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11 FAQs about USPS with COVID-19: Impacts to Your Campaign

11 FAQs about USPS with COVID-19: Impacts to Your Campaign

As a direct mail provider, we are receiving tons of questions about how USPS is operating with COVID-19 and the recent statewide stay-at-home order. We have created this article for you to learn the answers to these commonly asked questions. Continue reading to get answers to the frequently asked questions about USPS during this difficult time and how it might impact your direct mail campaign.

11 FAQs about USPS with COVID-19:

1. Is USPS still open? 

Yes, they are still open. The United States Postal Service is an essential, federally run business and is operating at full speed during times of emergency.

2. Is there a USPS point of contact person businesses can work with to help their mail contingency plans?

Yes, however, managed accounts should continue to work with their designated postal service representative. If your business or partner needs to shut down its operations, then you should contact your Business Service Network (BSN) contact, sales contact or their local Business Mail Entry to discuss.

3. Have the USPS services been compromised due to COVID-19?

No, the USPS continues to process mail to meet the needs of their service standards.

4. For Hold Mail options, can businesses provide a temporary alternate delivery address?

Yes, businesses may contact their local postmaster or station manager for temporary changes to their delivery address.

5. Can mail be held at the Post Office for pickup?

Yes, however, USPS has extended the hold policy to 30 days for closed businesses.

6. Can I ship hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes?

Yes, but you must follow USPS Protocol. For example, use USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select, or Parcel Select Lightweight when shipping such items. These services are only available through your local branch.

Most disinfectant products contain alcohol and are flammable, which means they must be shipped and handled as hazardous matter (HAZMAT) in the mail. It is prohibited to send these products by International Mail including APO/FPO/DPO (military) destinations.

7. How is USPS handling claims during this pandemic?

People and businesses who required to bring damaged articles to their local post offices to have their claims approved, will now have 90 days instead of 30 days.

8. How does COVID19 impact the distribution of Passports?

USPS will conduct all passport application services by appointment only. Walk-ins are no longer accepted due to USPS’s efforts to flatten the curve of the virus and to protect their staff. Due to this, the Department of State advises the possibility of delays to regular passport delivery times.

Only regular passport applications are accepted, while expedited passport application processing are not offered unless it is life-threatening.

9. Are there any changes to procedures for Drop Ship Mail?

No, USPS has reported there are no changes.

10. Can the virus spread through mail?

No. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates there is no evidence COVID-19 can be spread through mail.

11. How does COVID-19 impact my direct mail campaign?

Every direct mail campaign is different. We suggest contacting your Modern Mail representative as well as CCing info@modmail.com on any questions you have about your campaign. As of right now, we are operating normally with limited staff and business hours.

Please rest assured your direct mail campaign will continue as planned and we will let you know about any changes to your campaign. Remember, if you are sending anything over 10 MGs, please upload it to http://www.modmail.com/upload or we will not receive it.

Additional Resources

To read the recent electronic newsletter from the USPS Headquarters, click here.

For a more extensive list of FAQs about USPS, please visit this site: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Coronavirus-Updates-for-Business-Customers#claims

We understand how challenging this time must be for local businesses. If you have any direct mail marketing requests or questions, we encourage you to contact us. Above all, we are here to help you. If you have any more FAQs about USPS with COVID-19, please comment below.

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6 Ways Direct Mail Can Save Your Business During This Pandemic

6 Ways Direct Mail Can Save Your Business During This Pandemic

As you already know, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken a toll on businesses worldwide. The virus has impacted all of our lives, including your costumers. With the increasing number of recent lockdowns, what ways are you staying in contact with your customers?

Direct mail can be a great way to maintain communication with your target audience during these trying times. Considering the overwhelming amount of people who are quarantined in their homes indefinitely, direct mail allows for your business to stay at the top of their minds, and to rise up the noisy world of online marketing.

In this article, you’ll learn all of the ways in which you can take advantage of direct mail during challenging times.

