Direct Mail Services: New Strategies to Avoid a Postage Hike

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Direct Mail Services: New Strategies to Avoid a Postage Hike

Whether you are a non-profit seeking the lowest possible postage rate or a for profit company that sends out sales teasers regularly, a change in postage rates has a dramatic effect on your marketing budget.  On Jan. 27, 2013 the United States Postal Service will be putting an increase into effect of approximately 2.57% on most categories of bulk mailers. Catalog mailers enjoy a more reduced rate of increase, but many businesses have switched away from larger mailers to send out more targeted campaigns per year.  Other regulatory changes also push for your business to change automation processes. Direct mail services providers help offset the price increases with automation services that give your business that absolute lowest rate.

Postage Rate Increase

What Price Changes Mean for Your Business

The price changes make switching to automated bulk direct mail services more important than ever. Mailing a letter will cost $0.46 per piece first class, and even typical bulk mailing prices will increase to around $0.26 per commercial piece.  This price increase will limit the number of items you can mail at your current budget line. That deeply discounted price only applies to items that meet all the automation guidelines. Postcard mailings and self mailers also stand to increase by a similar amount.  On a 10,000 address mailing list, that would mean cutting more than 400 addresses.  Given the typical response rates on bulk mailings of 4.4 percent, that could mean losing almost 20 customers.  Strategize and plan to drill into your normal customer or prospect files, to target the best list in order to maximize your ROI!

Implementing Automation for Best Postage Rates

For many of you, automation comes from your direct mail services provider.  They should offer approved address correction services to help you get the lowest automated rate.  If you have not been using these services, adding them can help offset the rate increase completely.  You direct mail services company also needs to help you create mailers that work with postal machinery.  To improve mail flow, the USPS has implemented some regulatory changes on the layout and sealing methods on self-mailers.  Unsecured mailers clog postal machines, causing delays.  Mailers sealed on the top edge with two closures of at least one inch cause fewer delays.  These are now the standard required by the USPS.  Mailings that fail to meet these requirements can face an additional fee of up to $0.20 per piece.  This change to mail layouts offers several different design options.  Contact your direct mail company to discuss your proposed layout before finalizing a design choice.

Crunch Budget Number Now to Avoid Trimming Your List

One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is to trim the mailing list when prices go up.  A smaller mailing list means fewer responses, leading to shrinking profits.  Make the right changes to your process, and you could keep mailing out to your original list, at a reduced or static rate.  Another possibility is to make changes on the type and frequency of mailings.  Instead of mailing to your entire list on a monthly basis, switching to half of your list every other month might garner similar response rates without the expense of regular mailings. Another option is to switch some of your campaigns to different types of mailings.  Reduce the number of catalogs mailed out and include some flyers into your campaign.  Careful attention to your response rates and budget lines allows you to create a campaign that stays within your budget.  Your direct mail services provider can help guide you through the process of creating a blanket marketing campaign on a shoestring budget.