News & Insights

Blog Entries

Recapping National Postal Forum 2016

The National Postal Forum is an annual gathering of the mailing industry’s most influential thought leaders, innovators and visionaries. It attracts in excess of 4,000 attendees representing a cross-section of the entire mailing industry. The Forum's goal is to provide education to business mailers and communication/ feedback between the USPS and its business customers for a more efficient mail communications system.

Although there has always been strong attendance at this event, this year featured much more energy and excitement. I think this was most likely due to the variety of emerging postal trends and technology advancements that are adding value to direct mail and reshaping how marketers think of mail in their marketing mix.

This year, there were over 100 workshop sessions that attendees participated in ranging in topics from building leadership skills, ramping up data integrity and cloud computing in the mail center, to emergency preparedness, and the sessions that I presented on, which included Impression Management, attended by 55 eager participants on Sunday morning (3/20/16) and Return Mail; The True Economic Impact, attended by 122 professionals on Monday (3/21/16).

The Exhibit Floor was quite busy as Novitex participated this year with a sponsorship booth. There were peaks and valleys of floor traffic as is typical of any industry conference, but the team was kept busy with individual meeting requests from attendees on the latest postal trends and technologies to questions related to the most up-to-date postal requirements. We met some great people, saw a lot of our clients in attendance and overall, it was a great show.

In addition to hosting my own sessions, I attended several others, including one hosted by the Postmaster General, Megan Brennan. During the session, Brennan announced that the Postal Service would be filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission this year to allow commercial customers to add two free ounces to mailed content beginning in January 2017.

Highlighting the ongoing development of Informed Visibility as a “supercharged information platform…designed to transform mail,” Brennan spoke about the rich data and analytics the Postal Service now provides to commercial customers that enable greater visibility associated with the “last mile” of delivery.

Commenting on how commercial customers can leverage robust information from the Postal Service to personalize mail and better coordinate omni-channel marketing campaigns, Brennan said, “the real power of Informed Visibility is that it can make mail a much more powerful marketing and communications tool.”

Brennan also showcased the development of Informed Delivery (previously Real-Mail Notification) – a mail preview service on track to be made available as a mobile app in every ZIP code across the country in early 2017. Results from a market test in New York City show 70 percent of subscribers opening daily notifications and more than 90 percent reading notifications more than four times a week.

As you can imagine, there was a lot to take away from these informational sessions, and it was a great opportunity for me to continue my education as related to USPS' unique offerings.

Top Postal Trends

The key trends at this year’s National Postal Forum focused on using customer data to enhance mail outreach and connecting physical mail to digital experiences. Other trends included:

  • Informed Visibility (using data to manage mail) and Informed Delivery (allowing consumers to integrate mail into their daily digital routines.).
  • Using advance personalization technology to make mail more targeted and relevant.
  • Using technologies such as QR codes, augmented reality, or NFC to seamlessly connect mail recipients to digital interaction.

I always feel accomplished at the end of every National Postal Forum knowing that I was able to learn more about the advances in mail and that I was able to share my knowledge with participants and make a difference in their organizations operations. We’re already excited to attend in 2017!

For any specific questions related to our mail management solutions or mail services, please contact christine.erna@novitex.com.

Read our latest news and insights