You are on page 1of 11




DISCLAIMER The information contained herein is to be used only for potentially conducting business with the U.S. Postal Service, and for no other purpose. By submitting a response to this Request for Information (RFI), the respondent understands and agrees that it assumes all risks and expenses associated with its RFI response.

If the respondent includes data in its RFI response that it does not want used or disclosed by the Postal Service for any purpose, then it may include language in the introductory material of its RFI response that indicates that the RFI response includes data that may not be duplicated, used, or disclosed outside the Postal Service — in whole or in part — for any purpose other than to conduct market research. The data subject to this restriction can be identified either in this section, or by labeling each page that contains proprietary data. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is conducting market research to review potential partner capability around order fulfillment, database marketing services, consumer segmentation and campaign analytics, website design and marketing.

This Request for Information (RFI) is issued for information, market research and planning purposes only and does not in any way constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or abstracts. Response to this notice will be treated as information only. Responses to the RFI are not offers and cannot be accepted by USPS to form a binding contract nor will USPS pay for the information solicited or recognize any costs associated with the submission of the RFI. Respondents are advised that USPS is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. Responses to this RFI do not bind USPS to any further actions related to this topic. The RFI provides an opportunity for industry to comment on this initiative, identify potential areas of opportunity, and make alternative recommendations in order to enhance the success of any future procurement for a turnkey network service option (as described herein). The Postal Service believes industry feedback is 1

important and is receptive to ideas from industry which will result in realizing cost savings or highlighting potential technological solutions that could be applied to the concept.



1. Introduction 1.1. About USPS 1.2. Current Situation 1.3. Objective 2. Request for Information Categories Category A. Partnership Considerations Category B. Technology Offerings B.1. Education/Needs Assessment B.2. Service/Analytics RFI Response 3.1. Response Content 3.1.1. Cover Letter 3.1.2. Experience, Capabilities & Approach 3.2. Instructions to Responders 3.3. RFI Questions 3.4. RFI Response Preparation and Submission 3.5. USPS Review

4 4 4 5

5 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9



1. Introduction 1.1 About the USPS The USPS has been connecting people and businesses since the Nation’s founding. Each day the Postal Service receives and delivers millions of pieces of mail. Distribution and transportation of these letters, parcels, catalogs, and magazines occur across a vast network of Post Offices and retail outlets, and mail processing facilities. The mail is securely and reliably delivered to city, rural, Post Office box, and highway delivery points. No other single operation in the world comes close to the level of connectivity that the Postal Service has with households and businesses across America. With the needs of our customers in mind, the Postal Service is making sure mail remains safe, relevant, and private – and continues to provide value for generations to come. This RFI is being issued as part of a broader strategic marketing program aimed at examining the marketplace for the potential of developing new, innovative ways consumers and businesses can integrate emerging technology with their direct mail. The Postal Service is continually working with mailers, marketers, and advertisers to improve the quality and relevancy of mail. The Postal Service is adapting our products and pricing to market requirements and creating solutions that meet the needs — domestic and international for a wide range of customers, including households and businesses, both small and large. More information on the Postal Service may be found at

1.2 Current Situation There is the belief that technology is a threat to traditional media, specifically print media. Even more so is the thought that technology is eroding the value of mail in today's society In truth, while technology has taken some share of the marketing wallet, nothing can replace the value of direct mail and its ability to get a message into the hands of a targeted consumer at the right time at a reasonable cost. And unlike many digital messages, mail gets noticed right away: Studies show the vast majority of Americans look at their mail every day and still have trust in the mail. 1 With the recent announcement of the Mobile Barcode Promotion, the USPS is illustrating just how the emerging technology of mobile barcodes (also known as QR or Quick Response codes) can successfully work/integrate with direct mail as part of a mobile marketing campaign.

Deliver Magazine, November 2010


Feedback on the promotion has been tremendous, with many in the value chain of direct mail/mail service providers applauding our advocacy for the integration of technology and mail. The USPS will continue to fortify its support for the value of integrating technology with direct mail. To continue the momentum of this promotion and to further illustrate ways in which direct mail can be made more impactful, more interactive and more robust by integrating technology, USPS is looking to launch other similar initiatives. Today, we are seeing other ways in which developing/emerging technologies can make mail more impactful and meaningful by engaging and interacting with the consumer in more than just a static environment. For example, mailers have seen response rates of up to 122% simply by integrating a ―share‖ functionality with their direct mail. Additionally there are other tactics such as digital watermarks, video in print, augmented reality and 3D printing – all of which can make mail much more impactful by allowing the recipient to interact with the mail. 1.3 Objective Ideally, the USPS would like to ground itself as a thought leader in best practices of integrating emerging technologies with mail. The USPS is requesting capability information, from those in the technology industry as well as the mailing industry, on any service offerings (both front end and back end) that allow consumers to interact and be engaged with their direct mail as a result of a technology component – a service that will help ―blur‖ the lines of offline and online and further entrench direct mail as a valuable and impactful medium for all businesses both small and large. Examples: QR Codes & Mail Augmented Reality & Mail


2. Request for Information Categories: Category A - Partnership Considerations As part of this initiative, the Postal Service is exploring different relationship structures involving third parties, including white labeling a service/product offering. The USPS will provide a trusted brand name, trusted delivery, a marketing channel (including cost effective direct mail and and sales lead generation while leveraging the core capabilities of potential alliance partners, affiliates and/or suppliers. USPS is requesting, where applicable, industry perspectives on relationship structure options, the division of responsibilities, revenue share arrangements (if applicable), and the working relationship. USPS is requesting feedback on a broad range of capabilities from the potential partner in order to assess the most effective business relationship and division of responsibilities based on core capabilities. Based on the responses and further evaluation by USPS, the arrangement and responsibilities may not be defined exactly as described in the following RFI. USPS would like the potential partners to clearly identify a perspective on their involvement based on core capabilities with respect to technology and the mail.

