Blue Mail, Red Tag
Be Sure to Get Your Red Tag on All of Your Political Mail
Although media consensus paints causes and candidates, blue for liberal and red for conservative, the USPS is color blind and regards all mail politically directed, motivated or otherwise, the same. However, when the USPS sees RED (tags) on mail, it acts quickly on ALL political mail!
Red Tag 57 can be used for any political campaign mailing by a registered political candidate, campaign committee, committee of a political party, political message mailing by a Political Action Committee (PAC), Super-PAC, or other organization engaging in issue advocacy or voter mobilization. Tag 57 is a red container tag designed to provide visibility to a political mail campaign while it’s in the mail stream.
During the election cycles, mail volume increases and the mail with the lowest standard of service takes the brunt. Service standards of the USPS are determined by postage paid: Express, Priority, First Class (& 1st bulk), Standard bulk (& nonprofit). At the low end of postage costs and service standards is Standard Bulk Mail, including nonprofit.
The USPS gives discounts on this standard bulk mail, as they have the mailer perform some of the USPS tasks like sorting and bundling, so they can charge a lower postage rate. Mail prepared this way is cost effective, but not reliable for determining in-home dates. If you mail a piece during a slow time, your mail could hit your target mailboxes within 1-5 days; but if it is a busy time of year, it could be 10-20 days and there is no guarantee and no way for mailers to control this. Once the USPS is in procession of your mail, it is under their control.
Compounding this inconsistent factor is a new “load leveling” policy, where mail standards are loosened even more for bulk mail entered at USPS facilities on Fridays and weekends. The USPS gets overwhelmed for Monday deliveries and are currently trying to distribute mail evenly through the week for more consistent carrier work loads, thus making your in-home dates anything but consistent.
No one really thinks about the intricacies of mail (do you?). People stamp their letters and drop them in the mailbox and voilà! The same holds true for receipts, you open your mailbox and there they are, those ever so predictable bills!
For political mail, there is a hard deadline, ELECTION DAY.
Persuasion mail isn’t effective if it arrives the day after the election.
So, note: the red tag, USPS tag 57, should always be requested for your political mailings. These tags should help your mail make it to the top of the bulk mail pile and to your targeted mailboxes in First Class timelines, 1-3 days.
So paint your message as blue as you can, but, please, always tag it red. Have questions about red tag political mail? Drop us a note.
Political Direct Mail