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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

ear 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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Don’t DIY: What to Look for In Direct Mail Marketing Companies

Don’t DIY: What to Look for In Direct Mail Marketing Companies

Did you know direct mail marketing companies can save you money on your mail advertising campaign? It’s true. Hiring the right company is cheaper than handling the campaign yourself.

But beware. Hiring the wrong company can actually increase the cost instead.

So how can you know what to look for in a direct mail marketing company? Just keep reading.

In this guide, we’ve listed all the factors of a great direct mail company. For a successful campaign, hire a direct mail provider that meets these criteria.

In-House Designers

As crucial as graphic design is to your direct mail campaign, it should be a standard feature of direct mail marketing companies. But it isn’t.

Many direct mail companies don’t offer design services at all. That leaves you to find and hire yet another company to design your mailers, in addition to the company you’re paying to mail them. What a waste of time and money!

Other direct mail companies do offer design services, but not their own. With the money you pay for “their” design services, they outsource to a third party graphic design company anyway. You’re literally paying them to pay someone else to design your ads.

That means you don’t even have direct communication with the person who determines what your mail ads look like. This disorganized approach leaves way to much room for error.

Unless you already have a graphic designer on your payroll, never hire a direct mail company that doesn’t design.

Marketing Skills

Secondly, your direct mail company should also be experienced in marketing. Yet, surprisingly, many direct mail providers know very little about this.

They mostly just print and mail—how does that help you? You could do that yourself.

A good direct mail marketing company is one that has years of experience processing hundreds of campaigns for various industries. They’ll have the wisdom and insight to know the best type of direct mail advertising campaign for your business. This wisdom includes which postcard size is best and how to target, or retarget, the right audience.

Also, direct mail companies with marketing skills will be able to track the success of your campaign. One of the biggest benefits of direct mail marketing is how easily and accurately the results can be tracked. However, that won’t matter if your direct mail company knows nothing about tracking marketing metrics.

Mailing Lists

Furthermore, your marketing-savvy direct mail company will provide you with relevant mailing lists. Or, better yet, they’ll create a custom mailing list for you based on your company/campaign and their own extensive pool of resources.

To reiterate, that’s a list of qualified leads from an experienced direct mail marketing company in your local area. There is no better mailing list you could possibly wish for than that.

Pricing

The pricing of direct mail services depend on a lot more than the products and services you choose. Here are a few hidden costs to watch out for.

First, if you’re paying for design services, how much will it cost to revise a design you aren’t satisfied with? Some companies will allow a certain number of revisions for free, while others charge a fee.

 

Also, how much will the service save you on postage? Many long-established direct mail companies get special postage rates because of deals they’ve made with the postal service. This way, they can charge you less postage than you’d pay if you mailed your advertisements yourself.

Meanwhile, other companies charge you the same postage the post office would. Steer clear of these. There’s no reason you should have to pay full postage plus all the fees the direct mail provider charges you.

Know What to Look for In Direct Mail Marketing Companies

Don’t let the knowledge you’ve gained today go to waste. Bookmark or print out this page for reference. Then, use this checklist when comparing direct mail marketing companies to ensure a successful campaign.

Now, read How to Make a Direct Mail Marketing Budget.

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Keeping Up With the Times: Understanding the Future of Direct Mail

Which is more fun; checking your inbox or checking your mailbox?

With the rise of the Internet age, email, and messaging services, it may seem like regular, old direct mail should be obsolete. But, the future of physical mail is looking brighter than ever before.

Think a direct mail marketing campaign isn’t worth your time anymore? When used correctly, direct mail can be more powerful than any digital ad campaign you could devise.

Don’t quite believe that? Allow us to convince you.

Here’s everything you need to know about the future of direct mail, and how you can use it to your advantage.

future of direct mail

The Future of Direct Mail By the Numbers

First, the seemingly bad news; mail volume is declining.

Since 2006, mail volume has dropped over 30%. That may look like a shocking statistic, but don’t write off old-fashioned letters just yet. Let’s take a look at what that number means — and how you can use it to your advantage.

In our digital age, several tasks that once relied on the USPS have found new, and slightly more secure homes online. Things, like paying bills, depositing checks, and ordering goods, have all moved into the digital space.

So, while this shift left consumers with emptier mailboxes as the volume of post sent dropped, it doesn’t mean direct mail as a whole is on the decline.

The drop in volume presents marketers and business owners with a significant opportunity.

Mail Goes On

Studies show that consumers tend to trust physical mail more than email or other digital campaigns.

What makes the Internet so fantastic is also its greatest weakness; everyone can use it.

Because everyone is online, consumers have tens of thousands of online ads thrown at them every single day. This constant bombardment has decreased the emotional value of online ads.

And this, in turn, has made direct mail campaigns that much more valuable. Although the volume of direct mail has decreased, response rates have exploded.

While a social media campaign may return a 1% response rate, direct mail has skyrocketed 173% to a whopping 9% response rate since 2006.

So, if you want to engage with your customers, old fashioned direct mail is the way to go.

Crossing the Streams

So, odds are your customers will respond better to a direct mail campaign than a digital one. Does that mean you should shut down your email and social media campaigns?

Not so fast!

Direct mail and digital marketing are two sides of the same coin. By using one, you can strengthen the other.

With digital marketing, you can track user reactions in real-time to figure out what works with your customers.

You can then use that information to craft direct mail campaigns your customers won’t be able to ignore.

Thanks to the internet, you can track customer data better than ever before. That means you have the tools to customize and tailor your direct mail campaigns to better suit each customer.

