Here are a few tips that will minimize the impact of rising postage rates:
1. Design mailings for automation processing
If your mailing design is automation compatible you save postage. From mail entry to delivery, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has machines that will totally process letter size mail with virtually no manual handling. Those mail pieces that meet the automation guidelines, coupled with automation database processing and mail preparation will qualify for the lowest available postage rates and speed up delivery.
2. Produce and mail letter size pieces
The descriptions that the USPS uses to identify communication type mail are letter size and flat size. A letter size mail piece is a minimum 3 1/2” x 5” and a maximum of 6 1/8” x 11 1/2” and under
1/4” in thickness. A flat size mail piece is any piece larger than any one of these maximum dimensions. Mailing letter size pieces usually saves a minimum of $185 to $190 on every thousand pieces mailed!
3. Mailing list hygiene
Cleaning up your mailing list can save time and money. Here are some examples of ways to clean up your mailing list:
- Delivery Point Validation/Address Element Correction – Correcting and removing incomplete addresses.
- Locatable Address Correction – Converts rural route box addresses to street addresses.
- National Deceased Files – Removes deceased persons from your list.
- Suppression Databases – Removes prison addresses, do-not-mail lists, nursing homes, etc. from your list.
4. Mailing postcards/self-mailers
Producing and mailing postcards and other self-mailers are less expensive to process and print than inserting your information into an envelope and mailing. When envelopes are included you not only add the cost of the envelopes and printing but also the production cost of having the printed pieces inserted into the envelopes.
5. Remove duplicates from your mailing lists
Removing duplicate names from your mailing list saves postage. Generally, if the majority of names on your lists are individuals at home addresses, most merge/purge programs do a good job eliminating duplicate records. If your lists are primarily businesses with contact names, although a bit more complex, most duplicates can be removed.
6. Qualifying for non-profit postage rates
USPS approved nonprofit organizations can save between 40%-50% on postage as compared to what profit organizations pay. To determine if an organization qualifies, check here.
7. Drop Shipping
Presort Standard Mail is based on size, weight and distance the mail travels from its Postal Service entry point. After the mail has been entered into the Postal System it is transported closer to the actual delivery point. This procedure is called Drop Shipping, which will save on postage costs.
8. Mailing with Presort Standard Mail
To qualify for Presort Standard Mail you must have over 200 pieces or 50lbs of mail (excluding bills and communication deemed personal in nature). Mailing Presort Standard Mail will save you a minimum of 50% postage as compared to First-Class. As your mail piece weight goes up, an even greater postage saving is achieved.
9. Updating your mailing list
Did you know that 15%-20% of the population moves annually? National Change of Address (NCOA) can update your lists with address changes going back as far as four years. Keeping your mailing lists current is a major part of saving postage.
10. Plan before designing and printing
Before printing, always do your homework. Pre-plan for mailings by checking USPS requirements. Look for the most economical way to mail. Understand what you are trying to accomplish.
11. Customer list profiling
If you have a customer list, using demographic and psychographic overlays helps enhance and target your prospecting mailings by better understanding who your customers are. Once you know the typical profile of your customer, lists are available to rent with the same criteria.
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