Sunday, 9 July 2017

When Will the USPS Be Closed in 2017?

When Will the USPS be Closed in 2017?

Losing sight of the US Postal Service’s holiday closures is the easiest way to delay your bulk mail campaigns. This post will help you keep track of when the USPS is closed in 2017.

Most businesses are open during several of the federally-observed holidays, so it can be easy to overlook the days that the U.S. Post Office will be closed.

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An important detail to note about postal holidays in 2017 is that seven of the ten days that the U.S. Post Office is closed are on Mondays. If you don’t get your campaign mailed by the preceding Friday, you’ll have to wait at least three days to get it in the mail. These dates are essential for marketers, and bulk mail campaigns should be planned to avoid them where possible.

Here are the days that the USPS will be closed in 2017:

Monday, January 2           New Year’s Day
Monday, January 16         Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 20        President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 29                Memorial Day
Tuesday, July 4                 Independence Day
Monday, September 4       Labor Day
Monday, October 9            Columbus Day
Friday, November 10         Veterans Day
Thursday, November 23   Thanksgiving Day
Monday, December 25      Christmas Day
Please note that, as New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday (January 1), the USPS is closed on Monday, January 2. Additionally Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, so the USPS will be closed the preceding Friday, November 10.

Anything else I should know about postal holidays?

If you’re in a smaller market, there may be additional days that the Business Mail Unit will be closed due to staffing issues. Most Business Mail Units will post a notice, but it’s always a good idea to ask if there any additional closures or restricted hours around holiday periods.

Bulk mail or presort standard mail (often referred to as 3rd class mail) is the last in line for attention by the USPS.  Nonprofit bulk mail is treated the same as standard bulk mail from a delivery urgency point of view.

During postal holidays, the whole mail system can get backed up. In addition to the day lost for the holiday, there’s a very good chance that an additional day or two can be lost as the USPS gets back up to speed.  With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to avoid scheduling time-sensitive mailing projects to drop the day before a USPS holiday.

Can I drop my bulk mail campaign on a Saturday?

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Although the USPS currently delivers mail on Saturday, the Business Mail Unit of the US Post Office is not opened on Saturdays. You can, however, drop Every Door Direct Mail Retail campaigns on Saturdays.

Bulk mail projects involve successful coordination of many small steps, with delivery to the post office being the final step. Showing up at the post office on a postal holiday is a nightmare. Dropping your bulk mail project the day before a postal holiday can substantially delay delivery. Don’t risk blowing your critical deadlines by being unaware.

Pay It Forward: Please use the share buttons below to send this post to any friends or coworkers who are responsible for direct mail projects.  You never know when sharing some important information like this can prevent a direct mail disaster.

Direct Mail Campaigns Can Drive Holiday Sales

Direct Mail Campaigns Can Drive Holiday Sales

Growing businesses need solutions to gain traction amid heavy competition, and direct marketing campaigns can provide a marketing win that could help your business stand out.

With today’s focus on email marketing, it can be easy to overlook the power of direct mail. But think about your own inbox and how overwhelming it can become. That’s where a physical piece of direct mail can stand out. In fact, a survey by Epsilon showed that 77 percent of consumers sort through their
physical mail as soon as they get it.

usps holiday schedule

While building loyalty is crucial to all enterprises, it’s a common growing pain in any industry (see Figure A below2). Business owners need new ways to engage customers, and reaching customers with a compelling timely message during the holiday season is a smart strategy to accomplish this.

Direct mail may be a savvy pivot from tactics many of your competitors maybe using. During the holiday season, most business-to-consumer brands are entrenched in competitive sales and aggressive pricing, but either of those can drive down profit margins. Even though slashing prices to stay competitive can keep companies afloat during the holidays, it’s a short-term strategy. The advantage of a direct mail campaign is that it can show consumers a commitment to their journey toward a happy holiday season.

The advantage of a direct mail campaign is two-fold: likelihood of consumers opening their mail around the holidays, making it an ideal time to increase the odds of your message being read. And, you’re likely to reach consumers right at their point of decision, providing a ready answer to a holiday challenge.