Direct Mail Can Save Your Business from COVID-19 by:

 

  1. Providing physical communication to your audience

Everyone likes receiving mail in their mailbox, and it can be especially exciting when you can’t leave your home. Give your audience some excitement by creating a direct mail campaign. After all, 98% of people check their mail every day so let them hold your piece physically in their hands.

  1. Giving your audience certainty

By conducting a direct mail campaign during this time, you can give some certainty about your business to your audience in an uncertain time. Let them know about any changes to your business per COVID-19 and your efforts to minimize the spread. Your audience might not even know your open!

  1. Having USPS on your side

For those who don’t know, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is an essential business and plans to continue to stay open to fulfill the needs of businesses. USPS is an entity of the Federal Government and will run at full speed during times of emergency. More information about how USPS is handling COVID-19 can be found here.

  1. Relying on it for your marketing

With business closures and limitations left and right, you might be wondering how to continue your marketing efforts for your business. You can rely on direct mail marketing to maintain your brand to the public. After all, a direct mail campaign leads to increased brand awareness, more website traffic and more opportunities to make a sale.

  1. Giving your audience a personal touch

Many people are currently social distancing and are limiting physical contact with others. By having a direct mail campaign, you can give your target audience a personal touch about your business. Let them know you are there for them in this time of need and if you can do anything better to serve their needs. You never know when someone needs help until you ask.

  1. Helping other local businesses

Your business still might be going strong, but others unfortunately have gone downhill. If you feel confident in how your business is handling COVID-19 then consider conducting a direct mail campaign to help those businesses in need. Consider making a campaign to alert your community on important resources, food delivery options and which businesses are still open.

If you would like to get started on any of the above direct mail marketing techniques, contact us. You might be able to save someone from going out of business.

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COVID19 Modern Mail Update

Dear Customer,

As of March 25th, Pinellas County Commission made the hard decision to enact a “stay at home order” for businesses and residents countywide. We wanted to reach out to all of our valued customers to inform you that Modern Mail & Print Solutions has been classified as an essential business and will continue to keep operations open during this time.

Here is how it impacts our customers and business:

– Updated our business hours Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 3 PM

– Reduced staff hours to practice safe social distancing

– Because of this, please include the email info@modmail.com on all orders as well as your representative’s email to ensure it’s received by us in a timely manner

– Remember, if you’re sending anything over 10 MGs, please upload it to www.modmail.com/upload or we will not receive it

– For questions or concerns about USPS, please refer to this letter

We understand how hard it must be as a business owner in this trying time. If you have any questions, concerns or would like to discuss your future print and direct mail projects, please give us a call at 888-430-6245.

We have been servicing this community for over 46 years and are here for you. We hope this message gives you some certainty in an uncertain time.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted or affected by the Virus.

Stay Safe and God Bless.

Kindest Regards,

The Modern Mail & Print Solutions Family

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Why Do Companies Choose to Outsource Work and Why You Should Too

Why Do Companies Choose to Outsource Work and Why You Should Too

As a small business owner, you are laser focused on two things: making more money and saving more money. In light of this, you may be contemplating outsourcing some of your work. Continue reading to learn why do companies choose to outsource work.

Smart choice.

An increasing number of companies throughout the world today are outsourcing portions of their workforce. The market for outsourcing increased from $45.6 billion back in 2000 to a whopping $92.5 billion in 2019. That’s more than double over the past two decades.

The question is, is the outsourcing process truly worth it? Why do companies choose to outsource work?

Here’s a rundown on economies of scale and how outsourcing works in 2020.

Let’s get started!

Why Do Companies Outsource Work?

Companies may decide to outsource specific business functions for a number of reasons.

First, they can achieve greater economies of scale, or cost advantages, by hiring third parties to complete some tasks. That’s because they can increase their production and lower their costs.

Second, companies outsource because this allows them to improve their companies’ focus. In addition, they can gain access to top-notch capabilities that they lack themselves.

Outsourcing is also a proven way to free a company’s resources for additional purposes they value. In addition, you can streamlining functions that take a lot of your time through outsourcing.

