When it comes to direct mail marketing, delays can kill an otherwise flawless campaign.
The success of time-sensitive campaigns such as product launches, seasonal promotions or company updates all hinge on getting the right message out at the right time.
But unlike digital channels, the delivery of a direct mail piece can’t be scheduled to arrive in a mailbox on Tuesday at precisely 10:21 am, like a social media post or an email blast.
To help expedite and provide more predictable delivery times, the USPS introduced a program called Seamless Acceptance. In short, it’s a program that automates and streamlines direct mail, ensuring your message gets in front of customers right on time.
Let’s dive into everything about Seamless Acceptance, including why it’s beneficial to marketers and the importance of working with a direct mail partner who has been accepted into the program.
What is Seamless Acceptance?
To understand why Seamless Acceptance is so valuable to direct mail marketers, it helps to first explain how direct mail was handled by USPS prior to its implementation.
Prior to the Seamless Acceptance program, clerks from USPS would perform random quality checks on mail pieces. This manual screening process was labor-intensive and notoriously slow.
Clerks would first inspect a mail piece for proper preparation, then conduct performance-based verification before reviewing postage and finally accepting it into the postal system.
If a mail piece didn’t pass this first screening test, it required a second review. If it failed again, it was rejected and sent back. The sender then either had to pay the additional postage or fix the errors and resubmit the mailing.
Time-consuming? You bet. But even worse, mail would be delayed—sometimes by weeks.
And that brings us to Seamless Acceptance.
Per the USPS, “Seamless Acceptance automates the entry and verification of commercial mailings by leveraging electronic documentation, Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMbs), and information collected from handheld sampling devices and mail processing equipment scans.”
Full-service mail houses, like Jet Mail, are eligible to apply for the Seamless Acceptance program. It’s important to note that applying for the program does not equal acceptance. Applicants must prove that the mail sent from their facility consistently meets the preparation and documentation standards of the USPS.
Once mail quality has been proven, the mail house is accepted into the program. They can now skip the manual verification process and enter mail indirectly into the postal system.
With Seamless Acceptance, the mail we send out contains an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb).
USPS scans the barcode and verifies that each piece of mail is compliant with their requirements. The barcode also allows mailers to track and report on your direct mail campaign, so you’ll know when it’s delivered.
As one of the first mail houses approved for the program, Jet Mail implemented Seamless Acceptance in 2018, and we love it almost as much as our clients.
Benefits of Seamless Acceptance for Direct Mail Marketing
When timely delivery is critical to your direct mail campaign (and isn’t it always?), Seamless Acceptance gets the mail out the door and into mailboxes.
Seamless Acceptance is extremely beneficial for direct mail campaigns with time-sensitive information or campaigns in crowded markets where getting your message in front of customers first is critical, such as:
- Auto dealership sales to move existing inventory before new models arrive.
- Mortgage interest rate announcements.
- Hotel and resort holiday packages or specials.
- Health plan enrollment periods.
Seamless Acceptance streamlines the mail production process from start to finish, and since mail verification is conducted electronically, delivery times are more consistent and predictable.
Other benefits of the program include:
- Avoid delays caused by the manual verification process.
- Increased flexibility and delivery since delivery times are more predictable.
- Reduced number of undeliverable mail pieces.
- Expedited delivery times since prepared mail doesn’t have to be staged for USPS verification.
- Mailings can be entered into the system 24/7, with no waiting for clerks to be assigned, so verification process bottlenecks are eliminated.
- Free electronic notification of ‘Address Service Requested,’ and Green and Secure handling of undeliverable pieces.
- Reduced price on qualifying mailings submitted under Seamless Acceptance.
These are just a few of the reasons direct mail marketers should work with a mail house that has been accepted into the Seamless Acceptance program.
Direct Mail Marketing With Jet Mail
Our clients have peace of mind knowing that the mail we induct into the USPS system will be processed accurately and delivered on schedule because Jet Mail prepared it correctly. We’re held accountable by the USPS for our quality, so customers can rely on Jet Mail’s knowledge, expertise and systems to accurately process mail every day.
Contact our experts to learn how partnering with Jet Mail can boost the performance of your next direct mail campaign.