UPS Explains Guaranteed Shipping in DM Piece

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United Parcel Service, Atlanta, recently sent a direct mail package to its more than 1.6 million commercial customers that both parties can use as a marketing tool.

With the launch of Guaranteed Day-Definite Delivery, which guarantees a package will arrive on a specified day or the shipping charge is refunded, UPS shipped nearly 2 million personalized letters and color Time-n-Transit maps displaying how long it takes a package to be shipped anywhere in the continental United States from a certain ZIP code. UPS spokesman Steve Holmes said marketers can use it the same way UPS will, by providing customers with a delivery timetable for packages.

"We are using them to show our commercial customers the amount of time it will take us to deliver something for them," he said. "Marketers, in turn, can use them to show that they can provide their customers with an added value and service by letting them know when they will receive what they ordered. For those companies who may be shipping products to someone from two different cities, it will allow them to coordinate their delivery so they arrive at the same time."

But for some it not only serves as a marketing device, but as an inventory and delivery management tool as well.

"In many cases, speed or getting a package there as fast as possible is not always what is most important to a company," Holmes said. "For a lot of companies, this will serve as a tool that allows them to manage their inventory and delivery process and calculate their shipping costs."

The maps were sent to UPS' commercial, or business-to-business, clients. Holmes said UPS delivers more than 1.6 million commercial packages a day. For the most part, it didn't mail to anyone who wasn't already a client.

"Our customer list is very large, and it probably wouldn't have justified the investment if we had used this to try to acquire new customers," Holmes said.

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