A welcome temporary reprieve from the USPS, for periodicals mailers!
A USPS rule exception will allow magazine publishers to count 36-48 month request subscribers as legitimate requesters or paid subscribers. This will make reaching 50% requester rates on the USPS statements of ownership, due 10/1/20, easier.
From the USPS service alert:
…we are extending this temporary exception to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 207.4.2 and DMM 207.7.6 mailing standards until October 31, 2020. …
This should allow publishers to count requests or subscriptions that either expired or would have expired between January 15, 2020 and October 31, 2020 as legitimate requesters or legitimate subscribers/paid publications.
The USPS is clearly aware of the difficulties that publishers are having reaching their readers with the ongoing COVID-19 cases impacting the workforce. While some industries are working regularly–even if still at home, there are other entire sectors where people have been laid off, furloughed, or businesses closed.
For now, this extension will only last for a few more months. Brands will return to reporting only up to 36 months once this grace period is over.
My recommendation is that if you work with industries that you can reach, that you continue your renewal and new subscriber audience development efforts. Couple quick reasons why:
—If you do nothing to update subscribers in 2020, it might take more money to update it in 2021. In addition, efforts now might give you a pulse on how various industries are responding now.
–A current list should result in higher engagement in your other offerings, which should help increase revenue.
–A updated, active list will be even more critical to success when the economy starts to recover, with so many job changes.
Even a few email renewal efforts will help you see if your list is deliverable and responsive.
We will need more guidance from the USPS and our printers on if we should use the 3541’s or our magazine fulfillment company reports to compile the statements of ownership. I am not a postal expert and don’t know if they have already modified the 3541’s for the past couple months to count the 36-48 month subscribers as requesters. If I learn more, I will share in another post.
The journey continues.