This last week the Postal Service published a regulation in the Federal Register that would require mailers and mail service providers handling carrier route mailings to update their mailing list on a more frequent basis. (Federal Register)
The current rule allows carrier route mailings to be updated every 90-days and, after an update, the list can be used for 180-days.
The proposed rule would essentially require updates to be done no less than every 60-days.
As a practical matter, it seems that most SMC members doing larger, shared mail programs are already updating their list this frequently or more frequently, to avoid stale data and waste of mailing pieces.
But for smaller mailers, free papers, or mailers working with printers that may not be “specialists” in the mail service provider / mailing list business, it is possible that lists are being used by some SMC members that are only purchased or updated every six-months.
For SMC members that are not using the most current list, or paying for more frequent updates, this proposal could lead to increased costs.
According to the Federal Register notice, if approved, this rule would take effect in July 2021 and would require mailers to update their CASS cycle for carrier route mailings at least every 60 days.
For SMC members that are working with some other mail service provider or printer that does your list and labeling, you may want to ask if the provider is aware of this rule, and how frequently the provider has been updating its lists with the USPS CASS Standards.
For those SMC members that are more “marketers” or advertising sellers, I realize that all of these “initials” and acronyms can be confusing. If you are doing a shared mail program and doing some type of saturation letter or flat, and you are not in a simplified or EDDM type mailing, you are probably doing a type of mailing called enhanced carrier route – saturation. These mailings are in the Enhanced Carrier Route category of Marketing Mail. This is the category of mail subject to the 60-day update proposal. Other types of marketing mail for non-carrier routes such as a mailing to a customer list will be going from a 12-month update cycle to a 6-month cycle.
It appears the Postal Service’s price filing may be issued as soon as October 9, 2020. As soon as filing is done, I will be working with PostCom staff and its counsel to get accurate charts and information about the possible impact of the rate and different products and drop ship locations.
Happy Fall – Ya’ll