While postage is typically only a few cents an item, it can add up quickly. For a business sending out thousands of pieces of mail in a typical year, that expense can even start to eat up a huge portion of the budget.
The best accounting practice for direct mail-heavy businesses is to find ways to cut down on postage costs. Using special programs created just for businesses, a company can save thousands of dollars a year or more. Here are some ways to take advantage of available postage discounts:
Downgrade Your Mail to a Cheaper Category
Parcel mail is the standard “catch all” for mailing packages and items through the U.S. Postal Service. Parcel mail is also one of the most expensive options.
Companies that can reduce the size and shape of their parcels can qualify as “flat” mail if they meet certain criteria. Specifically, if the envelope measures less than 15” x 12” and 3/4” thick, is rectangular, and is also flexible, it can be eligible to be mailed as flat rather than a parcel. Flat mail can be up to 30 percent cheaper than parcels, saving quite a significant chunk of change for businesses that can make the conversion.
Likewise, sending a letter instead of a flat can help your business save a bundle when mailing out high volumes. A letter is a 6 1/8” x 11 1/2” or smaller rectangle with a thickness of a 1/4” or less.
Ways to shrink the size of your mail into a letter-ready shape include:
● Using duplex paper on light stock
● Using narrower margins
● Using slightly smaller but still readable font
Make Your Mail Automation Compatible
A new category of mail was created many years ago to handle routing more efficiently and give businesses a chance to reduce postage costs. Companies that are able to comply with the automation standards can enjoy cheaper rates, often with the added bonus of the letter reaching its destination quicker.
The criteria for automated mail includes:
● At least 200 pieces for standard mail and 500 pieces for First Class mail
● A barcode printed on the envelope containing a routing code and delivery point
● A verified address list
● Weighs less than 3.5 ounces
● Does not use shrink wrap, clasps or other such non-paper materials on the exterior
● Is flexible
● Is evenly packed and properly sealed
Use the Right Class and Save on Envelope Postage
Businesses are required to use First Class mail for directly sending personal information like bills and typed letters. Almost everything else can use Standard Mail to save on postage rates. Nonprofit organizations can qualify for a special rate at a 40 percent discount if they meet the qualifying criteria, including registration with the IRS.
Saving money on envelope postage avoids paying more for the same item to get to the same place — a huge waste of your budget. The money you save would be much better spent on using custom envelopes to improve your branding and your direct mail campaign’s “wow factor” in a way that increases conversions. Find out more about how custom envelopes can help your business by visiting our products page.