New US Postage Rates 2016

The First-Class stamp has increased to 47 cents as of April 10, 2016. The US Postal Service has officially announced the postage rates for the 2016 mailing season. The Post Office has recently switched from doing large postage increases every 4 years to a smaller increase each year to keep up with costs and industry fluctuations.

This April we actually got a postage PRICE REDUCTION.

CSG Direct likes to keep you informed of changing postage rates!

US Postage Rates will not rise January 2015

U.S. Postal Service to Maintain Current Product and Service PricesDirectMailingServices

 Oct. 1, 2014–The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have decided not to seek a price change for mail and shipping products and services in January in part because of the uncertainty regarding the exigent price increase.  This means that the current pricing of postal products and services will remain in effect through the holiday season and early part of 2015.  The Board will continue to evaluate pricing strategies and will communicate about any potential price change filings in early 2015.  As always, the Postal Service will provide customers advance notice of any price changes.

UPDATE MARCH 2015: Postage Rates are scheduled to increase slightly in April 2015

New Postage Rates for 2014

New Postage RatesThe First-Class stamp will be 49 cents after the new postage rates begin January 2014. The US Postal Service has officially announced the postage rate increases for the 2014 mailing season. The Post Office has recently switched from doing large postage increases every 4 years to a smaller increase each year to keep up with costs and industry fluctuations.

The deadline for using the Full Service processing with the new intelligent mail barcodes is January as well. This is a deadline we have been waiting on for years. We have been using these IMB codes since 2008 and have the only app in the iTunes store that uses them.

Many of our innovations are based on intelligent barcodes and we seem to always lead the way. CSG Direct invented America’s first public US Mail Tracking systems. You should check out our Direct Mail iPhone app based on the new Intelligent Mail Barcodes.

We always publish a shortlist of the new postage rates:  (newest rates always posted here)

2014 NEW POSTAGE RATES

For reference here are past postage rates:
2014 postage rates
2013 postage rates
2012 postage rates
2011 postage rates
2010 postage rates
2009 postage rates
2008 postage rates
2007 postage rates

The Magic of Yellow and Red Direct Mail

The Magic of Yellow and Red Direct Mail

Back in the day, the largest amount of direct mail was white envelopes as far as the eye could see. Bills and 8.5×11 Letters were the majority of all First-Class mail and it was easy for direct mail marketers to stand out with a little splash of color.

First-Class mail volume has dropped dramatically due to electronic banking and electronic bill pay.  Now our mailboxes are full of color and the white envelope is the rare exception.

Yellow and red direct mailMore and more marketers are skipping the use of envelopes and mailing out full-color vibrant self-mailers like flyers, coupon books, postcards and catalogs.

So how do we compete in a colorful mailbox?  How do we OWN the mailbox that day without sending a 3d box mailer?

The answers are YELLOW and RED!

I mean, if you open your mailbox and there is a box inside… Nothing Beats Box!
(Except a Yellow and Red Box)

But once you eliminate the expense of box mailers with the cost of boxes, manual assembly and increased postage costs… A Yellow and Red Mailer owns the mailbox even more as it is more affordable and has a very similar pizazz presence.

Red and Yellow colors are programmed in us internally to mean “Emergency”, “Hurry” and “Must take action”. What better way is there to get your direct mail customers and prospects to take you seriously and give you their attention?

We all know that an envelope delivered from Fed-Ex or UPS would be taken very seriously from anyone receiving them. But the cost of mailing with Fed Ex or UPS is cost prohibitive.

However, DHL will let you use their patented Red and Yellow Envelopes and you get normal USPS flat-rates. ~That’s a Tip from your #CSGMailMan.  This valuable service saves a ton of shipping costs and gets the same effect or better due to their use of Yellow and Red.

Use “Emergency Envelopes” for your event invites.

So you’re not getting enough people to your events?  Maybe people are not taking your invites seriously?  What if you double your print and mail costs but quadruple your response rates by adding a Yellow and Red emergency envelope to the mix?  Or conversely, what if you mail half as many people but double response rates?

