Jan. 19 2017 06:33 AM

What a year 2016 was for the mail industry! The ever-increasing usage of digital communications (and its impact on physical mail), the adoption of more and more shipping duties among mailers, compliance regulations... the list of things that mailers had on their professional plates could go on and on. Here is a look at the top 10 most-read articles from this past year. Not only is it interesting to see what happened in 2016 from an industry perspective, it also gives us insight into the most pressing issues facing mailers today. Enjoy!

10. If Mail Machines Could Talk

By Marie-Pierre Belanger

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is very much a part of our daily lives and is being applied not only to personal devices like smart thermostats and heart-rate monitors, but also to industrial applications in aviation, traffic control, healthcare, agriculture, energy services, manufacturing, and more. Industrial machines are talking to each other, sharing information, identifying best practices, and applying what they learn in real-time. Recently, IoT technology has been introduced into the mail centers of businesses large and small, and it is quickly changing the game in the mailing industry.

9. What's an Ideal Mail Center?

This whitepaper from Neopost USA takes a look at what should be taken into account when setting up and managing a mail center, explains how a mail center can support small and medium-sized business (SMBs), and highlights what needs to be taken into consideration before investing in the different mail center solutions available today.

8. Informed Delivery vs. Informed Visibility

By Kim Mauch

If you attended the National Postal Forum this year, you likely heard the terms “Informed Delivery” and “Informed Visibility” almost every five minutes. While their names are similar, the USPS programs themselves are quite different. Let’s take a look at both, find their differences and similarities, and talk about what’s next for each one.

7. The Future of Mail: NPF, Day One

By Amanda Armendariz

Industry shows are a great way to stay abreast of happenings in the industry, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better show for mailers than the National Postal Forum. Here, I give readers a peek at the events and discussions taking place in Nashville.

6. Adding Value with 3-4-1 Is Yet Another Win-Win

By Harry Stephens

If the 2-4-1 promotion (two ounces for the price of one) was a success with mailers — and it was! — why not build a better mousetrap — just make it larger by now allowing three ounces at the one-ounce rate?

5. The Three Cs of Standard Mail, Part One

By Alison Hall

Standard Mail rates are well known as one of the lower postage methods, but there are still opportunities for direct mailers to reduce costs even further through the Three Cs of Standard Mail: Commingling, Co-Palletization, and Co-Transportation. (Note: Click here for part two and part three of this series).

4. Seven Ways to Save in 2017

By Kim Mauch

When this article first ran, 2017 seemed a long way off (relatively). But here we are, at the start of a brand-new year, so it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the many promotions that are available for mailers in 2017.

3. What USPS’s Delivery Point Validation Mandate Really Means

By James Bishopp

Every year, incorrect postal information costs the United States Postal Service (USPS) $1.4 billion. With such a massive fee looming annually – none of which is going to USPS operations, but simply to rectifying incorrect postal information – the carrier’s soon-to-be-launched Delivery Point Validation (DPV) mandate should come as no surprise.

2. The Impact of the Envelope

By Kathy Battin & Crystal May

Today, we have hundreds of envelope choices to explore and choose from. Before deciding, you must be mindful of important factors that impact postal regulations including size, color, machinability, window position, and correct BRE set up. These are just a few factors to consider if you want your envelope choice to have optimum processing speed as well as lowest postage costs.

By Adam Lewenberg

Yes, this price change took place back in April, but it still is a good article to examine to familiarize yourself with the different classes of mail, rate analyses in general, and more!