The Daily Word - WordTech Blog

Secure Destruction from USPS® BlueEarth Initiative

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 11:03 AM

The Postal Service is excited to introduce the USPS BlueEarth Secure Destruction (SD) mail service to business mailers. This new sustainable mail service allows mailers to have automated First Class Mail that is undeliverable, automatically intercepted and destroyed securely at a postal facility, without an additional charge to mailers.

Reductions of the 1.4 billion pieces of returned to sender letter mail handled by the Postal Service will help reduce the carbon footprint left by the mailing industry. In its first year of operation, the USPS Secure Destruction mail service program successfully intercepted and destroyed over 25.3 million pieces of mail in FY 2015 and recycled over 645 metric tons of securely shredded paper.

2018-03-09 12_36_44-Fact Sheet 9 4 2014 v3 - SDFactSheet.pdfOnly letter-sized First-Class Mail® with an Intelligent Mail®barcode (IMb™) that contains an approved Secure Destruction Service Type ID (STID) that would otherwise be returned to the sender (RTS), is eligible for participation in Secure Destruction. First Class Mail®that is undeliverable due to a customer submitted change-of-address will continue to be forwarded to the customer’s new address for mailers that have requested forwarding service.

If you are interested in this service let your sales rep know!

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Topics: direct mail service, direct mail marketing, direct mail solutions, direct mail philadelphia

Move Update Changes - March 2018

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Mar 5, 2018 @ 14:03 PM

mailbox-55464_640This article originally appeared in the January/February, 2018 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is implementing Move Update price and classification changes, effective in March 2018. The Move Update postage assessment for non-compliance will increase from $0.07 to $0.08 per piece, but the Move Update verification method will also be changing. What exactly does this mean for your mailing operation?

Details of the Change

The existing Move Update compliance rules require mailers of commercial First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail letters and flats to update addresses to reflect Change of Address (COA) orders as a basic eligibility requirement for automation and presort rates. Mailers may use any USPS-approved method to meet this requirement, and the addresses must be updated within 95 days preceding the mailing date.

Currently, the USPS uses Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) equipment to verify the Move Update compliance. This verification occurs prior to mail acceptance on a sample-based process. If the mailing selected for verification contains COA errors above the error threshold of 30%, then the Move Update charge of $0.07 is applied to the percentage of pieces in the entire mailing above 30%.

The new Move Update verification method will change the MERLIN verification method to the new Address Quality Census Assessment and Measurement Process. This process will utilize the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) technology to verify the address quality of mail submitted by electronic documentation (eDoc) after it has entered the mailstream. This process utilizes existing technology and allows for ALL eligible pieces to be verified, not just a sampling as with the current MERLIN process.

Using the new method, address quality will be evaluated on a calendar month basis by calculating the ratio of mailpieces submitted in the calendar month with COA errors, to all qualifying mailpieces submitted by a mailer in that calendar month. If this ratio is greater than the new error threshold of 0.5% of all eligible pieces, the new Move Update charge of $0.08 will be applied to the number of mailpieces with COA errors that exceed the threshold.

Impacts on Mailing Operations

Hopefully, your mailings (or your customer’s mailings) are already going through address hygiene processes. This includes processes such as address standardization, CASS coding, and move updates. If you are not performing these processes routinely, or if you are not certain if the mailing lists are up-to-date, you should be putting processes into place NOW to ensure that this is done.

The biggest impact of this upcoming change is that now ALL addresses in your mailings will be subject to Move Update verification, not just the few random samplings which may have occurred in the past using the MERLIN method. While this affects both letter and flat size mailings, flat size mailers may see more of an impact, as processing flat size pieces on MERLIN equipment is tedious and prone to equipment jams and failures. For this reason, flat size mailings may not have experienced as many verifications as letter size mailings. Regardless of processing category, the universe of verified pieces using the MERLIN verification method is very small as compared to the total mailing.

Bottom line: Mail list owners and their mail service providers (MSP) should be working to ensure that address hygiene processes are being diligently applied so mailings are submitted with up-to-date addresses. This proactive approach will help reduce the potential for Move Update validation assessments.


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Topics: direct mail philadelphia, mail list

Scrubbing your Mailing List

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

brush-629657_640Think about your last mail piece that was sent. How many on that list responded? What were the demographics of those that responded? How were they segmented? How should be able to respond to these questions, especially before you send out another mailer. Don’t be in such a rush to promote a new product; always think about the segment that responded last time. Many marketers neglect the most important step of direct mail marketing: refining their mailing list.

