Bigger, better, same cost

Mailers spoke, USPS listened.

On July 28, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved an increase in the maximum size limit for postcards that fall under the Commercial Presorted or Automation First-Class Mail postage rate. The new limit took effect Aug. 29.

The move is a response to business mailers who sought more room to share information with customers and to accommodate digital features such as QR codes and multiple social media contacts.

The new maximum for the rate is 6 inches by 9 inches. The former maximum was 4.25 inches by 6 inches.

“We could have used a product like this to send quick communications to our customers” at the height of the pandemic, said David Marinelli, a postal affairs liaison and process consultant with Progressive Insurance.

“We had several instances where, had a larger postcard been available, at a lower cost than letter mail, we would have chosen to use postcards rather than digital to communicate with our customers,” he said.

Rose Flanagan of Data-Mail, a full-service direct marketing firm, said customers plan to take advantage of the new size “as soon as the week following implementation. … Excitement for this product is high.”

She said she’s heard from retailers who expect to use the new size for grand openings, from colleges that want to grab the last-minute attention of incoming or potential students, and from home repair firms that want to connect with hard-to-reach clients in areas hard hit by natural disasters.

“The larger postcard allows ample communication space as well as the size to make the card noticeable in the mailbox,” Flanagan said.

The new postcard size also reflects the Postal Service’s effort to add value to mail, a major tenet of Delivering for America, the organization’s 10-year plan.

“The Postal Service and our customers have worked toward this for some time and we expect that the large-size commercial First-Class Mail postcard keeps mail relevant in an increasingly digital marketplace,” said Margaret Pepe, product management executive director.

Casting call update

The Postal Service has extended the deadline for employees to audition for this year’s holiday-themed advertising campaign.

The new deadline is Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. EDT.

Employees who are chosen to participate could be featured in different types of holiday ads, including TV commercials.

The audition is open to all employees. No prior acting experience is required.

The USPS 2021 Employee Casting website has instructions on creating and submitting audition videos. Employees who have trouble accessing the site from a postal computer should try using a personal device.

Employees must include an audition video with their submission.

Production on the ads is expected to take place during the week of Sept 27. All applicants must receive approval from their managers before selection and production begins.