Roska Direct Selected as Beta Site for USPS Planet Code Service

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Communication Packaging Services Inc. yesterday said it selected Roska Direct, Montgomeryville, PA, to provide beta testing for its new U.S. Postal Service mail-tracking service.

The MailTrak-Planet Code service allows Roska Direct's customers to take advantage of Confirm, a USPS product that uses a 12-digit barcode called a Planet Code, which collects location and time data about the company's mailings as they move through the automated mail-processing flow.

With this information in hand, customers can know when and if their customers received their bills, credit cards or advertising mail; see how many days a mail piece has been sitting in a USPS Bulk Mail Center before it enters the mail stream; and learn which mail pieces passed through the next stage of postal automation.

"This technology provides Roska Direct with a unique competitive advantage in the direct marketing industry," said Mario Amici, vice president of production for Roska, a $50 million direct marketing agency serving national clients in the pharmaceutical, e-commerce, packaged goods, financial services, insurance, technology and publishing market. "We will know when a recipient has received [his or her] direct-mail solicitation, eliminating the guesswork and ultimately helping to streamline their marketing efforts."

In the future, MailTrak plans to make it possible for the direct marketer to

know when the recipient has responded to the advertisement.

The Planet Code, in addition to a regular barcode, is printed on an outgoing, automated, letter-size mail piece. The USPS sorting equipment reads both codes, capturing the information and then sending it electronically to Comm-Pak's MailTrak data server where it is processed. Updated reports are then made available to the direct mailer via fax or e-mail. The reports will also soon be available to the direct marketer through a user-friendly, Web-based platform.

"We chose Roska Direct as our beta site because the agency has consistently shown aggressive assimilation of new technologies within their business model," said Tom McCaully, CEO of Com-Pak.

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