  • Segment in multiple ways versus one. You wouldn’t want to send a mailing introducing your business to a customer who’s been loyal for years. In the same way, you don’t want to advertise a product in one city that’s only available in another. Gather and update as much information as possible to ensure each list you pull is targeted to the right contacts.
  • Limit permissions for list editing. Who can edit contact information within your lists? To ensure up-to-date data is saved correctly and corrections aren’t deleted, provide limited access to sales and marketing teams. When cleaning a specific list, assign the project to one person to avoid confusion.
  • Remove duplicates and reduce waste. Have your mailing services provider remove duplicates from the mailing file for you, to save the expense of mailing to the same person twice, and consider whether you want to send only one piece to a household or to all contacts in that home. 
  • Update changed addresses. USPS has a National Change of Address (NCOA) service that’s an invaluable tool for direct mail marketing. Start here, but don’t be afraid to do your own detective work online. Double check corporate addresses and even personal websites for mailing info.

Think of your mailing lists as ground zero of your direct mailing strategy. The more time and effort you put into building  and refining your lists, the more successful your direct mail campaigns will be.New Call-to-action

Topics: direct mail marketing, mailing list, direct mail philadelphia, mail list, non-profit

USPS® Announces Mailing Services Rate Changes for January 2018

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 @ 09:01 AM

bigstock_postage_stamps_10011582.jpgThe U.S. Postal Service announced rate changes to its Shipping Services and Mailing Services products that will go into effect on January 21, 2018.

On the mailing side, the new rates represent an average price increase of 1.9 percent for all Market Dominant Mail products, including First-Class Mail®, Marketing Mail (formerly known as Standard Mail), Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail® and Library Mail.

Most notably, the 1-cent increase for both single-piece stamped and metered letters will maintain the 3-cent discount mailers can expect to receive when they opt for metered mail over stamped mail.

Here are more details on the changes:

First-Class Mail Rate Changes

  • First-Class Mail Stamped Letters (1 oz.): $0.49 to $0.50
  • First-Class Mail Metered Letters (1 oz.): $0.46 to $0.47
  • Domestic Postcards: $0.34 to $0.35
  • First-Class Mail Flats (1 oz.): $0.98 to $1.00

Presort Mail Changes

Presorting First-Class Mail allows mailers to cut down on postage costs by taking advantage of USPS discounts. The January 2018 rate change will maintain many of those discounts.

Overall prices for Presort Letter/Postcards increased by 1.591 percent, but presorting to the five-digit ZIP code level remains 3 cents cheaper than sorting to the AADC level.

Meanwhile, the difference in price between Mixed AADC (MAADC) automation letters and AADC automation letters was reduced from 2 cents to 1.6 cents.

Rates for automated presort flats decreased by 1.6 cents, except for flats sorted to the five-digit level. In that case, the discount was reduced in order to meet statutory requirements.

The USPS is also continuing an incentive that allows First-Class mailers that presort their mail to send letters weighing up to 3 ounces for the same price as a 1-ounce letter. In other words, you can send more mail for the price of just 1 ounce.

Additionally, using the Full Service Intelligent Mail® Barcode (FSIMb) on First-Class and Marketing Mail will continue to provide a 3-cent discount.

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Topics: USPS, price change

Direct Mail Is A Winner

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 @ 09:12 AM
direct-mailIs direct mail dead? Old fashioned? Tired and past its best in an interactive age? The answer is a simple no.
Direct Mail is a crucial communication channel which needs be considered when building a successful marketing campaign. It’s proven to increase ROI and according to the DMA has a response rate of 30 times that of email.
56% of people believe that print marketing is the most trust worthy form of communication. 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks and Direct Mail gets 44% of recipients on to your website.

There’s certainly no single way to undertake your marketing strategy – indeed exploring all methods of communication available to you is a must. What is evident though, is that effectiveness increases when different methods of communication are employed as opposed to just the one.

Still unconvinced? Well here’s 5 reasons to use Direct Mail:

1) Personalization – Digital printing means you can customise and personalise Direct Mail, you’re far more likely to receive a good response rate this way than sending out standardized postcards for example

2) Saturation - While not everyone uses the internet, watches the TV, reads a newspaper or listens to the radio at the same time, everyone does receive post – every day, on a one-to-one basis. You can reach every household you wish to with Direct Mail.

3) The physical element – Receiving mail in the post adds an additional, lasting dimension to the brand experience.

4) Creativity - Direct Mail is unique. We can show you all the different formats, shapes, sizes, colours and materials you can create to make a memorable experience for your customer.

5) New business – With Direct Mail you can target a specific audience and attract new business.

Direct Mail continues to be a strong and very successful channel, and the team at Wordtech are here to make your life easier. We draw on our long list of trusted mailing house partners and have vast experience and industry knowledge. We continuously help our client’s deliver successful Direct Mail campaigns, which can range from single bespoke projects to campaigns running into their millions.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you!



Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail campaign, direct mail vendor

How Not To Break The Law

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Tue, Nov 7, 2017 @ 13:11 PM

raffle-ticket.jpgDid you know that you can’t send out raffle tickets via USPS?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is strictly enforcing regulations on mailing raffle tickets. If you plan to mail raffle tickets for a fundraiser, you must meet certain requirements or USPS could legally refuse to accept your direct mail. While it is legal to include advertising for a raffle, including a raffle or lottery ticket in a mailing is strictly prohibited unless you follow USPS guidelines.


Raffles are considered lotteries if they incorporate three elements: prize, chance and consideration (fee to enter). Tickets for such raffles are considered unlawful mail matter and are nonmailable. However, when one or more of those three elements are eliminated from a raffle, it no longer constitutes a lottery for postal purposes. For instance, consideration can be eliminated if persons may enter without payment of a fee. Thus, a non profit organization that designs a ticket for a raffle where it is clear that a donation is not required to enter may use the mail to distribute the tickets.

To avoid potential problems USPS requires the ticket makes clear that no payment is required to enter a raffle. The following elements should appear on each ticket in a mailing:

  1. Use the wording “suggested donation” before the price of the ticket.
  2. Use the wording “no donation required to enter” or add a check box “Please enter my name in the drawing. I do not wish to make a donation at this time.”

An alternative is to not include a ticket in the mailing. It is legal to advertise a raffle by mail, but you should still use the phrase “suggested donation” if you list the price of a ticket on the advertisement.

If you have any questions about this, give WordTech's customer service a call at 800.984.4266 or Email Us at


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Topics: non-profit, raffle

USPS Hints at January 2018 Price Hikes

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 13:09 PM

us-stamps-price-scott-539-1919-2-cents-washington-rotary-perf-11x10-siegel-1107-512.jpgThe U.S. Postal Service is planning to raise virtually all rates a bit in January, apparently including a one-cent hike of the Forever Stamp, to 50 cents. And it’s also hoping it will soon get the power to implement larger rate hikes.

The USPS will raise rates for both market-dominant mail (such as First Class and Marketing Mail) and competitive mail (such as Priority Mail) on Jan. 21, 2018, postal officials told mailing-industry representatives this week.

The average rate increases for market-dominant classes are limited by an inflation-based cap, currently close to 2%. A postal official indicated that rates would rise from 1% to 3% for most market-dominant products, according to attendees at a meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee.

Postal officials didn’t spell out what any of the new rates would be. But a statement that the increase for letter mail would be about 2% almost certainly means that the price of the popular Forever Stamp for First Class letters will rise from 49 cents to 50 cents (a 2.04% hike).

The new rates for flat Marketing Mail and Periodicals would provide greater incentives to create efficient mailings, which is good news for catalogs and magazines that are co-mailed, as well as for printers that provide co-mail services. But it means higher-than-average rates for small publishers that don’t take advantage of such mail-consolidation programs.

The USPS is most likely to file the new rates with the Postal Regulatory Commission in October. As long as the PRC determines that the USPS proposal meets certain standards, such as not violating the price caps, the new rates will take effect without modification.

Next month, the PRC is slated to announce the results of its 10th anniversary review of the law that created the price cap. If it determines that the law’s system for regulating market-dominant rates is not meeting the law’s objectives, the PRC can modify or replace the system.

Postal officials argue that, because the system fails to meet the objective “to assure adequate revenues . . . to maintain financial stability,” the PRC should loosen or eliminate the price cap. But a significant PRC overhaul of the rate-making rules would probably lead to legal challenges that could delay implementation of any changes.


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Topics: Direct Mail, USPS, postage rate increase, price increase

What is Direct Mail?

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 13:09 PM

direct-mail.gifWhat is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail makes use of the United States Postal Service to send a message to customers in order to prompt an immediate response.

The message that is sent can take many different formats. The most familiar formats include postcards, flyers, brochures, and letters.

The message can be sent alone using the same material as the message itself (such as a postcard) or can be enclosed in a package (such as an envelope or box).

The mailing can be sent out in bulk to entire neighborhoods or every every resident in a zip code. Or the mailing can be high targeted to individuals that match certain demographics or to a particular group of customers.

Why Use Direct Mail?

Targeted marketing using direct mail can increase sales dramatically.

While direct mail may seem out-of-date, in this era of high tech communication it can be a unique way for your business to connect with customers. It’s a way of distinguishing yourself from all the noise and clutter which are bombarding people on their cellphones and emails.

Marketing that is highly targeted to a particular group of customers and personalized as much as is practical, always yields the best results in a direct mail campaign. This is the opposite of doing mass mailouts addressed to “dear resident” and commonly referred to as junk mail.

