Six Ways to Keep the Yikes! Out of the Postal Rate Hike
With the sting of one postal rate increase in recent memory and another looming on the horizon, the mailstream can be a pretty expensive place to do business. But the upcoming postal rate hike does not have to be as painful as it looks—if you take the time to explore the many ways you can trim costs from your direct mail program, particularly by taking advantage of the many workshare and automation discounts the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has, or will have with this new rate case, in place. Here’s a look at just a few of the tactics you can try.
• Scrub those lists. Although it’s been said many times, many ways, it is a sentiment that bears repeating: Proper list hygiene is a vital part of any postal cost-saving measure. “Address quality is the number one thing we’ve been telling our clients, mainly because it’s something that pertains to everybody’s business, regardless of size, shape [or] class of mail,” states Joe Schick, postal expert for Sussex, Wisc.-based printer Quad/Graphics. Not only does a clean list help you send less unnecessary mail, such as duplicates or wrong addresses, but it also is a requirement to qualify for certain postal discounts.
• Take advantage of worksharing discounts. “In this new rate case, the USPS is stressing the value of worksharing, and it’s important that all users of the mail follow that direction. Anything we can do to take costs out of the postal system just helps everyone in the long run,” states Rick Nichols, postal expert for marketing communications company Openfirst. On the dropship side, for example, letter mail delivered to a bulk mail center (BMC) will receive an additional $6/M discount, bringing that discount to $28/M, while letters delivered to a sectional center facility (SCF) will receive an additional $7/M discount, bringing it to $34/M. With regard to presort discounts under the new rate case, moving a piece from a 3-digit presort to a 5-digit presort will deliver savings of $16/M, up from $14/M in the current system. Even smaller mailers can acquire both of these discounts through comingling, Nichols suggests. “Moving from local entry to SCF and 3-digit to 5-digit, you can get savings of $50/M,” he says. “That’s substantial money.”