Explore Your Postage Options
A preprinted indicia can be a big, red flag that says, “This is bulk/advertising mail!” In some cases, that doesn’t matter and won’t affect response. But if you’re concerned a preprinted indicia looks too cold or impersonal for your mailing, you have choices. A preprinted indicia doesn’t have to be a small, square box with type in it.
For example, the indicia used by BlueCross BlueShield is embossed to create the illusion of a stamp’s perforated edges. And because tests show that mail with metered postage outpulls mail with a preprinted indicia, you should try designing your indicia to look similar to metering.
A Sierra Club mailing combines the cost-savings of a preprinted indicia with the look of metering—plus the impact of stamps. In this case, the stamps actually are stickers that have nothing to do with the postage, yet they appear as if they do. All this, coupled with the appearance of hand-addressing, makes the recipient want to believe this is a very personal and individualized mail piece. Because of the added cost of the stickers, I’m certain this was tested against other packages to see if the response generated outweighed the additional cost.
My special thanks to Lee Ingram and Doug King with the U.S. Postal Service for their help in writing this column.
A list of resources to help you further explore your postage options:
U.S. Postal Service:
- to order stamps online or for additional information;
- (800) 782-6724 for a free stamp catalog or to order stamps by phone;
- your local postmaster to special order stamps or request help;
- the district marketing department (ask your postmaster for a phone number);
- a mail piece design analyst for assistance designing mailings that fit your creative strategy as well as USPS postal requirements; and
- USPS Philatelic centers located at main post offices in major cities.