Three Things to Consider While You Wait for the Flats Decision
Bennett predicts the industry will respond to the changes in the upcoming rate case equally well. “They [the USPS] want letter-shape mail, and there are things you can do to get there,” she asserts. For example, a one-ounce letter will drop to 41 cents, but a one-ounce flat—meaning if its dimensions go over 6-1/8˝ and 11-1/2˝ and 1/4˝ thick—will be 80 cents. At two ounces, the letter will be only 58 cents, but the flat surges to 97 cents.
Some financial mailers are already taking advantage of the changes. “For the first time, I’m beginning to see 8-1⁄2˝ by 11˝ pieces of paper folded in half the long way and inserted into a #14 envelope, so you’re still generating your piece off of a regular laser printer,” describes Bennett.
Currently, #14s are not yet commonplace and cost more, but Bennett has faith that the industry will react the right way. “The envelope manufacturers will respond and bring the prices down. [And] the high-speed insert equipment may not be able to accommodate a #14 now, but I bet you they will,” she says.
#3: Think Outside the Flat
People do not like change, especially when it conflicts with tradition. “I hear people say, ‘Our corporate brochure has always been this shape!’ But do you think that because you’ve redesigned it to take advantage of the cheaper rates, your customers aren’t going to know you? Maybe you have to give up on that tradition,” suggests Bennett. Otherwise, you’ll simply have to fork over more money.
Mess with the sacred design? Say it ain’t so! “I consider myself a designer and will get my shorts in an uproar if you tell me my design is no good or there’s something wrong with it,” admits Bennett, who says designers at ad agencies are especially guilty of looking only at the design, rather than factoring in mailing costs. Instead, she recommends that you look at it more simply. “It’s just a new way of thinking and new savings,” she says.