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HOME --> USPS Proposes 30% Mail Growth Incentive for Marketing Mail, 1st Class

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USPS Proposes 30% Mail Growth Incentive for Marketing Mail, 1st Class

We are excited to report that on Friday August 11th, the U.S. Postal Service filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) a request to create a new incentive for Marketing Mail (MM) and First-Class (FC) Mail. If approved, here’s how it will work and potentially impact your catalog mailings:

  • The incentive will use a mail owner Fiscal Year 2023 (Oct 1st, 2022 – Sept 30th, 2023) volume to determine a base line.
  • A minimum of 1 million pieces within each category of MM, or FC will be required to qualify for a MM or FC incentive.
  • For mailers who exceed 1 million in 2024, but did not mail 1 million in 2023, they will have their incremental volume start at 1 million pieces, not their FY 2023 volume.
  • The incentive amount is proposed at 30% of the average postage rate paid on qualifying pieces mailing in calendar year 2024 that exceed the FY23 baseline of each MM and FC. (See link to charts for more details.)

The mailer’s pay out will come in the form of three credits that can be used on future mailings beginning in July 2024 and must be used by the end of calendar year 2025. Distributions are expected in July 2024, October 2024 and either January or February of 2025. All credits may only be used for postage spend on mailings of the same class of mail in which the credits were earned.

  • Mailers will be able to register their Customer Registration Identifiers (CRID) beginning in November 2023, registration will remain open until June 2024.

Eligible Marketing Mail
All commercial (including Nonprofit) flats, letters Carrier Route Flats, and Marketing Mail Packages. Retail Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is not included.
Eligible First Class Mail
All commercial letters, postcards and flats, but excludes single piece First-Class and First-Class Parcels.

ACMA Postal Committee Chair Deborah Damore of Enru has been kind enough to add some more pertinent details:

How the Credits Work
The credits earned are equal to the average actual per-piece price paid for all qualifying volumes, after other incentives and promotions, i.e., the total actual price paid for all qualifying pieces divided by the total volume of qualifying pieces.

Consider this example:

  • Assume a mailer sends 5 million qualifying pieces in calendar year 2024 and sent 4.5 million qualifying pieces in fiscal year 2023.
  • In the chart below, assume product 1 is letters, product 2 is flats, and product 3 is Marketing Mail parcels. Total 5mm pieces at an average postage rate of $.639 after all promotions and incentives had been removed. This particular mailer mailed 4.5 mm in 2023, so it would receive credit for 30% of the average postage on 500,000 pieces. (500,000 x 0.639 x 0.30 = $95,850)
  • Credits will be issued in July and October of 2024 and in January or February of 2025.
  • Credits can be used immediately once they are received but must be used by end of calendar 2025.

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The Postal Service is estimating that approximately 17% of Marketing Mail volume will earn credits during the incentive period, and projects that the incentive will spur between $544 and $907 million in growth revenue at a cost of $163 to $272 million in credits and create a net contribution of $17 to $28 million.

Watch for future updates with technical requirements on the USPS’s PostalPro website. Deborah and the ACMA will keep members posted on other developments impacting your business.

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Lynn Noble

President & Executive Director

New Member Development & Acquisition; Postal Affairs

Lynn Noble is ACMA’s Vice President, Industry Relations, having joined the ACMA in May 2015, following an extensive direct marketing career in private industry as well as the US Postal Service. He is responsible for leading the membership development efforts for the ACMA through new member acquisitions and providing enhanced member value.

Throughout his career, Lynn has held key marketing & sales positions with several leading direct marketers, as well as several high-level management positions with the US Postal Service.

In 2009, at the request of the ACMA, the US Postal Service initiated a new position of Catalog Manager to lead the Service’s efforts to stabilize and grow the catalog industry. Lynn returned to the USPS to lead those efforts and was instrumental to developing a stronger industry partnership between the Postal Service and the catalog industry. Serving as the product manager for catalogs, Lynn helped to raise the awareness of catalog-specific business challenges within the executive ranks of the USPS. During his tenure, the ACMA and catalog companies enjoyed a collaborative and progressive environment that produced more stabilized rates and inclusion in key USPS promotional opportunities.

Just prior to joining the ACMA Lynn was the USPS’s Manager, Strategic Account Operations, leading a team of senior sales professionals who focused exclusively in the Catalog, Mail Order, and E-commerce arena. In addition to his Postal positions, Lynn previously held key positions with leading direct marketing companies, including Cox Target Media, Market Logic, Catalina Marketing, Freesamples.com, and Advantage Direct.

Paul Miller

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Association Matters, Marketing / Communications, Membership Relations

Named Vice President & Deputy Director in January 2010, Miller came to the ACMA following a lengthy career of more than two decades following the catalog/multichannel/e-commerce/retail businesses. Reporting to ACMA president & executive director Hamilton Davison, Miller oversees marketing and communications, membership development, and organizes and oversees ACMA’s National Catalog Forum, while working with Davison on most of ACMA’s postal-related efforts.

Miller started his career as a reporter with Catalog Showroom Business, following a form of retailing that was led by the likes of the Service Merchandise and Best Products retail chains.

After several years of editor/reporter roles with business magazines that followed the toy and gift industries, Miller was named associate editor of Catalog Age magazine (now Multichannel Merchant) in 1986. He rose up the ranks at Catalog Age over the next 18 years to be the magazine’s senior news editor.

Beginning in the late ’80s, Miller became Catalog Age’s postal beat reporter, where he’d follow key postal events and pull out the key catalog mail-related issues for readers. During that time, he attended many Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings and National Postal forums.

After leaving Catalog Age in 2004, Miller consulted with several catalogers and multichannel suppliers for a time, he was named news/website editor at Commercial Property News. Less than a year later, he was asked to take the reigns at Catalog Success (now All About ROI) where he served as editor-in- chief from 2006 till the end of 2009.

 

Mike Plunkett

President & Executive Director

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ACMA appointed Michael K. Plunkett as its President and Executive Director in January 2024, succeeding founder Hamilton Davison. Mr. Davison moved on to own and run a company. Mr. Plunkett brings years of executive leadership experience having been the President and CEO of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) since 2017.  In the newly-formed dual role, he will continue his current role with PostCom and the two organizations will operate separately.

During his tenure, PostCom has continued to lead the mailing and shipping industry on policy and regulatory matters and to work with Government agency partners to advance issues of importance to members. Mr. Plunkett is also President of the Delivery Technology Advocacy Council, a nonprofit launched in 2020 to concentrate on delivery and logistics technologies.

Prior to PostCom, Mr. Plunkett accumulated more than 25 years Postal experience with the United States Postal Service in numerous executive roles in operations, marketing, product development and pricing.  As a leader within the Postal Service’s management team, Mr. Plunkett developed a well-earned reputation for innovation by leading efforts to develop pricing agreements for domestic services and in the development of the forever stamp and the priority mail flat rate box.

Mr. Plunkett has testified on pricing and policy issues before the Postal Regulatory Commission and Congressional subcommittees.  He has authored and presented papers on postal policies, economics, and operations for National and International conferences.

Mr. Plunkett holds Masters Degrees in Business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Sloan Fellow. He earned a Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.