6 Direct Mail Mistakes That Could Cost Thousands
Did you know the Standard Rate postage difference from an automation letter to a non-machinable letter can be 15 to 23 cents per piece? For First Class mail, it is even worse (around 35 cents each). With loads of new (and not-so-new) postal regulations in effect, there are some pretty easy ways to make a design or production misstep that can cost lots of money. In most cases, a little design planning and communication could have prevented the errors.
Lots of these mistakes may or may not have be caught in the past because the United States Postal Service (USPS) employees who check the mail when it is presented at the Bulk Mail Entry Unit either missed a previous error, were recently reminded of some of the postal regulations by auditors, recently received in-service training session on a specific rule category, or are new to the job.
However, it is only a matter of time before an infraction is cited, mail is charged more, and you have an unexpected budget buster that could reduce or eliminate any return on your mailing investment.
Here are the most common faux pas that can cost thousands, but can also be eradicated with proper pre-planning:
1. Failure to Use the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) on Reply Mail
USPS rules dictate that any discounted mailing that has a reply vehicle inside must bear the proper IMB on the reply piece. This means that a business reply envelope or card that bears no barcode, or the old version of a barcode, is subject to non-automated postage rates for the entire outgoing mailing. Savvy inspectors will open a mail piece and check for reply mail inside. If it does not meet regulations, that will bump your postage up to "non-auto" rates ... a big increase. Make sure your reply vehicle complies with the new IMB rules.