Are you taking advantage of USPS’s Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion? Oh, you are? Well, I’m not talking to you at the moment.
Everyone else, we’re calling the “Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion” “EAT” for the rest of this post. Just go with it.
Earlier this month, a print pro and I were discussing how he could grow his business by enhancing what his organization already does with one of the covered technologies. He mentioned how the direct mailers among his clients could take advantage of EAT, and I thought “Oh. A reminder about this should be in the PMC newsletter.”
From March 1 to August 31, 2017, USPS will offer a 2% discount on eligible postage for mailpieces that incorporate the following technologies:
- Beacon Technology
We published an interview with David Helms of Radius Networks to serve as an introduction to Beacon technology. If you are planning to surf this wave of interactive marketing, and benefit from what you can do with proximity-related tech, give it a read: http://www.printmediacentr.com/2016/08/16/beacon-technology-interactive-marketing/
- Digital to Direct Mail
This is a new category for the promotion and is meant to encourage mailers to “produce mailpieces that create a greater connection and elicit a higher response from consumers by using dynamically printed, personalized messaging, that is automatically triggered based on a digital interaction.” More details can be found in the USPS program guide, but in short, this is for mailers creating personalized print for individual customers based upon information they obtained via digital interactions (e.g. online orders).
- “Enhanced” Augmented Reality
In the video below, Trish Witkowski of Fold Factory gives a great overview of the promotion:
At 3:19, she calls out a useful distinction between “basic” Augmented Reality and “enhanced” Augmented Reality “Basic” AR allows a user to simply watch a video while “enhanced” AR encourages users to interact. With enhanced AR, a user is actively participating in an experience. And while discussing interactions and experiences enabled by AR, don’t forget about metrics.
- NFC technology
As with the other categories, the mailpiece will need to include copy that clearly instructs users on how to use the technology.
- Video in Print (ViP)
Providing a link to a streaming service or a YouTube video will not cut it here. ViP requires video that is fully integrated with a printed piece. There are examples, and a whole lot of information about real ViP, available here: http://www.printmediacentr.com/2016/12/13/holograms-print-videoplusprint/
- Virtual Reality (VR)
VR is another new category for the EAT promotion. If needed, mailers can incorporate “a QR Code or an NFC chip to add ease of use in engaging the VR experience.” Be aware that using more than one of the listed technologies in a single mailpiece will not increase the discount.
In order to receive the discount, mailers need to register via the Incentive Program Service on the Business Customer Gateway (gateway.usps.com) and satisfy the requirements USPS describes in their 2017 program guide (e.g. submit mailpieces using the covered technologies for review). The guide has more information about all of the categories listed above, and it’s the source of all the quotes in this post.
PSA done. See you next month, Printerverse!
Andy Solages connects people and organizations with technologies to improve professional experiences and business results. Andy is a monthly contributor to Print Media Centr’s News from The Printerverse and a regular participant in #PrintChat on Twitter.