USPS Promos 2022

Postage Discounts? Well, Yes, Please.

By Jason Kiefer

Here we’ve highlighted the specific 2022 USPS promotions relevant to magazine publishers. Plan ahead and save. 

Given the increasing cost of mailing through the United States Postal Service (USPS), it’s worth looking at all possible ways to secure postage discounts. If your publications are classified as Marketing Mail or First Class Mail, you are eligible to take advantage of upcoming 2022 USPS Promotions.

These annual programs are designed to encourage mailers to try new technology and print techniques aimed at driving higher customer engagement and response rates. And of course, the USPS has a vested interest: To increase print mail relevance and volume. The Postal Service offers a discount to incentivize mailers to try these techniques. For some of the 2022 promotions, the USPS is increasing (in some cases, doubling) the discount and extending the program duration from past years.

Each promotion includes various implementation options, rules, and exceptions (this is the Postal Service), so here we’ve culled the specific opportunities most relevant to magazine publishers. For complete details on each promotion, visit:

Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement

Neuroscience and neuromarketing research supports the idea that brand recognition and message recall are significantly better when print materials create tactile experiences that engage the senses. This promotion encourages the use of specialty inks, specialty paper, and interactive elements (dimensional folds) for achieving this kind of reader experience. The most common eligible treatment we see in web offset magazine printing is the use of “textural paper.” The USPS defines this as paper incorporating treatments that can be sensed by touch. Popular cover finishes that qualify include grit (sandpaper feel), reticulated UV (textured pattern), and soft touch (velvety feel). Embossing, typically an outsourced process, also qualifies. Techniques magazine publishers use that do not qualify: die cuts, lamination, gloss varnish, and stickers.

Our take: The low-hanging fruit here is for eligible mailers who typically use or are interested in trying a soft touch cover treatment.

Eligibility: Marketing Mail, First Class Mail
Discount: 4 percent
Registration Period: Dec 15, ’21 – Jul 31
Promotion Period: Feb 1 – Jul 31

Emerging and Advanced Technology

This promotion encourages mailers to incorporate technologies such as “Enhanced” Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality, Near Field Communication (NFC), Video in Print (ViP) featuring Shoppable Video, and Integration with Voice Assistants. The most relevant, eligible applications in print magazines come under “Enhanced” Augmented Reality and include the use of QR Codes (“Scan for an interactive experience”) and Apps (“Download our app and scan this page for an interactive experience”). To qualify for the discount, the technology trigger can’t link to a static webpage or 2-dimensional image. It must link instead to some kind of 3D element with animation. This is a good way for publishers to connect print material to related rich content, such as an interactive map, or for advertisers to link to similarly enhanced product content.

Our take: If you have entered into the realm of interactive digital content, link to it from your magazine and earn yourself a postage discount.

Eligibility: Marketing Mail, First Class Mail
Discount: 2 to 3 percent
Registration: Jan 15 – Aug 31
Promotion: Mar 1 – Aug 31

Earned Value Reply Mail

Earned Value provides an incentive for mailers to distribute Business Reply Mail (BRM), Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM), and Share Mail pieces. The first two categories apply to magazine publishers and cover the reply postcards and envelopes you include in your magazines. BRM refers to return pieces that are “pre-stamped” with an indicia (Stamp area reads, “No postage necessary if mailed in the United States.”) and require that the mailer has a Business Reply Mail Permit. CRM refers to return pieces that require the end user to apply a stamp before mailing (“Place Stamp Here.”). The incentive for this promotion is unique. Mailers receive a postage credit for each mailpiece placed back into the mailstream by the recipient and scanned by the USPS during the promotion period. You can apply the earned credit to future mailings until it expires on Dec 31, 2022. Mailpieces must contain an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) encoded with your registered Mailer ID (MID).

Our take: If you include any type of reply piece in your magazine—a subscription card, membership renewal form, donation envelope—it’s worth registering for this promotion.

Eligibility: Marketing Mail, First Class Mail
Discount: $0.02 credit per reply piece counted
Registration: Feb 15 – Mar 31
Promotion: Apr 1 – Jun 30

Informed Delivery

Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing feature that enhances the value of physical mail by creating an additional touchpoint via digital content. Here’s how it works: The USPS sends Informed Delivery subscribers scanned images of the exterior of letter-size mailpieces and tracking links for packages that are soon-to.arrive in their mailboxes. Subscribers view these consolidated messages via email, mobile app, or online dashboard. To qualify for this promotion, mailers must integrate an additional digital “campaign” element into this preview, such as a custom image (with a Call to Action and target URL), to further enhance the mail notification and encourage additional engagement. Note that this is the most accessible promotion for magazine publishers. The upfront setup cost is typically negligible; the postal savings are immediate; and with over 37 million users enrolled in Informed Delivery, the opportunity to drive traffic to your website is real.

Our take: If you are mailing during this promotional period, don’t miss the chance to give this program a try.

Eligibility: Marketing Mail, First Class Mail
Discount: 4 percent
Registration: Jun 15 – Dec 31
Promotion: Aug 1 – Dec 31

Mobile Shopping

The Mobile Shopping promotion rewards mailers for enabling their readers to purchase products directly from physical mailpieces. The mailpiece must include mobile technology that can be read, scanned, or activated by a mobile device and leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website with the ability to complete a financial transaction. The recipient must be able to purchase a tangible advertised product from the website that can then be mailed or shipped. While there are multiple technologies that qualify for this promotion, the ones most commonly used in print magazines are QR Codes, images embedded with digital watermarks, and print image recognition powered by an Augmented Reality application. The time period for this promotion is targeted to the 2022 holiday shopping season.

Our take: If you promote and sell products, especially leading up to the holidays, it’s worth layering in this technology to serve your readers and earn your business a postage discount.

Eligibility: Marketing Mail
Discount: 2 percent
Registration: Jul 15 – Dec 31
Promotion: Sep 1 – Dec 31


With one exception, the 2022 promotions require pre-approval from the USPS. Make sure to bake this step into your process.

Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement

Mailers must send physical samples to the USPS Promotion Office for approval. Best practice: Complete registration on the Business Customer Gateway ( and submit samples 2 weeks prior to your mail date. Mail to:
TSI Promotions
C/O Laura Ambrogio
PO Box 1860
Bridgeport, CT 06602

Emerging and Advance Technology, Informed Delivery & Mobile Shopping

Mailers must email electronic files to the USPS Promotion Office for approval. Include PDF samples of the relevant components (mailpiece, active website or app information, promotion elements). Best practice: Complete registration on the Business Customer Gateway ( and submit materials 1-2 weeks prior to your mail date. Email to:

Earned Value Reply Mail

Reply mailpieces do not need approval, however mailers must register their permits and MIDs no later than Mar 31, 2022 and select the Permit Imprint account(s) to which future earned credits will be applied.

Jason Kiefer is Postal Liaison at Lane Press. Connect via