Ways to Save on Postage

Meet the writer: Karen Pieper

Hi, I'm Karen! I've been in the industry for 18 years and can't wait to share my perspective on all things direct mail. I'm currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Letter Jacket Envelopes and deal with tasks from managing the website, facilitating conversations with customers, and much more!

Postage costs keep rising. After the most recent postal rate increase on January 22nd many small businesses are searching for ways to save on postage.  You may even be considering raising your own flock of carrier pigeons as an extremely retro way to save on postage. Here are several easier methods that will be more time-saving, space-saving and cost-effective.

Save on Postage with these Tips

  • Get Your Mail to the Right People by using data enhancement and acquisition. This is a fancier way of saying you need to identify the profiles that fit your best customers and target the prospects most closely resembling them.  Consider segmenting your mailing list so that your mailings are more highly focused. By targeting the right audience, you can mail fewer pieces, save money on printing and postage, and still get better results.
  • Keep Track of Returned Mail after any direct mail campaign and update your mailing list accordingly. This seems like a simple step but many businesses skip it. Keeping your mailing list updated will reduce undeliverable mail, allowing you to reach customers that have moved.  This saves future lost orders and increases your customer loyalty. Update your mailing list at least quarterly by checking the NCOA (National Change of Address) list.
  • Mail Design is of Utmost Importance.  The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers significant savings on pieces that can be processed on automated equipment.
  • Stay horizontal- the delivery address should be parallel to the longer side of the mail piece or it will cost more.
  • Allow enough room for the address and barcode…at least a 4”x2” clear area.
  • Avoid dark paper stock or heavily textured stock. The reflectability can affect the barcode readability.  If it can’t be read, it’s handled more and you pay more.
  • Keep it flat and smooth – Any enclosures such as pens, keys or coins can cause the thickness to vary which results in higher costs.
  • Too thin is not in – Mail pieces that are too thin also cost more. If it is less than .009” thick it will cost you an additional 25 cents or more.
  • Use Mail to Multi-Task – When you send invoices or mail merchandise to your customers make sure to insert ads or promotions for other products and services you sell. The ad gets a free ride as long as it doesn’t bump the cost of the mailing into the next rate range.
  • Direct mail, if handled correctly, can be a very cost-effective way to reach your targeted prospects and customers. The return on investment (ROI) usually exceeds most other forms of marketing. Inefficient management of mailing lists and poor mail piece design can cost you money.
  • Beyond your mailing list and overall design of the mail piece there are other ways to save on postage.
  • Keep the Size Consistent – Use the same paper stock for all pieces in a mailing to avoid postal weight verification issues. The Post Office weighs a sample batch from each mailing to verify the number of pieces in each bundle. If their sample batch weighs more you will be charged for more pieces and that means additional postage.
  • Don’t Forget the Postage – Get a scale and weigh each piece of mail. If it weighs less than an ounce, fold it to fit in a standard business size envelope.  Regardless of the weight try to use the exact amount of postage needed. If you are using stamps, keep stamps in several different denominations on hand. You can also use a permit imprint (indicia) printed on the mail piece or it can be imprinted when the mail is processed.
  • Make sure Your Mailing Stands Out – Lead with an eye-catching color and design on your envelopes. Strong visuals will help your piece stand out and increase your return on investment.

The best way to save on postage is to make sure your mailer stands out. Take advantage of Letter Jacket’s high-quality envelopes, available in multiple sizes. Each envelope can also be printed with custom art courtesy of Letter Jacket’s intuitive ordering system.

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