Category B - Technology Offerings USPS is looking to enter into business relationship/partnership that will provide small and larger businesses not only with the education, resources and tools to incorporate engaging, interactive technology into their direct mail pieces, but the analytics to measure the use and success of such service offerings. These include, but are not limited to the following:  Mobile Barcode  Digital Watermark  Video in Print  Augmented Reality  3D printing B.1 Education/Needs Assessment Even with the current Mobile Barcode Promotion, there are many businesses that need education, the guidelines and best practices of mobile marketing. To that end, we would look for education/materials on the following: 1. In detail, please discuss your capabilities, where applicable, of integrating a technology service offering with direct mail. Please include any case studies, success stories or associated results. 6



As is the mantra with direct mail, measurement is key. To that end, having a tracking and/or analytical platform would be a very important component of the potential offering. Providing easy-to-understand/use analytics/analytic tools will be key to proving the success of and repeat usage integrating technology with direct mail. Please discuss your capabilities and experience with: 1. Providing basic analytics as it relates to the product/service offering 2. Providing tutorials, instructions and example to educate the user on using your respective technology in print, with concentration in direct mail. 3. Providing users with the ability to track usage of the technology.

3. RFI Responses Interested vendors are encouraged to submit a response. Vendors may send in joint responses with a strategic partner or external contractor. Any information obtained as a result of this RFI is intended to be used by the USPS on a non-attribution basis for planning and strategy development. USPS will review and consider all responses in its formulation of program strategies for the identified materials of interest that are the subject of this request. USPS will not respond to individual submissions or publish publicly a compendium of responses. A response to this RFI will not be viewed as a binding commitment to develop or pursue the project or ideas discussed. 3.1 Response Content In responding to the RFI, please address discussion points outlined in Section 2. In your response to Section 2, please address your ability to provide the technology offerings within the context of direct mail. 3.1.1 Cover Letter The response cover letter must contain the following information;    Company name; Company point of contact: name, title, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address; and Date submitted


In addition, respondents should provide separate sections that comment on the Postal Service’s concept and approach, corporate capabilities, experience and approach (addressing the discussion items in the previous sections). Section and content for RFI responses are as follows. 3.1.2 Experience, Capabilities & Approach Based on their experience and current service/product/reporting offering (s) with similar projects and knowledge of industry practices, respondents are requested to describe their core capabilities and how those capabilities can help businesses integrate technology with direct mail, fortifying mail as an engaging and interactive medium. Responses should specifically address: Potential Partnership Agreement & Structure Technology Offerings - How they work - How they interact with mail - Current case studies, if applicable Analytics

3.2 Instructions to Responders All information provided in response to the RFI will become the property of the Postal Service and will not be returned. The Postal Service does not intend to award a contract on the basis of the RFI or to otherwise pay for the information solicited. 3.3 RFI Questions Questions about the RFI must be e-mailed to Questions shall be included in a word document as an attachment to the email message, and must be clearly stated with references to the appropriate RFI text and, when possible, examples or illustrations to help amplify or clarity the question. Respondents are required to submit ALL questions and/or requests for clarifications no later than November 7, 2011. NO OTHER METHODS OF SUBMITTING QUESTIONS AND/OR REQUESTS FOR CLARIFICATIONS IS PERMITTED OR AUTHORIZED. In submitting questions, companies agree that USPS will respond to all questions regarding the RFI. The issued response will be a single document compiling all RFI questions asked and the accompanied USPS response to those questions.


3.4 RFI Response Preparation and Submission Responses to the RFI must be submitted by November 14, 2011. Interested organizations may submit responses in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint (2002 SP-2 compatible files). Responses shall be e-mailed electronically as an attachment to Email responses must be broken down into separate files so that each email does not exceed 3 MB in size. In addition to your written response, you may also provide a web link or other visual aid ―demonstrating‖ your proposed solution/capabilities. Alternatively, responses can be mailed via US Mail to arrive no later than the due date to the following address: USPS – Marketing Mail, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Room 5410 Washington, D.C. 20260 ATTN: Direct Mail RFI All responses, whether soft or hard copy, must be received by no later than November 8, 2011

3.5 USPS Review "EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION BY GOVERNMENT AND NONGOVERNMENT PERSONNEL: Government civil servant employees are subject to the non-disclosure obligations. The Government may seek the advice of qualified non-Government personnel. The Government may also use non-Government personnel to conduct routine, nondiscretionary administrative activities. The respondents, by submitting its response, consent to USPS providing their response to non-Government parties. Non-Government parties given access to responses must be subject to an appropriate obligation of confidentiality prior to being given the access. Submissions may be reviewed by support contractors and private consultants." The Postal Service will protect and safeguard against inappropriate information disclosure of all information marked as proprietary or business sensitive. Respondents that include in their submissions information they do not want used or disclosed by the Postal Service for any purpose other than RFI analysis and internal business planning may take the following steps:  Include on the front page or in the introductory material of their RFI response the following: ―This submission includes data that may not be duplicated, used, or disclosed outside the Postal Service, in whole or in part, for any purpose other than to evaluate this RFI response for its internal business planning. This restriction does not limit the Postal Service’s right to use information contained in the data if it is obtained from another source without restriction. The data subject to this restriction 9

are contained in sheets (respondent inserts numbers or other identification of sheets).‖  Mark each sheet of data they wish to restrict with the following legend: ―Use or disclosure of data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this RFI response.‖