USPS Campaign Promotes Click-N-Ship Service

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The U.S. Postal Service starts a national promotion this week for Click-N-Ship, an online shipping solution.

Click-N-Ship, designed for individuals and small businesses, lets customers create and pay for shipping labels at for Express Mail, Priority Mail and Global Express Mail Guaranteed.

Though the campaign is nationally coordinated, this effort is unusual for the USPS in that field offices are handling the specifics.

"We are taking advantage of our employees [who] face the public every day, probably one of the largest sales forces out there, to promote a real popular product," said Beth Fluto, USPS project manager, Click-N-Ship. Revenue from Click-N-Ship in December grew 342 percent versus December 2002.

The effort begins now in advance of the last few weeks of the tax season as well as the busy shipping period around Mother's Day, Graduation Day and Father's Day, she said. Each day of Click-N-Ship Week, running March 22-26, has a specific customer focus. For example, March 23 is Small Business Day and March 24 is University Day.

USPS employees are encouraged to publicize Click-N-Ship to other employees and customers through materials such as messaging points, frequently-asked-questions forms and standup talks. Promotions also will include the use of Message Maker, an online system that lets the postal service create direct mail postcards, posters and other customized signage.

"Based on what their activities are, [employees] may choose to use an awareness postcard, an invitation that would invite small businesses to a demonstration or a seminar, or take-ones or a poster," said Kim Parks, advertising specialist, USPS.

Print and radio ads are planned for Los Angeles; Miami; Louisville, KY; Providence, RI; and Washington.

"We invested in those five areas from headquarters because they are high-density markets for our message," Parks said, "and the postal areas located where those markets are have a lot of activity going on through Click-N-Ship Week, so we wanted to support them."

Parks said the print ads will appear in large daily newspapers and the city business journals. In Los Angeles and Miami, the USPS also will advertise in Hispanic publications. Radio ads will air on AM stations during local talk shows, and also on Hispanic radio in Los Angeles and Miami.

Some regional offices also used local budgets to invest in radio and print to supplement their own efforts, Parks said.

"We actually have 267 additional sites that are investing in some -- either radio or print -- to support their activities," she said.

The USPS also will work with ADVO and Val-Pak to provide inserts in various areas promoting Click-N-Ship. Val-Pak will have 600,000 insertions, and ADVO will have 300,000.

The USPS worked on the program with its agency, Campbell-Ewald.

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