It's year 3 of the United States Postal Service's (USPS) 10-Year Plan, and the USPS is raising postage rates for Market Dominated products on January 22, 2023. The increase averages 4.2% across First Class, Marketing Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Special Services.
Flat rate mail, Periodicals and Packages will have a higher average rate due to the fact they are not meeting the cost associated with delivery. The USPS call these products "under water." The USPS has the authority to add an additional 2% increase above the 4.2% until these products are covering delivery costs. View the entire USPS 10-year plan.
The USPS has not stated if we will see another rate increase in July 2023, but according to the 10-year plan we could see a second rate change in 2023. Mailers are already dealing with many challenges including procuring paper, inflation, and staffing issues. If we do see a July 2023 rate change, hopefully it will be at a much lower average percentage than the two increases in 2022 and the first increase in 2023.
The Postal Regulatory Commission will review the changes before the scheduled implementation date. The complete Postal Service price filing with changes to all products can be found on Postal Explorer: https://pe.usps.com/pricechange/index.
First Class forever stamps are increasing from 60 cents to 63 cents for mail weighing under 1 ounce. First Class Flats weighing under 1 ounce is going up from $1.20 to $1.26, or two forever stamps. The additional ounce rate for letters is staying at 24 cents per ounce. Domestic First-Class Postcards are going up to 48 cents, an increase of 4 cents per card. International outbound 1-ounce letters are going from $1.40 to $1.45. Below is table with some of the new pricing:
To soften the blow of this increase is easier than you might think. The first way is to be sure your mailing list is up to date. List hygiene is crucial now more than ever. If you mail to consumers, have you checked to see if people have moved? Business mailers, are you sure the contacts on your mailing list are still with the company? Are they working in the office or from home? Are you targeting your mailing list to get the most ROI or doing saturation mail?
The second way is to take advantage of USPS Promotions that run throughout the year. Currently the 2023 promotions are in the process of being approved. Suttle-Straus will be holding a webinar in January to review the six 2023 USPS Promotions. The USPS has two new promotions coming for 2023!
The best way to increase response rates is to use Suttle-Straus’s Connected Mail program. You can boost the ROI on your direct mail campaigns by expanding your marketing reach though coordinated digital features. This includes Informed Delivery, Mail Tracking, Social Follow-Up, Social Match, Lead Match, Online Follow-Up, and Call Tracking. Request a brochure with pricing here.