Yet another benefit of outsourcing is that it allows you to maximize your use of the resources available outside of your company. Also, this process allows you to share risks with the third party you’ve hired.

Why Take Advantage of Mail Service Outsourcing?

A key business function that companies choose to outsource is their mail service.

Why? Because outsourcing mailing services has been proved to boost efficiency as well as decrease costs. You can easily outsource direct mail marketing items along with notices and invoices.

Other items that can easily be produced with the help of a third party include bills, letters, and statements.

Outsourcing allows you to decrease your in-house production, postage, and paper costs. Plus, you can reduce your risk of experiencing a costly data breach.

In the end, if you hire a reputable third party, you can be confident that this move will help you to stabilize your cash flow and minimize your capital investments in the years ahead.

How We Can Help:

We offer top-of-the-line print and mail solutions to help our customers to operate more effectively. At the same time, we make sure that our customers in the best position possible to operate with excellence.

After all, we understand that efficiency and cost savings are the two main answers to the question “Why do companies choose to outsource work?”

We stand out in the industry for being reliable, service oriented, timely, and customer driven.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our high-quality mail services and how outsourcing this function of your business can benefit your bottom line in the years ahead.

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4 Flyer Design Tips to Capture Your Target Customer

4 Flyer Design Tips to Capture Your Target Customer

There’s a reason why you see as many ad flyers floating around today as you did decades ago: because they work. Whether you’re promoting a specific event or your business as a whole, a flyer is a quick, concise way to spread the word.

Of course, your success depends on how well you follow through. Your flyer design can make the difference between a sold-out event and a total flop. Nail it with these flyer design tips.

1. Be Stingy on Your Words

Your flyer has a very specific topic to cover, and that’s all it should cover. It shouldn’t tell your life story.

Flyers are all about quick glances and easy summaries. To make those glances count, you want as little flyer copy as possible on your flyer.

Only say what readers need to know. Even for that minimal information, format it in brief, skimmable ways. Bulleted lists and short phrases are your best friends.

2. Choose a Central Image

For your flyer to work, it needs to grab a reader’s attention. The best way to do that is with a singular focal point, usually a primary image.

This could be as simple as a stock photo of a smiling person or a big picture of a product you’re advertising.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have other images, too, but they should be understated. Make them small and unobtrusive. If you’re trying to pull a reader’s eye in too many directions, they’ll gloss over the flyer entirely.

3. Include the Essentials

As important as it is to keep your flyer text to a minimum, don’t try to do that by skipping your contact information.

You need to include your contact information for a few reasons. First, it serves as a call to action by telling readers how to take the next step of buying from you. Don’t assume people will take the extra step of Googling your business to find out how to reach you.

Second, your contact information establishes more transparency and trust between you and the reader. It shows them that you want to interact, that you aren’t just pushing them to make a purchase. For brick and mortar businesses, your address also shows readers that you’re a neighbor, not just a nameless corporation.

4. Highlight Your Brand

All kinds of people will see your flyer: those who already know you well and people who have never heard of you before.

To make sure you’re reaching all these people, your flyer needs to have plenty of written and visual branding. You can use your brand’s colors as the color scheme, and give your flyer the same feel you want your brand to have. Above all, make sure your logo is a part of the design.

This ensures that even when someone doesn’t attend your event or become a customer, they’ve started to get to know your brand.

Making Use of Your Top Flyer Design Tips

Flyer design is an art form, not a science. The tips above can help you learn what works and what doesn’t, but it takes creativity and technical skills to produce the results you want.

Whether you’re printing a flyer you’ve designed yourself or you need help with your flyer design, shop our online services for help.

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The 5 Best Ways to Advertise Locally: Get More Reach

The 5 Best Ways to Advertise Locally: Get More Reach

Thanks to digital advertising technology, you can market your services to locations all over the world! And yet, the most relevant audience is the one that’s right around the corner.

For any company, the key to success is effective local advertising. This is true whether you have one location or many.

So, to help you out, we’ve written you this guide. In it, we outline the 5 best ways to advertise locally.

Rise to the top in your local community with these expert tips.

