The U.S. Postal Service® sent more than 61 billion pieces of First-Class Mail® in 2016, accounting for about 40 percent of its total mail volume for the year. First-Class Mail also brought in the most revenue for the USPS® last year, at about $27 billion.
In other words, First-Class is big business for the Postal Service. It can also be big business for mail service providers, assuming that they take advantage of the operational and cost benefits that come from presorting First-Class Mail.
Processed with the highest priority, First-Class Mail is a popular and affordable way to deliver lightweight mail, including letters, statements, invoices, postcards, brochures and more. Presorting First-Class Mail allows mail center operators to cut down on postage costs by taking advantage of USPS discounts. However, by working with the right presort partner, you could also save on key operational costs, like equipment purchases and maintenance, which further improves your ROI.
Here’s how working with a trusted First-Class presort partner to manage logistics can drive results, simplify logistics and add operational value.
At its heart, presorting is all about making the USPS’s job of delivering the mail a bit easier, in exchange for postage discounts. You can commingle multiple mailstreams into a single one, and sort mail down to the finest degree. Sorting down to the full five-digit ZIP Code unlocks the biggest discounts.
A presort services partner helps you maximize this benefit by including your First-Class Mail within its national network of mailstreams. As a result, a larger commingling group gives you a better chance for a finer sort, better discounts and lower operational costs.
At the same time, a presort services partner can tap into its national network of operating centers to ensure your mail is inducted at the location closest to its final destination. Enhanced delivery means your mail gets where it needs to be more efficiently, and with fewer costly mistakes.
When you turn your First-Class mail presorting over to a reliable partner, you naturally save on equipment and operational costs – from strapping machines and supplies, the time and labor associated with transportation and sorting, and even floor space.
But, the right partner should be able to increase efficiency by taking care of every step in the presort process before and after your mail is sent:
- Mail pick-up at your facility
- Quality check for address quality, weight and proper postage
- Accurate mail sorting to ensure it will pass on-site postal inspection
- Induction of your mail into the USPS mailstream nearest to its final destination
- Managing payment processing, reporting and tracking
A presort partner works directly with the USPS so you don’t have to, allowing you to focus on other important revenue-driving responsibilities.
Add Value to Your Operations
A presort partner should also be able to add value to your mail center operations by handling complexities like compliance and rate changes. For example, 2017 ushered in a decrease in the postage price of Metered First-Class Letters, from 45.6 cents to 45 cents. A trusted partner can keep an eye on these and other changes to USPS mail costs and regulations, ensuring you always benefit from the best discounts.
At the same time, that partner will be able to tap into updated technology, such as the latest in barcode functionality and mail tracking and reporting, to ensure ongoing operational efficiency. You can also leverage capabilities that drive higher-value communications, including aligning your direct mail marketing with mobile advertising strategies to gain more value from each channel.
Finally, a trusted partner can help you discover and mitigate many hidden costs of First-Class Mail, like returned mail. Mailpieces marked “Undeliverable as Addressed” (UAA) can cost the average business up to $25 per piece to correct and re-send, according to the USPS. A trusted partner can handle all aspects of re-processing – from finding new addresses for recipients and re-sending that mail – to improve the deliverability and cost efficiency of your First-Class mail.
The end result? First-Class Mail becomes a more valuable and consistent revenue-driver for your business. It’s possible with the right partner.
Are you in the market for a trusted, reliable partner to handle your First-Class Mail? Pitney Bowes Presort Services is a renowned and proven handler in mail sortation, processing over 15 billion pieces of mail per year.