The use of direct mail requires a commitment to keep doing mailouts. It’s a long term activity that is part of a bigger marketing plan.

The Mailing List

The list is the most important aspect in a direct mail campaign.

Your Current List

The best list to start with is the one you already own. It may be the list of your current customers or the people saved on your cell phone and email contact lists.

Don’t Forget:
You are collecting the names contact information of your customers, right? If not, you must start capturing this information from this point forward and it must include their mailing address.

Mailing Lists for Sale

The next step is to buy a mailing list. While lists that are highly targeted to the particular customer you want to reach.

The criteria that can be selected when buying a mailing list can be highly detailed.  The main thing to remember is that with a good list, you can target your marketing efforts more effectively and communicate your message to the right audience.

Testing the Lists

Direct mail marketing that works best over time is the result of testing lists and types of mailouts. In addition to merely sending out a message, each mailout should always be a test where results can be tracked and compared to other previous mail outs and to sub-groups of customers in the list.

Tracking the results of every mailout will enable you to get better results in subsequent mailings.


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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail campaign, direct mail philadelphia

Discounts for Direct Mail 2.0

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

darts-155726_1280.pngBeginning March 1st a new United States Postal Service (USPS) Discount program lets all US-based direct mail companies qualify for up to 5% off their clients’ postage costs when they sign on to integrate their clients’ campaigns with Google ads using DirectMail2.0.

DirectMail2.0, a white-label software available to US-based direct mail companies has been approved for two USPS postage discount programs for 2017. The software allows Direct Mail companies to automatically integrate phone call tracking (and even listen to recordings of those calls), mail delivery tracking, and online ads through the Google network, to their clients’ direct mail campaigns. The software comes ready-to-use and allows the direct mail company’s clients (businesses of all sizes) to log in and see results in real time.
  • DirectMail2.0 allows direct mail companies to seamlessly integrate their clients’ direct mail campaigns with online ads, mail tracking, and call tracking – all of which can be accessed in real time from an online dashboard. DirectMail2.0 white label partners also now qualify for a 2% and 5% postage discount with the United States Postal Service.
  • DirectMail2.0 allows direct mail companies to seamlessly integrate their clients’ direct mail campaigns with online ads, mail tracking, and call tracking – all of which can be accessed in real time from an online dashboard. DirectMail2.0 white label partners also now qualify for a 2% and 5% postage discount with the United States Postal Service.

The Postal Service is running two mailing incentive promotions in 2017 that give discounts to all DirectMail2.0 partners. The programs offer postage discounts to mailers who use advanced technologies to improve their prospect’s experience. The first is the Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion, which offers 2% off postage for first-class mail with no quantity restrictions. The second is the Direct Mail Starter program, which offers 5% off postage (up to 10,000 pieces) to businesses and nonprofits who are not currently using direct mail.

The Emerging and Advanced Technology program is effective from March 1 – Aug. 31, 2017. Because DirectMail2.0 users see significantly better results from their campaigns, they mail more often — a win for both direct mail companies and the USPS.

“It’s exciting to see the that Postal Service recognizes the value of this software,” says DirectMail2.0 CEO Joy Gendusa. “And it’s great news not just for direct mail companies, but for the small businesses who use direct mail. Now they can not only experience exponentially improved results from their campaign, they can save money at the same time.


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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail 2.0

Christmas in July? Time To Get Ready!

Posted by Brenda Morgan on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

SantaBeach_addmustard_318305414.jpgWe are getting the holiday started a bit early, in hopes of catching a few of you from falling into that candy cane gift yet again. We have noticed again and again, that the best ROI from marketing comes from those that prepare early.

The Christmas card is the tried and true option.  But what about adding a calendar?  Just Make sure that calendar is worthy of being posted and viewed for 365 days! The Holidays are a great time to stretch your creative muscle with unique pieces that engage the recipient while building brand equity.

Use Holidays to Your Advantage

A key to successful marketing is often reaching consumers during their decision-making process and influencing those decisions by offering something valuable, whether it’s a discount or a solution to a shopping dilemma.

A direct mail campaign can help build awareness during the key holiday purchasing season. Direct mail can help familiarize customers with your brand. Even more so, it can help drive trial purchases when you offer customers something of value in your direct mail piece.

Direct mail can be the tipping point between considering and making a purchase, and having that first successful interaction with a brand can help build loyalty. Once customers have had positive experiences with a brand, those same customers are more likely to consider that brand for similar purchases in the future.


Your direct mail campaign should ideally reach customers at the critical juncture when they are evaluating options but before they make a purchase, and a strong holiday message that conveys value and commitment to their personal successes and happiness is the perfect way to help close that gap.


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Topics: Direct Mail, direct mail philadelphia, holiday