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What the 2013 Intelligent Mail Barcode Regulations Mean for Your Business

by Janet Granger | January 21, 2013 | No Comments

intelligent mail barcode - mailboxesJanuary 28, 2013

The big day is almost upon us: when the use of the Intelligent Mail® barcode (intelligent mail barcode) finally becomes mandatory in order for mailers to qualify for U.S. Postal Service automation rates. Automation rates are discounted postal rates for “qualifying mail” of sufficient volumes (and other characteristics); mail that meets these requirements can be processed automatically through USPS machines, thereby saving the USPS and the mailer both time and money.

Anticipating this landmark day, many mailers have already switched over to the intelligent mail barcode to ensure that they continue to enjoy discounted rates. There will be some organizations who haven’t made the switch in time but, faced with a sudden spike in postage costs, they will surely be accelerating their efforts to migrate to the new barcode.

When the big deadline has come and gone, and automated rates have been secured (at least for another year), will all the buzz about intelligent mail barcode start to quiet down?

The answer is that it shouldn’t. At least not for mailing organizations that want to further maximize the value of their mail and reduce mailing costs.

Intelligent Mail barcode: Offering More Value Than Automation Rates.

The latest mail barcoding standard allows organizations to do a lot more than qualify for USPS automation rates. When used creatively and with the right software, the intelligent mail barcode provides organizations with many more ways to trim costs and unlock value in their mailed communications.

For example, the intelligent mail barcode’s enhanced mail tracking features give organizations unprecedented insights into mail processing and delivery times, helping them adjust and continually optimize the efficiency of mailings and marketing campaigns. By adding barcodes to customer statements, which can be read through the window of reply envelopes, the intelligent mail barcode can speed up the processing of incoming customer payments, improving cash flow.

The intelligent mail barcode also offers many ways to save on mailing costs beyond qualifying for automation discounts. For example, the intelligent mail barcode can be used to help prepare co-mingled and co-palletized mail in order to qualify for additional USPS discounts. When the intelligent mail barcode is used in combination with address updating services, it allows you to gather information about address changes and undeliverable mail from the USPS, reducing mail waste and keeping your costs down, while increasing delivery rates at the same time.

These examples just scratch the surface of the potential benefits of the new intelligent mail barcode requirements.  While some organizations were less than receptive to the switch initially, the opportunities that the intelligent mail barcode offers to improve mail operations and cut costs more than make up for the challenge of switching over.

Intelligent Mail – what’s next?

Learn more about how barcoding benefits your business in our free white paper. We offer many more resources to help you get the most from the intelligent mail barcode in our intelligent mail barcode library and in our on-demand webinars.

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