Another U.S. Postal Service effort directed at commercial mailers is its fledgling Intelligent Mail Barcode program, which will be required of all mailers by May 2011. The basic program is designed to improve deliverability and overall efficiency, and rewards users with an automation discount. But adopters of the optional full-service version get, in addition to better tracking information, a discount of $3 per 1,000 first-class mail piece, and $1 per 1,000 pieces for standard and periodical mailings.
“One criticism we've received, and in part it's deserved, is that the Postal Service hasn't been innovative in thinking about new products,” said Thomas Day, senior VP-intelligent mail and address quality for USPS. “We see Intelligent Mail as providing value to mail. That may not grow the product, but our hopes are that it will slow the pace of mail diversion.”