That is the direction smart math-minded clients are going.  Response is more important than any other aspect of direct mail including expense.  Reach for high response rates! 

Use Yellow and Red as a profitable way to draw your customers in.

Direct Mail Company Expansion

CSG Direct Mail and Digital Printing is combining our plants in Reno Nevada.

Direct Mail Company FacilityWe are combining our Las Vegas Facility and our Reno Facility into a single facility in Reno Nevada. Fate once again has us moving into some place bigger and better.  We are moving all our presses into one fabulous facility at 640 Maestro Dr #100, in beautiful Reno Nevada.

As a company that designs, prints and mails direct mail marketing for customers all over the country, we have lots of options as to where we want our plant.  We choose Reno Nevada based on its ideal location for distribution and its ideal location for living.

Reno is a little city with big town swagger.

IDEAL FOR DISTRIBUTION: Reno-Sparks is on Interstate-80; just East of the San Francisco ship yards, in tax-friendly Nevada. Companies from all over the world come to Reno Nevada as a major distribution point to the rest of the Country.  Some companies with handle major distribution in our area are Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, Intuit Software, JC Penny, RR Donnelly and we are now welcoming Apple to our region.

Reno is an ideal location for fast distribution across the country for our customers. We have tracked 2-3 day delivery to Texas and Colorado with US Mail tracking of standard mail.

biggestlittlecityIDEAL FOR LIFE: Living alongside Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Range is “The Biggest Little City” with Big City Swagger.  Talented people are drawn to this region for a better life and a place to flourish in a balance of work and play.

Where else can you work until 5 O’clock and by 6 O’clock you can be skiing, hiking, boating, horse-riding, snowmobiling or rafting, paragliding or motorcycle riding in many directions of beautiful mountain and country roads?  Reno-Tahoe is the most personally rewarding place to live and work.

CSG Direct is the largest digital printer for direct mail in Nevada with 9 digital presses. We invented US Mail Tracking and unique iPhone apps to track every piece of mail you send. We created variable printed maps and we are a Full Service Intelligent Mail provider with the USPS. We have very rare combination of direct mail skills, tools and innovations indeed.

As a National Direct Mail innovator we would be a leader in any city we chose to work from.  We are glad to call the Biggest Little City home. #BiggestLittleCity

Congressional Inaction Heightens Postal Service Financial Crisis

Postmaster General’s Statement on the Adjournment of Congress

Statement from Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe:

Congressional Inaction Heightens Postal Service Financial Crisis;
More Aggressive Cost Cutting and Revenue Generating Measures will be Considered

The 112th Congress adjourned without having passed postal legislation. Such legislation could quickly restore the Postal Service to profitability and put the organization on a stable, long-term financial footing. This lack of action is disappointing.

The Postal Service has worked closely with the Congress over the past two years to advance a framework for a viable business model that will allow us to quickly respond to the evolving needs of our customers. As a result of frequent communication with Congressional leaders, we have modified important parts of our five-year comprehensive business plan, including the pace of consolidation of mail processing facilities, to give Congress maximum flexibility to make needed legislative changes. Unfortunately, Congress has not enacted these changes. As we sought to provide solutions to enable legislative change, we pursued cost-reducing and revenue-generating activities. Over the past two years we have reduced head count by approximately 60,000 career employees. We have consolidated 70 of our mail processing facilities. We moved to reduce hours at many of our Post Offices. We also have worked to substantially increase our package volume along with introducing a same-day delivery service.

As we look to the coming year, we are on an unsustainable financial path. We are currently losing $25 million per day, we have defaulted on $11.1 billion in Treasury payments and exhausted our borrowing authority. The Postal Service should not have to do business this way, which has undermined the confidence of our customer base and the $800 billion mailing industry we serve. We will be discussing with our Board of Governors a range of accelerated cost cutting and revenue generating measures designed to provide us some financial breathing room.

We encourage the new 113th Congress to make postal reform an urgent priority, and to work steadily toward the quick passage of reform legislation. We will continue to work with leaders of our House and Senate oversight committees and all members of Congress to help make this happen.

