From The Middle Seat

by Craig Le Clair.

Postal regulations matter. The US and most other countries are moving to 'shape-based pricing', which means that postal prices will now reflect the size of the mail being sent, not just its weight or delivery terms. Why is this happening? And do we care? It's happening because the postal regulators have boned up on economics and discovered an amazing thing: their costs are very much related to their machinery's ability to handle volume automatically (no humans). I'll refrain from the usual postal references here.

The really large 9" X 12" letters are hard to sort automatically, unlike their smaller and thinner brethren first class envelopess that fly through the machines. So prices of 9" X 12" envelopes are going up while the second ounce of those first class letters are being lowered. What does this really mean? Well, perhaps the real tipping point for TransPromo documents has finally arrived. "TransPromo" documents, aka transactional and promotional documents, mix marketing messages with transactional content sent out  in "first class" letter mail. So look for more marketing messages to appear on your statements, bills, and other transaction documents. Key enablers are personalization, integration with core customer databases, and authoring workflow, as well as traditional composition. Nothing to write home about exactly — but if you do — avoid those large envelopes.