New Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting (IMbA™) for Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) Offers Faster Delivery, Lower Costs and Better Tracking
Many nonprofits use Business Reply Mail® (BRM) campaigns to help boost response since donors don’t have to find and use a stamp to mail back their donation. Due to BRM’s ease of use, we’re seeing more nonprofits testing and rolling out BRM campaigns during the pandemic, as older donors may not feel comfortable venturing out to buy stamps for their return envelopes.
Business Reply Mail® does have an additional cost, and sometimes delivery can be slower than stamped mail. That’s because BRM is manually handled once it’s received by the BRM Clerk at your local Post Office™ location. The BRM Clerk has to spot-count, weigh and rate your BRM, tally the various mail types, and then enter the information into the USPS® system for invoicing. This takes time, especially if mail volumes are high.
Our clients often see BRM delivery delays of 1-2 days compared to stamped, First-Class Mail® mailpieces because of this manual processing.
We’re happy to report that the USPS has launched a new application, called Intelligent Mail® Barcode Accounting (IMbA), which fully automates the process of Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM), speeding delivery, offering a deeper price discount and automated invoicing.
The Postal Service’s new IMbA accounting platform automates the invoicing of Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) for postcards and letters up to 2 oz.
The Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting (IMbA) application is a value-added service that provides more consistent and timely Business Reply Mail availability. IMbA participants will receive their mail earlier in the day, reducing float time with more efficient and effective mail processing. IMbA customers also have the convenience to view and download invoices from their PostalOne!®account.
QBRM is for cards and letters only. A ZIP+4® is provided for each mail type, and an Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb) is required. There are two prepaid return options available depending on projected return mail quantities: QBRM “Basic” and QBRM “High Volume.” QBRM “Basic” is best suited for customers whose return volume is approximately 613 letters or more, or 613 cards or more, expected annually. While QBRM “High Volume” is best suited for customers whose return volume is approximately 42,947 pieces or more quarterly or 171,786 pieces or more annually. Mailers can access their data through the Informed Visibility® feature and can review their invoices in PostalOne!®
We have several clients who are testing this new service with their fall and year-end mailings. The MailSmart Logistics team is assisting them with the sign-up process. We are also working with USPS officials to promote this new program within the nonprofit community.
If you have any questions about this exciting, new QBRM service with IMbA, or need help getting started, please contact us. We’re eager to help.