New Direct Mail Folding and Tabbing Requirements

New rules for Folded Self-Mailers (FSMs) and Tabbing become effective January 5, 2013.  Are you ready?

Yes, you read it right.  More changes from the post office.  This time they say the changes will reduce damaged mail pieces and keep the high-speed postal machinery from jamming and slowing processing.  Well, that sounds good!  There will be no grace period, so get with your graphic designers and pass on the new requirements.

What is a Folded Self-Mailer?  It is a mail piece comprised of panels created when a single sheet or multiple sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to form a letter-size mailer.  It does not go in an envelope and is not bound in any way.  Any mailer that is bound in any way is a booklet and the new tabbing rules do not apply.  Mailers with discs have been reclassified and have different rules.

Here is a summary of the most important new rules for Folded Self-Mailers:

  1. Height maximum is now 6 inches (Minimum height is still 3 ½ inches).
  2. Length maximum is now 10 ½ inches (Minimum length is still 5 inches).
  3. Maximum Weight: 3 ounces.
  4. Final fold must be at the bottom of the mailer or on the leading edge (right side) of the mailer for oblong pieces.
  5. Limited to 12 total panels.
  6. Final folded panel creates the non-address side of the mailer as folded bottom to top or leading to trailing edge.  Address panel can no longer be on the very top panel.
  7. Mailers with 4 panels must be printed on 28 # bond stock (70 # book) minimum.

Here is a summary of the most important new rules for Tabbing:

  1. Perforated tabs are no longer accepted.
  2. Minimum size of tab is one inch in diameter.
  3. Minimum number of tabs is two.
  4. Placement of tabs is dependent upon the design of the mail piece.
  5. Tabs can no longer be placed on the bottom edge of the mail piece.
  6. 2 one-inch tabs may be used for mail pieces weighing one ounce or less.
  7. Mail pieces weighing over one ounce must use two 1 ½ inch tabs.

Have questions or concerns or need help with a tricky mail piece?  Give us a call and send us a copy of your artwork before you go to print and we’ll help make sure you have it right!

Call us at 800-881-2150… We’re here to Help!

Or here is our online request form

STOP THE PRESSES, BRANDED PERMITS BEING REJECTED

Company Indicias are being rejected without noticeSTOP THE PRESSES, BRANDED PERMITS BEING REJECTED Developing Story 7/27/2012

The USPS has decided to stop accepting any mail with branded permits of any kind – TODAY.

Permit holders all over the country received certified letters today 7/27/2012 (we did too) with a formal cease-and-desist on using anything other than standard font permits. So as of this moment they are rejecting mailings all over the country if you have one of these permits.  These permits have been used for years and we received no advanced warning.  Even mailings with partial drops last night cannot be completed today without covering the permits with generic black and white permits.

STOP THE PRESSES!!  They are forcing us to apply labels by machine and by hand to cover all permits before they can be accepted.

Change the permits on your art before you print..

If you are about to press Print call Paul Erickson at 800-881-2150 ext 17 for up to the minute information.

Story developing, more details to come…

UPDATES:

The Postal Service has a long track record of rolling out changes to their rules and regulations in a very slow and methodical manner. For example, the upcoming requirements in January that eliminate discounts for anyone using the old Postnet barcodes have been discussed since 2010 or earlier.

However, that history aside, the Postal Service surprised us all recently with a rule that rejected mail all over the country without any prior notice at all.  The US Postal Service will no longer accept decorative company indicia permits like this one:

Branded Permits

Marketing departments all over the country have modified their permits to be more decorative to take full advantage of the direct mail customer experience. Wither you put your casino name in your permit with a fancy font or completely colored it like we did (above), they are no longer allowed.

The only correct and acceptable company-indicia permits are built more like this:

Postal Permit

Standard Permit Indicia

Like I said, traditionally they would give a long drawn-out notice. Sometimes it seems that they don’t understand the processes we must all go through. Mailings all over the country were already approved and on the press or being completed when these rejections started happening on August 1st.

If you would like us to take a quick free look at your permit situation, just let us know.
We’d be happy to help!