Mailing Forward

As we said before, the future of direct mail is looking bright. And, if you want to take advantage of all that it has to offer, we can help.

Contact us for more information about our services, or to start your next direct mail campaign today!

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Slow and Steady Wins the Marketing Race — Take Advantage of Direct-Mail Marketing

How many people do you think look forward to checking their email inbox each day? How many actually pay attention to pop-up ads or digital advertisements?  Even in our digital world, 40% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mail on a daily basis. True, no one likes getting bills in the mail, but physical mail has become especially powerful in a world of constant, unrelenting, instant communication. That’s why direct-mail marketing continues to be a proven marketing technique that gets people’s attention. Continue reading about how you can take advantage of direct-mail marketing.

Taking advantage of direct mail to boost sales and engagement can be a fantastic strategy that’s not going out of vogue any time soon.  The misconception is that direct mail is too expensive to implement, and is why some companies don’t try it.  However, research shows that direct-mail marketing campaigns actually cost a fraction of what digital ad campaigns costs.  By using printers that know mailing services, you can save even more by reducing the hard cost of postage.  Utilizing a full service commercial print and mail house can make your direct mailers a breeze to execute and save you money.

take advantage of direct-mail marketing

Keep reading to discover the benefits of this tried and true marketing technique. Learn how you can take advantage of direct-mail marketing!

Why Is Direct Mail Marketing So Effective? 

With the rise of the Internet, some over-eager futurists expected direct-mail marketing to go the way of the phone book. And even though digital marketing can be an effective and necessary part of any marketing strategy, sometimes a more classic approach is still the best way to reach new prospects.

Indeed, direct-mail marketing provides about a 13-1 return on investment on average. Online, there are thousands of ads and spam messages competing for attention, but that’s not the case in your customers’ mailboxes. Over 90% of shoppers say they would rather receive direct mail in order to make purchasing decisions, while 65% are more likely to remember to use a voucher if they received a physical copy like a coupon to carry with them.

Overall, the average household response rate for direct mail campaigns is almost 4%. This is especially impressive, given that the response rate is only .2% for mobile, .1% for social media, and .02% for online advertisements.  In fact, this technique can be so effective that even digital-first businesses use direct-mail marketing to great effect. USPS conducted a study that showed over 60% of those who received direct mail visited the website being promoted, and it had the most effect on first-time shoppers.  So marketers are realizing by combining direct mail with an internet presence, that the direct mail can drive their prospects exactly where they want them to go online….increasing relevancy and response rates.

But How Can I Save Money on Postage? 

As you can see, direct-mail marketing is an effective tool for marketers. Naturally, you want to try and keep your costs down, while increasing your response rates.  With postage going up semi-regularly, marketers can be anxious about using direct-mail as their marketing means. However, there are ways to save on the hard cost of postage and generate higher ROI’s!

The first way to save on postage costs is by utilizing standard class/bulk mail services.  The United States Post Office offers a bulk mail/volume discounts for large mail jobs. If you’re mailing 200 pieces or more, you can save as much as $.28 in postage costs by mailing standard class.  When mail houses are able to presort your mailing, the post office gives certain discounts on your postage.

Another key way to save on postage costs is by utilizing the services of a commercial mail house to drop ship your mail.  Drop shipping your mail to the Bulk Mailing Facilities is a great way to achieve postage discounts that most direct mail companies don’t offer with their package prices or even know about.  In this situation, mail houses will process your mail and leverage shipping companies to delivery your mail directly to the local postal facilities close to the final destination…saving you postage costs while expediting your mail.

Finally, you should find reputable printers near you that have their own mail house.  Using a turnkey operation for your projects will not only save you time and money, but it will cut the middle guy out that typically is making money on your postage savings…putting your money saved back in your pocket!

Target Your Direct-Mail Campaign 

Don’t market to everyone; target specifically those that are your best prospects.  New digital tools make it so easy to identify those target consumers. Don’t just send out a massive number of mailers to potential customers. Instead, send them to your best consumers. Your best prospects are similar to your current customers, therefore leveraging experienced list companies allow you to target and identify your best prospects in your markets.  Then once you’ve identified your market, sending a personalized direct mail messages to them via a postcard or letter has shown to increase customer engagement and response rates.  Variable data direct mail allows you to send personalized commination to the right prospect at the right time.

Don’t discount the powerful effects of a direct-mail marketing campaign can have on your business. You might be surprised at the results!

Looking for printers in Tampa? Get in touch with our marketing experts today for help with all of your printing and mailing needs.

 

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Modern named Small Market Business of the Year!

The Tampa Bay PCC has recognized Modern Mail & Print Solutions as the 2013 Small Market Business of the Year! This is a tremendous honor for us and we are extremely grateful for the recognition. The reason for our success though is because of our great and loyal customers like you so a big THANK YOU for helping us achieve this great honor! We are excited to build on this success with you in 2014!

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Modern Mail & Print Solutions moves to Full-Service

Effective January, 2014, the use of the Full-Service Intelligent Mail service is required for all mailers to qualify for the Automation Discounted prices. With this ruling going into effect by the US Postal Service, Modern Mail & Print Solutions will be transitioning into Full-Service capabilities to ensure our customers will continue to achieve the best postage prices available. “This is a huge process and transition for our company, but one that was necessary.” said VP of Operation Shane Cosser. “With this move to Full-Service, we will be more efficient from a mailing stand point and be able to continue to service our customers the way they’ve become accustom to.”

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