As we enter the second year of the United States Postal Service (USPS) 10-Year Plan, the USPS has filed for a mid-year postage increase for Market Dominated products. The increase averages 6.5% 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 6.5% until these products are covering delivery costs.
The USPS has not stated if we will see another rate increase in January 2023. According to the 10-year plan we could see two rate changes in 2023. Mailers are already dealing with many challenges including procuring paper, inflation and staffing issues. If we do see a January 2023 rate change, hopefully it will be at a much lower average percentage than the last two increases.
If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the new pricing could go into effect as early as July 10, 2022. At this time, only Market Dominated Products are included in this proposed rate increase. Competitive category products are not changing currently. You can review all the proposed changes at https://pe.usps.com/pricechange/index.
First Class forever stamps are increasing from 58 cents to 60 cents for mail weighing under 1 ounce. First Class Flats weighing under 1 ounce is going up from $1.16 to $1.20, or two forever stamps. The additional ounce rate for letters is staying at 20 cents per ounce. Domestic First-Class Postcards are going up to 44 cents, an increase of 4 cents per card. International outbound 1-ounce letters are going from $1.30 to $1.40
Here is a link to the Proposed Price Change Webinar that was held on April 25th: https://postalpro.usps.com/node/10901.
Softening the blow of the mid-year 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, check 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, such as the Informed Delivery Promotion. It's offering a 4% discount to business mailers off your postage this year when conducting an Informed Delivery interactive campaign. The discount is double last year’s discount of only 2%. Besides the 4% discount the promotion is also extended by 2 months. Registration for this promotion runs from June 15th – December 31st and the promotion period is August 1st – December 31st.
The Mobile Shopping Promotion also provides an upfront 2% postage discount. The registration period is July 15th – December 31st and the program period is September 1st – December 31st. You can find all the detail regarding these and additional promotions at https://postalpro.usps.com/promotions.
The best way to increase response rates is to use an omnichannel marketing campaign like our Connected Mail program. This is a new way to boost the ROI on your direct mail campaigns by expanding your marketing reach though coordinated digital features. This includes Informed Delivery (with your 4% postage discount), Mail Tracking, Social Follow-Up, Social Match, LeadMatch and Call Tracking. Contact your Suttle-Straus sales representative for more details or to schedule a demo.