Direct Mail

Best USPS Direct Mail Promotion for 2017

The Tactile, Sensory & Interactive promotion takes advantage of some of the latest technological advances to encourage sensory engagement with a direct mail piece. This is my favorite promotion for 2017. There are so many really cool things you can do to stand out in the mail and get a postage discount! Elements can be incorporated into the mail pieces to create a multi-sensory experience with special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, and even taste. You can also use, interactive mail piece features such as pop-ups, infinite folds, or other dimensional ideas to help drive customer engagement.

The promotion period is between February 1 – July 31, 2017. You will receive a discount of 2% on postage at the time of mailing. Only standard and nonprofit letters and flats are eligible for this promotion.

Specialty Inks:

The specialty inks must enhance the engagement and value of the mail piece. Unique properties of specialty inks must be visible and distinguishable on mail piece.

These inks may include but are not limited to:

  • Conductive inks: Inks are used to print a circuit and users press a “button” to close the circuit, which can activate other devices, such as lights, sound chips, or other electronic sensors and components.
  • Leuco Dyes/Thermochromics: These are heat sensitive dyes or inks change color in variation in temperature
  • Photochromic: Changes color with UV light exposure
  • Optically Variable Ink: Contains metallic materials that change appearance when viewed from different angles
  • Piezochromic: Change appearance under pressure
  • Hydrochromic: Changes appearance when exposed to water or liquids

If the specialty ink used looks like a photo and is not distinguishable, it does not qualify for the promotion. Metallic ink and clear ink (5th color) are not eligible for the 2017 promotion either.

Specialty Papers:

There are a variety of papers that can incorporate unique features that trigger sensory involvement. The specialty paper must have one or more of the features or a combination below. The use of these features must be connected to the marketing message of the mail piece and must be either bound or sewn into the mail piece to qualify.

  • Scent: Paper infused with scent, microencapsulated scents (opening mechanisms are excluded)
  • Sound: Paper that incorporates sound chip/speakers
  • Taste: Paper that incorporates edible components.
  • Visual: Paper that incorporates special effects (ex: filters, holographic, lenticular)
  • Textural: Paper that can be sensed by touch alone. Paper surfaces may be coated, or made of unique materials or incorporate techniques such as embossing or other surface treatments

The specialty paper used must be visible and distinguishable by the physical characteristics of the paper and/or the techniques used to qualify for the promotion. Laminated postcards and full coverage Gloss treatments and Spot treatments are not eligible for the 2017 TSI Promotion. Scratch-off, borders, reveals, die-cuts, stickers and detachables, pull tabs, zip-strip, opening mechanisms and samples enclosed within the envelope that have a treatment applied to them do not qualify for the promotion.

Interactive mail pieces:

The interactive mail pieces must include an experience that engages the customer and adds dynamic effects in the use of folds and other dimensional improvements. Simple folds such as half folds, tri-folds, gate folds, iron cross or accordion folds do not qualify. The mail piece must include elements that the user can physically manipulate (i.e., twist, spin, dial, pull, bend, etc.). The mail pieces may include but are not limited to:

  • 3-Dimensional
  • Pop-ups
  • Infinite folding

Scratch-off, borders, reveals, die-cuts, stickers and detachables, pull tabs and zip-strip opening mechanisms nor samples enclosed within the envelope that have a treatment applied to them do not qualify for the promotion.


  1. All mail pieces must be submitted to the TSI Promotion Office for review and approval no later than one week prior to the first mailing. Each mail piece is reviewed individually. The Promotions Office responds to all inquiries within 4 business days.
  2. The treatments can be categorized into specialty inks, specialty papers and other interactive features. Participants are encouraged to apply these techniques to both the envelope and the mail piece in order to maximize results. The mail piece can incorporate one or more of the treatments (or any combination) on the outside of the envelope, on the actual mail piece or both.
  3. All treatments must be visible and distinguishable
  4. PDF’s are not acceptable for review, must be hard copy mail piece.
  5. Samples enclosed within the envelope and envelope opening mechanisms are not eligible for the promotion. Samples include, but are not limited to; coins, fabric, greeting cards, dream catchers etc.
  6. Only the envelope and/or the actual mail piece that have approved TSI treatments applied are eligible for the promotion.
  7. Envelopes must meet automation compatibility requirements.

If there are other techniques to be considered outside of the categories listed above, please contact the Promotion Office at Want all the details go to:

Are you ready to get creative and save on postage? We can help; contact us today. We are glad to help!