New Postage Rates – Intelligent Mail barcodes

To date, mailers have deposited more than 24 billion mailpieces withNew Postage Rates Intelligent Mail barcodes. We’d like to remind you that in May 2011, to be eligible for automation discounts and the new postage rates on your letter-size and flat-size mailpieces, you’ll need to start using the IMB in place of POSTNET barcodes.

In May 2011, the POSTNET barcode will be ineligible for automation prices and the IMB must be used to claim automation prices with either the Full-Service option or the Basic option.

Additionally, the PLANET code barcode, used with Confirm service for mail tracking, will be retired in May 2011. To receive Confirm service after this date, you’ll need to use the Intelligent Mail barcode.US Mail Tracking

CSG Direct has been using Intelligent Mail barcodes since 2008.

The USPS will conduct weekly webinars titled Migrating to IMB during September 2010. The US Postal Service in a letter directed to mailers provided this information.

CSG Direct is an early adopter and IMB developer and recognized for some of Americas most robust US Mail Tracking tools. We’ve invented a whole series of tools, widgets, maps and reports around the new IMB barcodes and the USPS Confirm services.

Our IMB expertise includes US Mail Tracking for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones.

When you use CSG Direct for direct mailing you can track all your projects live and you can track the movement of all your individual mail pieces en route to their individual destinations.

This was our DIRECT MAIL DREAM and we made it a reality!

New Direct Mail Booklet Tabbing Requirements

Booklet Tabbing

Well the much-awaited September 8, 2009 direct mail changes are finally here. This set of changes has been very convoluted and harder to follow than many changes in the past. We made every effort to stay ahead of the curve but the final rulings happened in the final days. The document explains this unique process further.

Here is the full document


Basically, when it all comes down to it; there are changes in the requirements on booklets.
Don’t yawn yet; this is bigger than you might think.

1st) The maximum size is now 6″x10.5″ long (smaller now)

2nd) The minimum thickness is .009 (not changed)

3rd) The maximum thickness is .25 inch (not changed)

4th) Cannot use perforated tabs ( changed )

5th) Now requires 3 1-1/2″ tabs (changed – damn)
on heavier booklets they ‘recommend’ 1-inch paper tabs.

The upcharge for not meeting these standards can be considerable. Mailpieces would be upcharded to nonmachinable rates. The most common would be for Standard mail which would go up at least .20 cents per piece (almost double).

It is this kind of details that makes our services and expertise more valuable. Avoid spending more than you need by working with USPS certified reps like all of us at CSG Direct, Inc

We are here to keep your postage low and guide your mail to its destination quickly and inexpensively. You don’t get that kind of guidance from a quick-printer.

Of course with our new US Mail Tracking systems, you can also track every single piece.

Problem with PURLS in Variable Data Printing

I don’t think there is a compelling enough reason to do personalized URLS. We are a variable data printing company and database marketers ourselves. We find PURLS are pushed by the digital press manufacturers as something expensive to sell that the buyer can use to generate business. It’s expensive to buy!

There tend to be a few quick uses for it and then PURLS lose their glamour. The primary use is to get data from a client. Wow, it’s got my name in it! But the fantasy wears off after the first time; especially when they find out that it’s a fact-gathering expedition or survey only.

(Which is great once, but you cannot do monthly surveys without a reason.)

There are just so few reasons to use PURLS.
We focus more on personalization for increased appeal and response. There are many (much more secure) ways to get a client to interact online without PURLS.

In short, expensive gimmick, few uses for the same customer, cool only on the first day it rolled out.

I (We) have been building variable data websites since 1995 to work with direct mail campaigns. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective and you can do it quickly with simple landing pages.

By the way, did I mention that we invented a way to track direct mail through the normally hidden mailstream? When we do a mailing you can track the production of your piece online (since 1999) and also track when it is delivered to the US Postal Service.  We also let you track each piece on its journey to its end delivery post office.

There are so many more things you can do on the cheap than to rely on PURLS.

Just my take, but then again I have been doing variable data printing and database programming for over 20 years in direct mail. Not meant as plug – just a reference of experience.

If you need a variable data printing quote just let me know. It’s one of the things we are famous for.