Make it Worthwhile: Determine Your Goals Now

Direct mail could easily provide a robust return on investment as long as it’s executed with a clear, actionable message. Many smaller businesses can benefit from adopting a more corporate outlook, especially when it comes to creatively allocating marketing dollars. While it may seem like an extra expense for a small-to-medium-sized business during crucial sales times like the holidays, this marketing investment could pay off when your brand focuses on presenting solutions to current—and potential—customers.

The type of holiday messaging your brand uses will likely depend on what you need to accomplish and how that dovetails with what you offer consumers. For example, if your budding enterprise is pushing for more digital engagement, consider adding QR codes that instantly connect customers with valuable digital content. Or, include a coupon for a discount on an online purchase, which will drive sales while encouraging customers to engage online.

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Send a Clear Message to Your Customers

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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The holidays present a wealth of opportunities for businesses, but competition is fierce. Marketing channels are inundated. Customers are flooded with offers from countless brands. Cutting through the noise is crucial for success. In this case study, we’ll shine a light on a national retailer that pivoted its marketing strategy to incorporate direct mail and saw a dramatic lift in its holiday business.1

Planning for a Strong Performance

As the holiday season approached, the retailer searched for ways to increase its average customer spend. Having several eCommerce brands under a single umbrella—fresh flowers, gift baskets, popcorn, gourmet foods, and sweets—the company was ready for the season of giving, but it wanted to boost its sales. At first, it explored traditional channels. A cornerstone of holiday marketing is sending single-brand catalogs, so the retailer sent them to both previous and current customers.2 It also considered e-mail and other digital media, but they presented a challenge during the holidays. With e-mail open rates and click-through rates down during this critical season, it was time for another solution.3 So, the company set its sights on direct mail.

Doubling Down on a New Channel

united state mail hold

The retailer decided to roll out a robust direct mail campaign that would bring its family of brands together for the first time in one self-mailer. Hoping to increase loyalty and encourage purchases across its many brands, the company sent the mailer to customers who had previously purchased from one or more product lines. Designed with six panels, it featured all the brands and included coupons for free shipping and $10 off select purchases. It worked. With direct mail part of their omni-channel strategy, the individual brands experienced a 13% to 35% boost in orders, with average customer spend increasing by $1.50 per order. Thanks to unified brand marketing, each company also enjoyed a lower cost per order. Needless to say, the campaign was a success.

Ideas Worth Implementing

The retailer got a lot right when it came to direct mail. When leveraged strategically, direct mail can bring value through sales, brand loyalty, and more. Here are a few ways companies can pursue their business goals:

Think Beyond the Catalog: While this print piece is a cornerstone of holiday marketing, it’s an expensive investment for small to medium-size businesses. Direct mail presents a simplified, economical way to deliver some of the same information in a more digestible form.
Print Multiple Offers: Consumers actively seek out sales and coupons during the holidays. Mail can be used to communicate a number of different promotions. By including more than one offer, businesses may be able to strengthen the potency of their direct mail.
Synergize with Other Channels: Email, paid search, and direct website traffic often drive sales for online retailers. By creating a campaign that pairs one or all of these channels with direct mail, companies could increase their marketing reach and boost the campaign’s memorability.
The holidays are an exciting time. Consumers and businesses go full speed ahead in search of the best gift and the most effective marketing campaign. With some focus, one retailer was able to incorporate direct mail into its marketing mix and grow sales as a result. By seeking out the perfect medium and messaging—tactics any business can mimic—the company set itself up for a happy holiday season.

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How To Install A Temporary Mail Box Without A Post Hole Digger

This is about as cheap a temporary Mailbox as you can make. It's also pretty simple to do.


1. Pour concrete mix in bucket until it is about half full.

2. Add water as directed on bag and stir.

3. Add more mix and water and stir until bucket is 3/4 full.

4. Place 4x4 post in center of bucket standing up straight. You may need to stake it out to hold it straight until the concrete is set.

5. Cut 1x4 to fit inside bottom of metal Mailbox.

6. Screw the 1x4 to top of post with the post centered on post side to side and a little toward one end using 4 long deck screws.

