Cut Your Costs (1,145 words)
By Lisa Yorgey Lester
Get ready for another postal rate hike. International direct marketers can be sure global postage rates will go up this January, when terminal dues increase by 15 percent.
Managed by the UPU, the terminal dues system is used to calculate the payments between countries for delivery of inward international mail. Payments are based on a percent of a country's domestic letter mail rate for delivering international mail received from other countries. Consequently, international postal rates will likely increase.
Don't let a global postal increase eat into your bottom line. Much can be done to lower these ever-expanding costs. Here are some techniques other mailers have used to trim costs associated with mailing overseas.
Lose weight. You pay postage based on the weight of your mail piece; the less weight, the lower the mailing cost. Reducing the weight of a piece produces the most dramatic cost savings when mailing internationally, according to Stacy Berver, managing director of International Marketing Solutions, a division of Agora International. A few ways to do this:
- Downsize your mail piece. Berver says her company cut almost half an ounce from one mailing's weight by trimming the 9´´ x 12´´ direct mail package to an 81⁄2´´ x 11´´ size format. As a result, the mailer saved 8 cents per piece on postage and approximately 1 cent per piece on handling. What's more, claims Berver, the slight downsize didn't change the look of the piece, so she doesn't anticipate response will be affected.
- Print on a lighter paper stock. Many direct mailers print their letters on a 50-pound paper stock. Berver recommends switching to a 40-pound paper stock.
"The print cost will be slightly more expensive, but the postage savings will far outweigh the increase in print cost," she offers. The same rule applies to envelopes: Use 20-pound stock instead of 24-pound stock.