1. Combine Traditional and Digital Advertising

One of the biggest mistakes advertisers make is trying to choose whether to focus on digital or traditional advertising efforts. In reality, the best advertising strategy employs both of these working together, especially when advertising locally.

For example, your advertising posters and signs can include a QR code. This effectively leads local, physical passersby to your digital advertising channels.

You can also achieve this on your printed ads with a hashtag that directs physical traffic to your social media account. Or invite viewers to join your text club via printed media. Consider this for magazine ads as well as posters and signs.

2. Direct Mail Marketing

The above point can also be achieved with direct mail marketing. Besides that, DMM is the most successful way you can advertise locally regardless.

You know the recipients are all in the immediate vicinity of your area of operation. Plus you can target recipients even more specifically if you wish. Or simply send out to the entire local area.

Going back to the above point, your mailer is an excellent alternative for those who don’t wish to join your email newsletter. List it as an option next to your email newsletter signup on your website. Use your newsletter to offer exclusive discounts and notify locals of weekly sales.

3. Double-Up with Geotargeting Plus Billboards

Another way to combine digital marketing with traditional is with geotargeting. If you have a billboard displayed in your local community, you can create geotargeted digital ads to accompany them.

Set the location of your geotargeted ads as the same location where your billboard is visible. Then, some who pass by will notice your billboard, while others will see your ads on their mobile device.

Whether they’re looking at their screens or out the car window, almost everyone in that area will see your ad. Many of them might even see both, giving your ad double emphasis.

4. Partner with Compatible Businesses

Don’t go it alone. Two heads are better than one, a cord of three strands isn’t easily broken, etc.

The point is, surely you and some of the businesses around you can partner up for mutual benefit. If a reputable, nearby business has services that compliment your own, talk to them about a business deal.

You can refer clients to them and vice versa. Print out brochures for them to display and display theirs at your business. Everyone wins.

5. Make Headlines

Lastly consider how you might make local headlines. Is there a special project you can start or event you can host that will benefit your community?

Contact local news outlets that can cover the story. This is positive local advertising that’s 100% free, minus the cost of the event/project.

You might also consider writing a column for a local publication, one that showcases your expertise in your field.

The Best Ways Advertise Locally

Keep this list and apply what you’ve learned here today. If you don’t, your competitors might beat you to it!

Don’t be a small fish in a big pond. Be the biggest brand in town. Use these tips to advertise locally.

For more great marketing ideas, check out these Top 3 Direct Mail Marketing Trends for 2020.

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Geographical Marketing Works and It Can Work for You in Largo

Geographical Marketing Works and It Can Work for You in Largo

One of the best ways to plan a direct mail campaign that fits your goals is with geographical marketing. When you target your audience by the geographic areas that your business serves, you are more likely to land in the mailboxes of potential customers who are close enough to use your business.

Using geography marketing helps you maximize your direct mail budget dollars. This is done by excluding mailing areas that reach an audience you don’t serve. In Largo, this strategy can be more detailed than choosing a zip code to drop a mailer. You might be surprised at how targeted an effective geotargeting can be! Here’s how it can help your Largo-based business!

Strictly Location

If your business serves a wide range of customers in a delivery area of 5 miles, geographic marketing makes it simple to select a radius of 5 miles from your business location for your next mailer. Why waste valuable marketing dollars mailing to a full zip code if part of that code is outside of your service area?

Limit the production costs and postage expense of mailing to people who might never be your customer by using geographical marketing to reduce your mailing size while targeting potential customers in your service area.

Add Demographics 

Within your service area, you can apply geographic segmentation to fine-tune your mailing area. Not everyone who lives in every household is a potential customer.

Segmentation allows you to learn a little more about the people living in the households in your mailing area. Then compare that data to your current target customer base. Your best potential customers are people who look and behave similarly to your existing customers! Targeting those look-alikes through your direct mail campaigns helps increase the potential response from your mailing.

You can also tailor the content of your campaign to reflect the demographics of your target mailing area. For example, if households in your area have an average income range, focus your mailing’s message on how your business services fit into the needs of a typical household in that income range.

