Sept. 11 2009 10:20 AM

There’s a simpler way to ship — that’s the main message behind a new nationwide advertising campaign by the U.S. Postal Service to promote Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes and Envelopes. And early indications show that the public is responding favorably.

The campaign is the Postal Service’s largest and most far-reaching in recent memory, blanketing the country with details of Priority Mail and flat-rate shipping and then pointing viewers and readers toward to order free Priority Mail packaging.

“Our Priority Mail flat-rate boxes are easily one of the best values in the shipping market. Our goal is simply to let more Americans know about it and educate them — and turn them into customers,” says Gary Reblin, USPS Vice President of Expedited Shipping.

The campaign, which is on television, online and in a number of national magazines and newspapers, points the public to, where an updated website describes the Postal Service’s flat-rate Priority Mail offerings: four different flat-rate box sizes as well as a flat-rate envelope. It also spells out that all of those flat-rate packages ship for a set price, regardless of weight or zone.

The advertising campaign is the most recent step in the Postal Service’s move toward becoming a dominant player in the shipping market. Though it already handles half the world’s mail, the USPS has also been seeking to aggressively grow its share of the shipping market. The Postal Act of 2006 freed the Postal Service to price competitively — allowing it for the first time in its 230-year history to compete against private carriers on a price basis.

This pricing flexibility has allowed for quick reactions to shifting conditions in the shipping marketplace. In January, the Postal Service launched new pricing tiers for both Express Mail and Priority Mail. Called Commercial Plus Pricing, the new tiers offer average discounts of 14.5% for Express Mail and seven percent for Priority Mail. To qualify, customers must ship at least 100,000 Priority Mail pieces or 6,000 Express Mail pieces per year, meet certain labeling requirements — which most already do — and sign an agreement with the Postal Service.

“Commercial Plus pricing is an extraordinary value for high-volume shippers,” Reblin says. “We’re strongly encouraging new customers who haven’t thought of using the Postal Service before or who don’t yet have us in their shipping mix to take a look at our competitive pricing.”
The Expedited Shipping group is also working with MasterCard Worldwide on a program for MasterCard small business cardholders called MasterCard Easy Savings. MasterCard small business cardholders who enroll their MasterCard cards at receive a five percent rebate for shipping services purchased online at The MasterCard Easy Savings rebate is in addition to the Postal Service’s online shipping discounts. Enrollees’ rebates will appear automatically on their statements for purchases made at

“The collaboration between MasterCard and the Postal Service on the Easy Savings program is very exciting,” says Steve Rubin, MasterCard Worldwide’s vice president for product strategic alliances. “MasterCard and the Postal Service are household names that small businesses and consumers alike access every day to make their lives easier. The Postal Service products that are part of this program — Express Mail and Priority Mail — are a great fit for small business customers. It’s something that they need on a daily basis to run their businesses, and the Postal Service can deliver to every address and every P.O. Box. It’s a great partnership, and it’s a great value to MasterCard small business cardholders.”