DM News' Deliver: Resources for Mailers

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The U.S. Postal Service has a very direct message for retailers and advertisers who want to use mail as part of their media mix: You are not alone.


The postal service has products and services to help make the mail work for customers, both at www.usps.com and in person. Whether it's asking for help designing a mail piece or looking for training seminars, the USPS is meeting its customers' needs.


The Business Customer Support center is an online tool that lets customers access information when it's convenient to them. It's always open. Internet users can get assistance with postage statements, find a service provider and access reference publications including the Domestic Mail Manual, a complete list of postal rules and regulations as well as tips on international mailing and Nonprofit Standard mail eligibility requirements.


There are links to consolidated shippers and international shipping providers for those seeking help with mail preparation. A click of a mouse also provides PowerPoint training sessions on how to become an expert mailer and information on local seminars and workshops. One of the most popular sections is Frequently Asked Questions, a compilation of 50 common issues and topics facing mailers and business clients.


Mail piece design analysts are postal employees trained to answer questions involving design. These employees give advice and issue rulings regarding acceptability for automated rates. They provide technical assistance on mail piece design to envelope manufacturers, printers, ad agencies and graphic designers, and they're available to review artwork before printing and providing barcodes for Business Reply Mail and Courtesy Reply Mail.


Typing in a street address or ZIP code will provide contact information, hours of operation, phone numbers and locations for local mail drop-off points and local address management offices for additional assistance.


One of the best resources is the National Postal Forum. This year's show will offer 135 workshops, four full- and half-day symposiums and feature the industry's largest exhibit hall. It is set for April 2-5 at Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL.


To access Business Customer Support, visit www.usps.com/business/customersupport/welcome.htm. Registration and information on the National Postal Forum is available at www.npf.org/reg6.


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