Get Local

What’s happening in Largo? Customize mailings and target mail dates that can capitalize on the local activities in Largo.

Send mailings that offer sales that coincide with local events. Encourage local festival attendees to bring their mailer in for a free gift. This can apply for a special discount on an item or service too. Use your local knowledge of the Largo area to build a relationship with the potential customers in the households of your service area.

Geographical Marketing is Personal and Relatable!

Lastly, unfortunately most people take one look at the Bulk mail in their mailbox and toss anything that isn’t relative right in the trash. To help your direct mailings stand out from the mailbox clutter, use geographical marketing to target a specific customer area and then customize your direct mail piece so that it relates and is personal to those potential customers using variable data printing.

Geography marketing helps you use your direct mail strategy cost-effectively by reducing your print and postage costs! Above all, contact Modern Mail & Print Solutions to help you craft your next direct mail campaign with geotargeting for better results!

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Combining Digital and Print: Your Guide to Integrated Direct Marketing

Combining Digital and Print: Your Guide to Integrated Direct Marketing

Customers are more demanding than ever. For marketers and business owners, it may feel like you’re expected to read minds.

You have to create the right marketing messages, deliver them to the right person, through the right medium. That can feel like an impossible task, but it is possible with an integrated marketing campaign.

Integrated campaigns combine the print and digital worlds to create maximum impact and ROI.

Are you ready to learn more about creating an integrated direct marketing campaign?

Let’s get started!

1. Use Your Direct Mail Piece to Get Attention

When you create an integrated direct mail campaign, you need to plan out a customer journey. You move them from first becoming aware of your company to the point where they’re ready to take action.

Your direct mail piece can the place to generate awareness. It has to be designed to capture attention. You should have a strong headline, a clean design, and have text to support the headline.

2. Give People a Reason to Go to Your Website

The most important thing on your direct mail piece is the call to action. Without the call to action, your mail recipients won’t know the next step in the journey.

Some people may visit your website out of curiosity or to learn more about your company. With a specific call to action, you’re directing people to take action by visiting a landing page

Instead, you can give them a reason to visit your website. You can offer a free guide or an online quote. That can help you build your email list and tell people what your company is about.

3. Create a Retargeting Campaign

This is the point when your marketing campaign truly becomes integrated. You can place a tracking cookie on your website or landing page. Once people visit your website, the tracking cookie can be used to deliver display ads or ads on Facebook.

That ad can bring them back to your site, which can increase your chances to convert them. This ensures that the people who visit your site without taking action still have your brand in front of them.

4. Repeat the Process

Your strategy shouldn’t depend on only one direct mail piece to make an impact. It takes a sustained effort over time to get the best results.

You need to plan your direct mail campaign to last over multiple mailings. That will increase the traffic to your landing page and increase conversions.

Integrated Direct Marketing Campaigns Work

You need to reach your customers where they are with your marketing messages. You have to reach them through online and offline means.

An integrated direct marketing campaign can bridge the gap between digital and print. These campaigns can be created to deliver your brand message multiple times in a variety of ways. It’s a way to expand your brand without investing in pricey forms of advertising.

These campaigns can increase conversions and deliver ROI. Contact us today to find out how you can start your direct mail campaign.

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Which of These Direct Mail Sizes Is Right for Your Campaign?

Which of These Direct Mail Sizes Is Right for Your Campaign?

A successful direct mail campaign requires a lot of decisions. From choosing the right colors to the content and the right package size, the combination of details can make or break your campaign.

Different paper and envelope sizes can communicate different things to your audience. Understanding standard sizes and how letters and envelopes best fit together can also save you some money on your campaign. Before you put the pieces of your next mailing together, keep reading to learn more about direct mail sizes.

Small But Mighty

One of the simplest direct mailings to create is the USPS postcard size mailer. With minimal space and weight, a postcard mailing is easy to create and inexpensive to mail. To get the best pricing for a postcard mailing, make sure your design fits the post office specifications for machinable processing and presort pricing.

