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Trial run

Promotions offer mailers chance to experiment

The Postal Service’s promotions allow the organization to add value to the mail — one of its business strategies.

The Postal Service offers several mailing promotions each year that can give business customers an opportunity to try something new.

Rachel Katich, a customer relationship manager for Hudson, OH-based Jo-Ann Stores Inc., is one marketer who has done just that.

A few years ago, she oversaw a campaign that combined two components: a postcard with a QR code that recipients could scan to be taken to Jo-Ann’s website, and an Informed Delivery component that allowed users of the digital mail notification service to click an image of the Jo-Ann’s mailpiece in order to be taken to the retailer’s website.

“We wanted to measure the engagement of the QR code versus an email with a call to action to see which content was more compelling to the customer,” said Katich.

Although both components performed well, she found that the mailpiece with the QR code received the best response.

Katich said that she’s used mobile shopping and Informed Delivery mailing promotions during the past few years, and plans to use an Informed Delivery promotion again in 2020.

The Postal Service is offering six mailing promotions this year. The first one — the Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion — began Feb. 1 and runs through July 31.

This promotion offers a discount on postage to mailers who incorporate special visual effects, sound, scent, texture or taste components in their mailings.

In addition to helping the Postal Service innovate, the promotions allow the organization to add value to the mail — one of its business strategies.

“These promotions are an opportunity for mailers to use new technology with their printed pieces that enhance the benefit of physical mailpieces,” said Bonnie Lee, product development specialist in the Postal Service’s Product Innovations Group.

The five other promotions this year are Emerging and Advanced Technology (March 1-Aug. 31), Earned Value (April 1-June 30), Personalized Color (July 1-Dec. 31), Mobile Shopping (Aug. 1-Dec. 31) and Informed Delivery (Sept. 1-Nov. 30).

Each promotion is expected to draw between 500 and 850 customers.

“The promotions have different quirks, and they all do well,” Lee said.