7. Place the Mailbox on the 1x4 and screw to 1x4 with short deck screws through holes on side of bottom edge.

8. Remove the bucket once the concrete is set or leave it. If you leave it drill or punch holes around the bucket at the level of the concrete to allow water to drain.

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How To Install A Mail Slot

Are you tired of the long walk to the mailbox? Install an old-fashioned mail slot (sometimes simply called a letterbox) in your front door and you won't even have to get dressed to get the mail. It's cheap and easy to do, so why not put on some pants and head down to the hardware store now?


1. Decide where to put the mail slot. Postal regulations require that the mail slot be placed a minimum of 30 inches (76.2 cm) from the ground, high enough for the letter carrier to reach comfortably. If you have a solid wood door, you can place the mail slot anywhere, but if you have a paneled door, you'll need to install it on a strong, non-paneled part of the door. Hold the mail slot at the desired height on the interior side of the door, and make a small pencil mark along the bottom of the mail slot.

2 . Find and mark the center point of the door. Measure the width of your door to find the center, and then make a small pencil mark at the height you've chosen for the mail slot.

3. Mark the height. Use a measuring tape to measure up from the bottom of the door to the center point at the height you've chosen. Now measure that same distance a few inches to left and right of the center point. The three guide marks will ensure the mail slot is level.

4. Align the center point of the mail slot with the center point of the door. Measure the width of the mail slot to find its center point and then hold the slot against the door, matching up that point with the center point you marked earlier.

5. Hold the mail slot in position and trace around it with a pencil. Keeping the center points of the door and the mail slot lined up, align the bottom of the mail slot with the height marks you made earlier. Then use a pencil to trace the perimeter of the slot.

6. Measure the distances between the edge of the mail slot and the four edges of the inner flap. Write the measurements down.

7. Mark the inner flap measurements on the door. Mark the measurements with a pencil inside the larger outline of the slot. Connect the dots with pencil lines using a ruler.

8. Drill starter holes. Starter holes are necessary to enable you to cut the hole with a jigsaw. Fit your drill with a large, flat drill bit (a paddle bit) about 30 mm wide. Drill four holes straight through the door, starting each hole just inside each corner of the flap outline. Drill until the bit begins to come out the other side of the door. Then drill through each hole from the other side of the door, and blow the sawdust out of the holes.

9. Cut the hole for the flap. Insert the jigsaw into one of the four starter holes, and carefully cut all around the penciled-in outline of the inner flap. Try to keep the saw right on the line all the way around. When you've finished, push the chunk of wood out of the door.

10. Sand the edges of the hole. Use sandpaper to make sure the inside of the hole and the edges around it are smooth.

11. Mark the lug holes. Precisely measure in from the edges to the center of the bolt fixtures (lugs) on the back of the mail slot, and then mark this position within the outline on the door.

12. Drill bolt holes. Determine the size of the bolts or that will go into the lugs--the directions included with your mail slot should have this information--and attach a twist bit (a screw-type drill bit) of this same size to your drill. Drill a hole through the door on the marks you made for the lug holes.

13. Drill lug holes. Fit your drill with a flat (paddle) bit that is about the same size as the lugs on the mail slot. Position this bit at the center of each hole you made in the last step, and drill only halfway through the door. It's important to keep your hole level, so drill slowly and carefully.

14. Screw the bolts into the lugs.

15. Insert the mail slot into the door. Push the slot into the door from the outside of the door. The inner flap should fit perfectly in the hole you cut, and the bolts should go through the bolt holes all the way through the door.

16. Trim the bolts if necessary. The bolts should protrude out of the door only far enough so that the nuts can be securely screwed onto them. If they protrude farther, trim them.
Mark where to cut. Press the nut flat against the door next to the bolt. Use a pencil to mark the depth of the nut on the bolt. Do this for each bolt.
Use a small hacksaw to cut through the bolt at the mark.
17. Screw the nuts tightly onto the bolts.

18. Attach the draft excluder to the inside of the door. Push the draft excluder into the inner flap hole on the inside of the door, and use a drill to attach it to the door with screws.

19. Test it out. Can you easily slip mail through the slot? Thought so!

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