Postcards should be no more than 4-1/2 x 6 inches, and they can be no smaller than 3-1/2 by 5 inches. Use a postcard to send a quick update or special offer to your list.

Say More With a Letter

Many direct mail campaigns include an outer envelope and a letter. Depending on the response you want from the mailings, you could also include a return envelope. A letter-sized mailing gives you more space to speak to your customers. Tell a story or include a flier that offers more space for details and graphics than you can get from a postcard-sized mailing.

The post office has specifications for letter sizes, too. A Number 10 envelope is one of the most common sizes for mailing letters. It’s machinable and works with first-class, third-class, or presort mailing options. To help make sure more of your letters arrive in mailboxes, follow the USPS guides for different letter sizes and specifications.

Remember that weight matters, too. To save money on postage, keep your letters under an ounce. When your package weighs more than an ounce, you pay a higher postage rate.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Sometimes it pays off to make an impression with a larger, flat mailing. A 9×12 mailing is impressive and stands out from smaller pieces of mail in a mailbox. However, the larger the flat size of your mailing, the more expensive it is to print and mail.

Make sure you have the budget to create a more significant mail piece, including higher costs for large envelope postage. Choose the right audience to receive this kind of unique, high-end mailing. High-end customers or donors might take notice of a bigger mail piece. However, for a bulk mailing to a broader audience, a standard letter might be more cost-effective for your campaign.

Choose the Best Direct Mail Sizes For Your Campaign!

Depending on what you want out of your campaign, the ideal direct mail sizes can make a difference. Test different sizes to find the best combination of paper sizes and postage class.

When you’re ready to design, print, and mail your campaign, contact us! We’ll guide you through the creative and production processes to help make sure your direct mail campaign is a success!

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How to Tell If a Direct Marketing Mail Campaign Fits Your Goals

How to Tell If a Direct Marketing Mail Campaign Fits Your Goals

Did you know that 18 to 34 year olds have the best response rate to direct mail campaigns? It sounds counter-intuitive, but this young generation is so inundated with online spam that they self-filter harshly. Direct mail is a quieter form of communication and makes it easier to have your marketing message heard.

So how can you tell if marketing mail is right for your campaign strategy? Use this guide to determine if you should include direct mail in your marketing.

What Is Your Goal?

There are four stages of the customer life cycle, to make your mailings effective, you need to speak to the stage the customer is in.

  1. Prospect
  2. Warm lead
  3. Ready to buy
  4. Current customer

If someone is a prospect, then you want to establish trust and communication by offering them something of value. Accomplish this by directing leads to your website for a downloadable guide.

You’ll establish trust by not pushing the sale and communication by requiring an email for download. This is key because 56% of consumers think print marketing is the most trustworthy form of marketing.

Customers in the ready to buy phase can be encouraged by offering an incentive. You can push the sale harder at this point by reminding them why your company and product is the right choice.

Targeted Marketing

Direct mail lets you target demographics that are harder to target online. These include marital status, age, and household income. Use direct mail to target your audience offline and then bring them into an online conversation.

The most obvious use of targeting is for geographic regions. This is especially helpful if you have a localized business.

Personalized Touch

Direct mail marketing can enable you to have that personalized touch that consumers crave. It’s no secret that personalization has become the marketing standard in the last few years. About 80% of people are more likely to give their business to a company that makes the extra effort for a personalized experience.

You can start that experience with direct mail that personally speaks to the receiver. Then direct them to a landing page on your website that directly addresses their problem.

Your Business Is Local

If your business is local or you host local events, then direct mail is a great way to target those who live in the area. You can supplement your online efforts and ensure you reach the exact people you want to target.

Be sure to have one call to action that brings them back to your website or event page for more information. This can help you determine its effectiveness while continuing the conversation and building trust.

Try Marketing Mail Today

Isn’t it time you added print marketing to your campaign strategy? You could use marketing mail as its own campaign or have it supplement your online content marketing efforts.

Our knowledgeable team can help you create an effective campaign while also targeting the ideal audience for your marketing materials.

Contact our team today and let us create a modern mail and print solution for your business.

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