Repositionable notes might stick for good at USPS

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USPS pushes back Intelligent Mail barcode implementation
USPS pushes back Intelligent Mail barcode implementation

Repositionable notes — colloquially known as sticky notes — may soon become a permanent US Postal Service offering, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The USPS filed notice with the commission on February 27 requesting that the notes be made permanent. The commission has 15 days to respond, according to Carlton Shufflebarger, manager of direct mail for the USPS.

The notes are useful for advertisers who want to get their message across through the mail, because people can peel the three- by three-inch notes off mail pieces and stick it somewhere else, giving the message a life beyond the mailpiece, Shufflebarger said. “We're always looking for ways to provide additional value to direct mail advertisers,” he continued.

The USPS first introduced repositionable notes in April 2005 as a one-year experiment, which was renewed several times. The USPS' board of governors recently voted and agreed that it should be made a permanent service, Shufflebarger said.

“The commission expects this filing to be noncontroversial,” said Nanci Langley, director of the office of public affairs and government relations at the PRC, when reached by e-mail earlier this week.

The commission is accepting comments on whether the proposed offering is consistent with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. Comments are due to the commission by March 13.

Repositionable notes can be placed on the outside of First-Class mail, catalogs, magazines and newspapers. Since the program started in 2005, the notes have been used on 306 million pieces of mail, Shufflebarger said.

In addition to the cost of postage, the current price points for the notes are a half-cent per piece for First-Class Mail and 1.5 cents per piece for periodicals and Standard Mail, according to the USPS.

When asked why it took almost three years for the USPS to make the notes permanent, Shufflebarger explained that since the new postal law passed in 2006, it has become much easier for the USPS to make experimental products permanent.

The 2006 law also allows for more flexibility when testing new products, Shufflebarger said. For example, the USPS can market test new products in select areas and limited locations, as opposed to earlier when products had to be tested nationally.

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