foursome.
  • The head of the committee for Boys & Girls was able to drop their order of Invitations from 1,500 to 250 because the event was already almost sold out.

Therefore, the Boys & Girls Club saved a significant amount of money by taking our advice and using this Spot UV printer to create their post cards. If you do any type of direct mail to customers, potential customers, donors or potential donors to help grow your business, or you need post cards or brochures for a variety of other marketing uses, then our Spot UV printing could be perfect for you.

For those of you who are not familiar with Spot UV, it gives a clear and shiny layer to specific parts of your post card, brochure or business card that creates an eye-catching and contrast between the smoothness of the card’s base layer finish and the high-shine of the spot UV. We can use Spot UV to create your vision the way you want it, or you can work with our award-winning design team to have us take your thoughts and create the style and branding that you desire.
Come into our offices, conveniently located on Okeechobee Boulevard just west of 441 in Royal Palm Beach or call us to come to your office and witness for yourself how Print It Plus can help you to Create Infinite Possibilities. Or, use our state-of-the-art website to view our products, marketing and advertising materials on your own. You want to learn how? We will be happy to walk you through the process, and you or one of your staff will be doing in no time!

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your branding, marketing and advertising needs including creating a professional and unique post card to help you convey the most powerful message consistently to help move people to do business with you.
We also offer promotional products, vehicle wraps of all types, decorations and decals, and secure web form services for medical offices. It is our pleasure to service the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton.


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Print It Plus has so much to offer. Find Out What You Have Been Missing.

For more information or to request a quote, go to Print It Plus, http://www.printitplus.com.