November 25, 2014

U.S. Postal Service Launches Innovative Technology for Small Businesses

U.S. Postal Service If it Fits It ShipsThe U.S. Postal Service wants the small business world to know about its direct mail shipping service for small businesses, called “Every Door Direct Mail.”

With Every Door Direct Mail, small businesses including restaurants, auto dealerships and doctor’s offices can send out direct mail campaigns such as postcards and brochures, with postage rates as low as 14.5 cents.  The remarkable thing is that you don’t need a mailing list with specific addresses and/or names, or a postal permit. Such items typically drive up the costs and effort in a direct mail campaign.

Instead, the Postal Service’s website provides an online mapping tool.  You  can choose a city, county, zip code or even a neighborhood (i.e., within a 5-mile radius of a specific address).  You just choose the area, and the direct mail will be delivered without the need to affix labels or print specific addresses.

The tool is fairly easy to use.  Once you’ve registered your business and learn the tool the first time, thereafter it only takes minutes to schedule a simple local mailing.  It walks you through the process step by step.  The amount of your postage cost  is displayed instantly online.  Once you pay, you print out the documentation and take it to the Post Office along with your bundles of direct mail pieces.

This is part of a larger initiative by the Postal Service to use innovation and technology to serve small businesses.

The Postal Service also announced the redesign of its Click N ship site,  where businesses and consumers can buy postage and print shipping labels online.   The site is a counterpart to the “If it Fits, It Ships” flat rate mantra for Priority Mail packages (see above), where you can get the packaging for free and then go online to pay for the postage, print a label, and even schedule a pickup.  No postage scale required!

The current Click N Ship site has been quite successful with small businesses — there are a million registered users and half of them are small businesses, notes Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer, U.S. Postal Service.  Coming this month (April 2012) will be a dedicated business version of the Click N Ship site, designed for small businesses that ship between 10 and 100 pieces of mail per day.  Business Click N Ship will have a desktop app and expanded payment options.

8 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

8 Reactions

  1. This is what happens when you let employees think with no box. Excellent idea and one I will use!

    • I love these initiatives, Peggy — and I totally agree! Give employees a little freedom to think other than “we’ve always done it this way” and everything changes.

      – Anita

  2. Hard to say how useful this will be long-term. Bu tI mean combine it with PayPal as a payment gateway and you’ve really just eliminated the need for storefront.

  3. Great idea to allow the post office to do direct marketing campaigns themselves rather than going through big advertising agencies. However, it still doesn’t address the declining relevance of postal service as digital delivery becomes the norm.

  4. I like the idea a lot. If some newspaper publishing companies can survive without actually “publishing” a printed version then the U.S. Postal Service can survive without actually delivering something. It’s a drastic example and statement but one that drives home a point. There is a place for the U.S. Postal Service, it will just have to be with a different business model than it has had for the last several decades.

  5. I love the US postal service and I’m glad their using new technology!

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