Looking for 2013 postal holidays? Click here.
So why should a marketer care about postal holidays? Holidays are a time to prop up your feet and take a rest, right?
Unfortunately, while most government employees get a day off of work, the rest of us are still hard at work on many of these holidays.
Even though you may be working, no mail gets delivered on postal holidays and bulk mail campaigns cannot be launched. If you're a marketer, you need to be aware of all of these dates; they are essentially black-out days for bulk mail marketing.
Most importantly, holidays that fall on weekends wreak havoc on mailing schedules because the “recognized” holidays often get overlooked. It's almost like having a secret holiday and if you don't pay attention to these dates, you can easily get yourself in trouble by scheduling a project on a date that's actually a USPS holiday.
Both 2011 and 2012 have confusing weekend holidays. Today's short post will give you the low down on everything that you need to know to keep your critical marketing campaigns on schedule.
To round out 2011, Christmas actually falls on Sunday, December 25th, so the government is recognizing Monday, December 26th as a holiday for the USPS and most of the rest of the Federal government.
Although we'll roll into the New Year on Sunday, January 1st, the U.S. Post Office will recognize Monday, January 2nd, 2012 as a holiday.
Here are the rest of the days that the USPS will be closed in 2012:
• Monday, January 16 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Monday, February 20 President's Day
• Monday, May 28 Memorial Day
• Wednesday, July 4 Independence Day
• Monday, September 3 Labor Day
• Monday, October 8 Columbus Day
• Monday, November 12 Veterans Day
• Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Day
• Tuesday, December 25 Christmas Day
Technically speaking, Veterans Day actually falls on Sunday November 11th, so Monday November 12th is the day that the Federal Government, including the United States Post Office, will recognize this holiday by closing for business.
What other changes by the USPS will impact bulk mailers in 2012? On January 22nd, 2012 there is a postal rate increase; click here for details.
Anything else I should know about postal holidays? Bulk mail or presort standard mail (often referred to as 3rd class mail) is the last in line for attention by the USPS. Nonprofit bulk mail is treated the same as standard bulk mail from a delivery urgency point of view.
During postal holidays, the whole mail system can get backed up, and in addition to the day lost for the holiday, there’s a very good chance that an additional day or two can be lost as the USPS gets back up to speed. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to avoid scheduling time-sensitive mailing projects to drop the day before a USPS holiday.
Can I drop my bulk mail campaign on a Saturday? Although the USPS currently delivers mail on Saturday, the Business Mail Unit of the US Post Office is not opened on Saturdays. You can, however, drop Every Door Direct Mail Retail campaigns on Saturdays.
Can I use a credit card to pay for my bulk mail postage? No, the Business Mail Unit of the USPS currently does not accept credit card payment for bulk mail postage. Every Door Direct Mail Retail, however, is an exception to this rule because it is not dropped at the Business Mail Unit; it is instead dropped at the specified customer retail location.
As the USPS clamors for more business, hopefully they will reevaluated this policy and make credit card payment an option for all types of bulk mail.
Bulk mail projects involve successful coordination of many small steps, with delivery to the post office being the final step. Showing up at the post office on a postal holiday is a nightmare. Dropping your bulk mail project the day before a postal holiday can substantially delay delivery. Don’t risk blowing your critical deadlines by being unaware.
Pay It Forward: Please use the share buttons below to send this post to any friends or coworkers who are responsible for direct mail projects. You never know when sharing some important information like this can prevent a direct mail disaster.
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