PrintBITS: USPS retires the POSTNET barcode and welcomes the Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMb)

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One of the reasons Printing Concepts works so well with direct mail and mailing campaigns is that we embrace new technologies introduced to traditional mailing standards. In case you haven’t heard yet, the USPS is unveiling a new way to encode, mail, and even track mail and direct mail that they handle. With the Intelligent Mail barcode, or IMb as they call it, they can now encode a majority of their necessary information into one barcode, allowing for a more efficient and accurate delivery, quicker processing times, and permitting more visual real estate on the front of the envelopes and direct mail pieces, which means more room for your message.

IMb means faster, cleaner mail

The new IMb is going to affect a vast majority of mailings, including First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals and Bounded Printed Flats, and Reply Mail. Since the IMb can hold more information, it allows printing companies that work in direct mail, like us at Printing Concepts, to engineer new ways that we can send mail at a faster rate. Not only can we save money for our client, but the end recipient gets their mail sooner and cleaner than with the POSTNET barcode. Using the IMb is easier for the post office, making their automated postal machines more efficient and reliable. But that’s not the best part. Because the IMb is rolling out in early 2013, Printing Concepts and our clients have a chance to take advantage of the lowest prices on mail offerings in 2013. More mail, more efficiency, less money.

IMb Tracing?

With the new IMb, each piece of mail is encoded with its own unique identifier, so anyone can log on to https://mailtracking.usps.gov to track the delivery rate and condition of a bulk mailing. Even check the delivery condition of an individual letter. Imagine when you send a direct mail appeal you can anticipate exactly when specific mail reaches its destination. You’re able to find where mail carriers are in real time and what is happening to your mail when it was last scanned. This gives you the opportunity to see real time results, and expect recipient follow-up responses with cross media campaigns. You can even send notices to certain recipients. When mail is near, people can be alerted of incoming and outgoing mail.

For outgoing mail:

  • Obtain near real-time notification when your mail receives its last processing scan.
  • Identify mail delivery trends and ensure delivery is accurate with in-home dates.
  • Know when your message reached your audience so you can synchronize cross media marketing.
  • Enable fulfillment, staffing, and inventory planning based on mail delivery.

For incoming mail:

  • Obtain near real-time notification when your return mail enters the mail stream.
  • Manage cash flow and accounts receivable more effectively.
  • Evaluate the success of advertising campaigns more efficiently.

We’re enthusiastic to be using the new Intelligent Mail barcodes with our direct mail pieces, and even more eager to be using it with our clients.  Contact Melissa Rogowski at Printing Concepts to find out more about the IMb barcoding process and what you can do for personal and business mailing solutions.

Learn the technical scope of the IMb with this PDF downloadable diagram.

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