National mailing campaigns are a great way to drive responses or support marketing efforts in digital and mobile channels, but timing is everything. If you’re operating on a tightly controlled marketing calendar, you need speed and predictability built into your mailing process.
Imagine, for example, you’re a retailer running a holiday advertising campaign. You might need to hire temporary staff or buy additional inventory to support the increased demand that a marketing campaign would bring in at that time of year. But, delays in the mailing process could mean these additional resources are mistimed and misused.
Another example: a nonprofit running a national fundraising campaign. The company might need to staff a call-in center to receive donations, but a poorly timed or delayed mail campaign could mean lots of quiet phones and increasingly expensive overhead costs.
Extrapolate all of these sunken costs across the entire country, and you can easily see how the price tag of a national mailing campaign can quickly become prohibitive if the timing is all off.
Mail service providers also have concerns about speed. They have their own clients who hold them accountable for campaign delivery, and clients naturally only want to pay for mail that is actually sent or delivered on-time. Oftentimes, service providers will be the first one to blame if there is an issue with mail timing.
How do marketing mail delays happen? And how can both enterprises and service providers improve the speed of their marketing mail campaigns?
A Matter of Priorities
One of the biggest obstacles to fast-moving marketing mail campaigns is the way this mail is classified by the U.S. Postal Service®.
Marketing mail is considered Standard Mail® and, as a result, is processed much slower than other categories of mail, like First-Class Mail® or Priority Mail®. According to USPS® service standards maps, depending on where the mail is originated and where in the country it is sent, it can even take up to three weeks for marketing mail to reach its destination. The USPS does not offer guaranteed delivery times for this class of mail and does not forward undeliverable mailpieces to any new addresses.
The main benefit of Standard Mail is the cost. It’s significantly cheaper than higher classes of mail, and you can send pieces that weigh up to 3.3 ounces without incurring any additional postage costs. But, if your mail doesn’t reach your audience on time, that cost benefit doesn’t offer a whole lot of value. So, is it possible to increase the speed of your marketing mail?
Picking Up the Pace
Your best way to ensure marketing mail reaches the right recipients in every geography during the most impactful window of time is to work with a presort partner who can offer the operational resources and knowledge necessary to increase the speed of your campaign.
One of the benefits of finding a partner who can help you leverage USPS presort benefits is they can help optimize your mail delivery for speed and cost:
- Commingling consolidates mail from different sources, sorts it by ZIP Code™ and prepares it for induction into the USPS mailstream. A finer depth of sort can induct mail closer to its end destination, enabling speed while also helping to unlock presort discounts.
- Direct present lets you handle all presorting in-house, so that you can then induct your mail at a USPS business mail entry unit yourself. This option is ideal for ZIP Code-saturated mailings, or if you’re running a campaign within a defined geography.
- A hybrid option offers a mix of both, allowing you to balance speed and cost.
The right partner can also empower you to take advantage of a nationwide logistics network, so you induct your mail into the USPS mailstream closer to its destination. Rather than sending all of your mail from a single point of entry, you can drop presorted mail at different points of entry throughout the country to achieve the fastest possible delivery times.
It’s a more strategic way to send your mail, and not only does it lower the cost of postage, it also protects your overall campaign investment. You ensure that all of your ancillary campaign assets – including digital or mobile campaigns, staff and product inventory – aren’t wasted. That’s how you solve for speed while also increasing the ROI of your marketing mail campaign.
Pitney Bowes Presort Services goes the extra mile to help you reach levels of marketing mail performance that exceed your expectations, and your customers’ expectations, too. Read "Add More Muscle to Marketing Mail", or visit www.pb.com/us/marketingmail to learn more.