Every organization is under pressure to save on mail costs – or, at the very least, avoid increased costs. Without a strategy to keep costs down, they are sure to rise each year, as the USPS applies for regular rate increases.
As we have covered on this blog in the past, there are many ways to save on mail costs. Sometimes, finding these savings requires getting into the “nuts and bolts” of your mail pieces and re-examine how they are designed, addressed and classed.
In terms of mail design, there is sometimes room to scale back – both the size and weight of your mailings. Any time you can convert large envelopes – or flats – into letter-sized envelopes, you’ll save a great deal on postage, especially at high volumes. To reduce the amount of paper – and therefore the weight of your mail – simple things like printing on both sides of the paper, reducing margins, and shrinking font sizes can add up to a lot of savings.
It’s also important to make sure that your mail can be processed on automated equipment. For letter- sized mail, this means avoiding the use of plastic wraps, clasps, strings and buttons. Oftentimes, mail is designed for “wow factor,” without taking into consideration the negative impact this can have on the cost. In addition, it’s important to make sure that the mail is flexible enough to be processed on automated equipment – and that the recipient’s address is placed in the appropriate location.
Barcoding also plays a key role in automation. As of January 28, 2013, the Intelligent Mail Barcode® will be required in order to receive discounted automation rates. When addressing your mail, be sure that it is delivery-point validated – to save on the wasted costs of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail.
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Many organizations have also saved simply by revisiting which mail they send as First-Class Mail®, opting whenever possible to send Standard Mail® when it qualifies and there is sufficient time to secure the needed delivery.
Clearly, there are plenty of ways to save on mail costs. All it takes is an ongoing re-examination of mailing practices and a willingness to think about what it takes to save!