A loaf of bread. A gallon of gasoline. A postage stamp. What do they have in common?
They’re all items we use to reference inflation. And starting this month, the nation is prepared to “pay at the envelope,” when price hikes instituted by the United States Postal Service (USPS) will increase the price of postage starting January 22.
So what’s a nonprofit or small-to-medium-size business to do? Accept that their fate is sealed? Or is there a way to seek deliverance? Let’s find out.
First, the details.
USPS postal rate increase: what to know.
On January 22, USPS will institute price hikes to offset rising inflation. The new rates include a three-cent increase in the price of a Forever Stamp, from 60 to 63 cents.
The following diagram, taken from the USPS website, outlines the major changes:
How to save big on US mail (and get better campaign results).
Are the new postage rates giving you the inflation blues? What if you could save between 30-80% on postage for your next direct mail launch, all while increasing your response rate and ROI?
Before you stuff another envelope, let’s find out why working with a company that specializes in direct mail is a total game changer. Especially if you:
- Send mail in large batches (e.g., 200 pieces or more).
- Want to qualify for bulk and other special postage rates (while saving up to 80% in some cases).
- Are seeking a better ROI.
Here’s the scoop.
See how Firespring has your back and will help you stretch every direct mail dollar.
Why partnering with a direct mail expert will envelop you in happiness.
- It’ll be much, MUCH easier to obtain bulk (instead of First-Class) postage rates.
Mailing at least 200 pieces? Your batch qualifies for cheaper bulk rates. How much cheaper? From 38% up to 80%.
But not just anyone can access these rates! You need a special bulk permit ($265 annual fee). You’ll also pay to use licensed USPS software (that has a steep learning curve) for required error and change-of-address checks. Then you’ll need to ensure your pieces meet strict size, thickness and weight requirements before presorting them by zip code. And those are just the basics!
It’s easy to see why leaving these details to a direct mail expert – one who can take all the work out of getting you the best postage costs available – is a no-brainer.
(As a side note, Firespring can even help nonprofits apply for nonprofit mail certification; that’s when rates start to get spooky low. Find out how!)
2. Your mail will reach more of its intended audience.
If you’re like other nonprofits and SMBs, you don’t make it a point to walk up to the mailbox, drop in a few hard-earned marketing dollars, then turn around and walk away. But that’s basically what you’re doing every time you send direct mail without updating your mailing list!
Get help from a direct mail specialist who’s certified to run your list through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database – a record of more than 160 million relocations over the past four years.
Not only is an NCOA check required to receive low-cost bulk rates, but with 40 million Americans moving each year, it’s also a solid (and extremely affordable) best practice to ensure your ads and appeals – ya’ know – make it to their intended audience. An organization like Firespring will then share your corrected list with you, so it’s ready to go for your next launch.
3. The right direct mail provider can help you get a better ROI.
Let’s use Firespring as an example. We not only have direct mail experts who can do the legwork to get you the lowest price – we also have direct mail marketing gurus who’ll design every element of your campaign to get the biggest bang per buck.
Let’s look at a few advantages you can expect from partnering with a direct mail provider who also specializes in marketing.
- You can purchase mailing lists tailored to reach very specific audiences and demographics (at Firespring for example, we once tailored a list by “owns video gaming console”).
- Graphic design support can make your pieces bold, beautiful and capable of standing out in the mailbox.
- Copywriting assistance can ensure your message is clear, compelling and on-point.
- You can also get campaign support beyond the mailbox – such as help designing landing pages and executing follow-up strategies.
In other words, the right firm can let you do more with your direct mail and put it to work to achieve maximum marketing results. Dollar = well-spent.
Thanks to our good friend inflation, nonprofits and SMBs can expect to spend a little more at the mailbox starting January 22. But the right direct mail expert can help you pay less for postage while maximizing your ROI. For a full range of support, consider partnering with a firm that offers the gamut of print and digital marketing services – from targeted mailing lists to digital follow-up strategies.