In this digital age, mail continues to hold steady as one of the most effective marketing channels. Likewise, mailing costs are increasingly significant, with postage accounting for up to 80 percent of those costs. All the more reason why reducing postage costs can generate significant savings, yielding even more than you might achieve by reducing mail production expenses.
Following the already announced USPS® mailing promotions for 2017 and the recently proposed January 2017 mailing and shipping rate changes, now is the right time to confirm, or if necessary, alter your company’s postal procedures. As postage rates continue to rise, every piece of mail counts, and it is crucial to have a strategy in place to optimize the impact of those postage expenditures.
Take Advantage of Mail Solutions for Increased Savings
Cleaning up your mailing database is the first step to increasing postage savings and productivity. To avoid return mail costs, fines and a loss of postal discounts, make sure all customer addresses are up-to-date, complete and accurate. Implement new solutions that can automate address validation. Maintaining current address information and separating out incomplete addresses before mailing helps to generate further savings.
You can also earn USPS® discounts through presort options, cutting postage costs by up to 20 percent. A third-party presort service can pick up, sort and deliver mail directly to a designated postal facility, often bypassing local USPS offices for increased savings. There is strength in numbers, so consider partnering with a provider that will consolidate pre-sorted mail from multiple companies, organizing mail into pallets that are shipped to processing and distribution centers. This helps significantly reduce delivery time, often by a few days, since it’s more efficient for the USPS.
Finally, gain visibility and maximum savings with the USPS Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb). The barcode is required on each mailpiece to achieve automation discounts, and also makes delivery more efficient, reduces expenses and enhances your ability to respond to customer inquiries, through tracking capabilities.
Add video to increase mail relevance
Once again, the United States Postal Service® is offering an emerging and advanced technology/video in print promotion. You can incorporate mobile, video and other print technologies into direct mail pieces. By doing so, you'll also enjoy an additional 2% postage discount. This in another opportunity to use mail to create engaging interactions in an online channel such as video.
Using video in print enables you to improve the overall value of your printed mail piece by adding personalized explanations for current services as well as the ability to cross sell and upsell new relevant products and services to your existing customer base.
Pitney Bowes EngageOne® Video is a new kind of video that allows your customers to create their own personalized experiences in real-time and it can be incorporated onto your mail with minimal disruption to your existing preparation and delivery processes.
Efficient Postal Strategy also Enhances Customer Experience
Not only can you decrease costs by taking advantage of savings opportunities, but you can also achieve increased profitability from direct mail channels. Mailing offers, particularly time-sensitive ones that are tailored to your customers’ interests and are likely to be accepted, hold the potential to increase revenue even further.
Accurate and efficient mailings also help businesses communicate better and position themselves well with customers. Even minor errors in addresses can damage your company’s reputation or possibly jeopardize regulatory compliance in highly regulated industries like financial services and healthcare. For example, all healthcare mailings must comply with HIPAA standards. Accidentally sending information to the wrong recipient because of poor data quality puts you at risk of noncompliance.
Better data quality can also help your call center operators, who must take in information incredibly quickly in order to keep call handle times low and be respectful of customers’ time. Often, calls are associated with wrong addresses, lost mail or sending customers the same mailing multiple times. Reductions in call center costs can drive significant value to your business.
Through personalized mail, you can drive engaging and relevant interactions with your customers, interactions that you can then direct to online channels for continued, multichannel engagement.
Pitney Bowes can help increase savings, enhance customer experience and engagement and improve your bottom line. Check out our white paper, “Postal Optimization Boosts Productivity and Builds Profits” to learn more about the various ways to optimize your mailing practices for better savings and communications.
For more information about how to maximize the benefits to your company, tune in to the Pitney Bowes Postal Optimization Webinar with Mailing Systems Technology on February 9th.