Here are answers to frequently asked questions about Full Service and TrackMyMail®:
- When TrackMyMail adds serial numbers for tracking purposes, or when SmartMailer™ generates serial numbers for automation rate mailings, how can I see the serial numbers?
When you export the data to a file, you can include the serial numbers in the data and view it in another application – Microsoft Excel for example.
- Do I need to know, or must I populate the Barcode identity (ID) and Service Type ID when processing automation mail using the Intelligent Mail Barcode?
No. SmartMailer generates these automatically based on the class of mail and the services selected.
- When would a customer use his/her own Mailer ID instead of one provided by Pitney Bowes or TrackMyMail?
For routing-only jobs, the system uses the customer's Mailer ID. When you set up a job for tracking, the system automatically uses the TrackMyMail Mailer ID. When United States Postal Service (USPS) scans the pieces on a tracking job, the data is sent to TrackMyMail, and they consolidate it for reporting.
- Does SmartMailer create unique serial numbers within the Intelligent Mail Barcode?
For routing-only jobs (no tracking), SmartMailer assigns unique serial numbers for each Mailer ID. For tracking jobs, TrackMyMail supplies the serial numbers so that they can provide piece-level tracking.
- Can I include my own information in the serial number field of the Intelligent Mail Barcode?
Yes, but you only do this for non-tracking or non-full service mailings. To supply your own information, you must export the data from SmartMailer, assign the serial numbers in another application (like Microsoft Excel, for example), and then use the external application or Envelope Designer Plus to format and print the addresses.
- What does it cost to sign-up for Intelligent Mail Barcode at the USPS?
There is no cost, and a mailer does not “sign up” for Intelligent Mail Barcode. A mailer using the Intelligent Mail Barcode for automation mailings needs to acquire a Mailer ID from the USPS. The “cost” of Intelligent Mail Barcode would be the investment of the postal coding/presorting solution, such as SmartMailer or AddressRight® Pro.
- What is involved and how long is the approval process within the USPS?
Mailers obtain their mailer identification (MID) and customer registration identification (CRID) (refer to “Intro to the Intelligent Mail Barcode” online module) via the Business Customer Gateway. In most cases, this is done online and takes little time. However, as it pertains to Full-Service, there is an approval/ testing process that may take a few weeks.
- How much can I save on my outbound piece?
There is no difference in postage pricing for the Basic option of Intelligent Mail barcode; pricing is the same as that of the POSTNET barcode. Full-Service mailers may save an additional $3.00/1000 for First-Class Mail and $1.00/1000 for Standard Mail mailings. SmartMailer currently supports full service for mailings of less than 10,000 pieces, provided the mailer uses the USPS postal wizard to enter postage statement information.
- How much can I save on my undelivered as address (UAA) mail?
Implementing the IM barcode for automation-price mailings does not necessarily impact UAA mail any more than mailings with a POSTNET barcode. It is a combination of postal coding and also the implementation of a Move Update solution, such as VeriMove that can reduce UAA mail, and thus “save” postage. The amount is determined on an application or case by case basis.
- How deep can the Intelligent Mail Barcode be traced or tracked? For example, can I see the status of an Intelligent Mail barcode piece going from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) to Peachtree City, or will I only see it as far as Atlanta (before Atlanta passes it on to Peachtree City)?
Letter-size and flat-size mailings can only be tracked or traced using the Confirm program (Track My Mail’s Precision Track solution). Mail pieces can be tracked up to the last postal facility that processes/scans them, typically a Sectional Center Facility - not a Destination Delivery Unit (the little local post office that ultimately delivers the mail).
- When I am assigned unique serial numbers, do they expire, or can I keep them until they are used?
Serial numbers do not expire, but to meet Full Service requirements, they must remain unique for 45 days.
- If I’m using an Intelligent Mail barcode and a piece is delayed because of UAA, how long will the Intelligent Mail barcode be valid? For example, if I use the Precision Track service, but it takes weeks for the USPS to forward or return the letter, will I be able to track that piece on its way back and know that it never reached its intended destination?
TrackMyMail will post tracking results for 45 days after the indicated mail date. In most cases, this is sufficient time to report results for “redirected” mail.
- Will the Business Reply Mail Intelligent Mail barcode be required to have unique serial numbers?
When inbound tracking is available through TrackMyMail for SmartMailer/PBFirst™ users, TrackMyMail will assign serialized numbers in order to generate results tied to the individual responding. From a postal perspective, the inbound Intelligent Mail Barcode must include the appropriate ZIP+4 of the “fly-back” address as well as the appropriate STID’s.
- When do I need to convert to the Intelligent Mail Barcode?
The current USPS schedule calls for discounts for POSTNET barcoded mail to expire in May 2011.
- Are there differences in how SmartMailer and AddressRight Pro maintain Intelligent Mail Barcode required fields?
No. Both SmartMailer and AddressRight Pro manage the Mailer ID, Service Type ID, and serial numbers automatically.
- Which of the AddressRight printers can print the Intelligent Mail Barcode?
All DA series printers as well as the Documatch are Intelligent Mail Barcode-compatible.
- Is there a minimum quantity requirement for a mailing to use Destination Confirm (Precision Track)?
Currently, SmartMailer can only use Precision Track for presorted mailings – 200 pieces minimum for Standard Mail and 500 pieces for First Class. This limitation does not apply if you access SmartMailer via PBFirst.
- What Pitney Bowes products for midrange mailers currently support the Intelligent Mail Barcode?
All of our Addressing and Document Processing software – Envelope Manager, SmartMailer, AddressRight Pro, PBFirst, AutoMail Pro, and PlanetPress® – can produce Intelligent Mail Barcodes. All DA Series address printers can print them. Access to related services depends on the product.
- Does printing the Intelligent Mail Barcode qualify me for a postage discount?
The Intelligent Mail Barcode by itself, like the POSTNET barcode it replaces, does not qualify your mail for a discount. To qualify for Automation discounts, you must include the ZIP+4 Delivery Point data in the Intelligent Mail Barcode, validate and presort your addresses, and submit the mail in trays per USPS requirements. SmartMailer and AddressRight Pro handle this processing.
- What are the differences between Basic and Full Service Intelligent Mail?
For Automation Presort mailings, Full Service provides a slightly greater discount than Basic Intelligent Mail Barcode or POSTNET barcoded mail - $0.003 per piece for First Class Mail and $0.001 for Standard mail. Full Service mailings must have unique serial numbers in the Intelligent Mail Barcode. Full Service mailings use different tray labels than Basic, and for Full Service, the postage statement must be submitted electronically not on paper.
- What software products can currently generate Full Service Intelligent Mail Barcode mailings?
SmartMailer, AddressRight Pro and AutoMail Pro are all Full Service compatible today for mailings up to 10,000 pieces. With the Electronic Documentation option, AddressRight Pro can produce Full Service mailings of any size.
- How do I submit the documentation for Full Service mailings?
One of the requirements of Full Service mailings is to submit the postal data electronically. For mailings of up to 10,000 pieces, you can submit the information at the USPS Postal Web Wizard website. With the Electronic Documentation option in AddressRight Pro, you can submit the data for any size mailing via MAIL.DAT.
- What software products support outbound tracking (Destination Confirm)?
Currently SmartMailer and products that use it. PBFirst and PlanetPress support Destination Confirm. AutoMail Pro also supports Destination Confirm. Our products do this via the Precision Track service, which is provided by TrackMyMail, a Pitney Bowes subsidiary.