by Jenny VanPelt, Lorenz Music
At the end of August, the USPS released a proposal to change the requirements for mail pieces that receive discounted rates as part of the Marketing Mail classification. In our industry, most direct mail promotions sent by dealers and publishers alike fall into this category, whether they are postcards, flyers, or catalogs.
If passed, the new rule would limit the Marketing Mail classification and rates to paper-only printed materials. Mailpieces containing any non-paper components would fall into another postage class and be subject to different rates and physical requirements. In practical terms, this change would prohibit components like gift cards, coins, CDs, and DVDs in Marketing Mail.
CDs have long been a staple of print music promotions, and this change would impact RPMDA members who want to continue providing their customers with sound samples via direct mail. The USPS is currently holding a comment period for postal customers to respond with questions, concerns, and details about how the proposal would affect their business and plans for future mailings. Comments will be accepted until October 22, 2018.
If your company is among those affected by this proposal, our partners in the mailing industry encourage you to comment early and to recruit support from your suppliers and other partners. To comment and read the official proposal from the USPS, click here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/08/23/2018-18105/usps-marketing-mail-content-standards