There’s money in the mail, and we are not talking about your birthday check from Grandma!
If you send mail on behalf of your clients (and many DDS customers do), you probably know the U.S. Postal Service has faced challenges. Anytime the USPS is in the news, the coverage appears negative, usually the story is about a rate increase or longer delivery times. During the 2020 election, there were reports of ballot misdelivery. Still, compared to the rest of the world, a First Class stamp from the USPS is a bargain. In 2022, the average stamp price among all European countries was €1.25 or approximately $1.37. 1 While reasonable postage rates in the USA are good news, some marketers have cooled on the prospect of using direct mail as a marketing device. Others, particularly younger marketers, have no experience with direct mail and perceive it to be wildly expensive when compared to digital marketing channels.
Thanks to recent congressional action, the stability of the Postal Service as an institution has improved. By understanding new postal regulations, the impact of rate changes, and promotions, mailers can have productive conversations with their clients on the benefits of direct mail. Mail service providers can show their customers how mail works with other channels and suggest ways to save postage.
8 Sure Fire Ways to Save Postage
- Take Advantage of USPS Promotions
The USPS is making it easier to capture a 4 or 5 percent postage discount simply by adding a texture (varnish usually qualifies) or printing a bill with a marketing message included in spot color. Those are just two of the six USPS offers included in the 2023-2024 promotions. Many of these programs marry direct mail to online marketing as well. The “retargeting” promotion is a perfect example of this. USPS promotions should be at the top of your list when looking for ways to save postage.
- Fold It
Two or three sheets of paper folded and sent in a business envelope cost about half the postage to mail the same sheets sent flat in a 9” x 12” envelope. Flat documents look nice but cost a lot more.
- Constantly Clean Your List
The USPS requirements of cleaning your list every 90 or 180 days is not where you want to be. Address realignment and moves happen every day. The US Postal Service records 91,000 address changes every day, including weekends! 2. Run your CASS-certified software and NCOA applications immediately before each mailing. Continue mailing to your customers, even if they have moved. They are the people that buy the stuff you sell. The added benefit is that address cleansing is required for postal presorting, a discount program discussed next.
The USPS’ nationwide mailing process is predicated on one thing. Sortation. The Postal Service spends 90% of its time sorting tractor-trailer loads of mail down to carrier routes. Presort services will commingle your mail with other mailers sent to the same ZIP code, qualifying you for discounts you would not be eligible for with your mail alone.
- One Envelope, One Prospect
Remove duplicate addresses. An average mailing list may be 10% duplicated. Any percent is too much. This is a significant issue for non-profit mailers. Do not send the same appeal three times when asking for donations. It indicates a waste of resources.
- Suppress Unresponsive Recipients
Some recipients on your list may be in prison, in nursing homes, or have passed away. They cannot buy the product you or your clients are offering. Your software provider can help you suppress these mailing records, saving printing and postage.
- Add Defining Data
Your mailing software provider can provide tools to enhance name and address files with demographic or psychographic data you can use to trim mailing lists or identify segments. Use data enhancement tools and filtering to improve response rates and reduce the size of your list by eliminating non-responsive records.
Instead of sending an invoice and a separate marketing piece to the same recipient, add the promotional message to your transactional mail. Not only does this eliminate an entire mailing, but if you use spot color on the document, you can qualify for one of the USPS promotions!
DDS Solutions for Mailers
Document Data Solutions provides unrivaled customized data collection, quality control, and printing solutions for direct mailers. The DDS technology specifies rules for creating identifiers, guarding against duplicates, and tracking the disposition of documents. This is ideal for integrating direct mail with electronic marketing channels. DDS has over a quarter century of experience and research in the print and mail industry and maintains vital industry partnerships. We engineer each solution for individual applications using pioneering software and hardware technology.