We cannot emphasize enough the importance of selecting the proper postage method for your direct mail campaign. As far as we are concerned, it is the most important decision that you can make for the success of your direct mail campaign. Selecting an improper postage method can waste a lot of money (as you have seen in past posts and will see in future ones), dramatically effect ROI, and affect delivery to the point that the direct mail piece becomes ineffective.
In our last post, “First Class Postage Does Not Mean a First-Class Organization”, we talked about First Class postage and listed some of more important times that First Class postage is very proper. In this post, we will provide “equal time” for Marketing (formally known as Standard) mail.
- Timing – you have a specific or short date for an offer or event: While Marketing mail is significantly less expensive than First Class, there is no definite delivery date published (for a letter-size piece we would suggest allowing 5 to 7 days) and that needs to be taken into account when deciding on the postage method.
- Postage Cost: If cost is an issue, considering marketing mail is a no brainer. For a one-ounce, letter-size piece, Marketing mail will be about 36% less than First Class Presort mail. You can save even more for heavier pieces and other special circumstances.
- Piece weighs more than ounce: First Class postage will increase significantly by the ounce. Marketing mail holds at the same rate up to four ounces.
- Flat-size piece: There is a great cost disparity between letter-size and flat-size pieces. While some of this can be connected to weight, it also has something to do with how the pieces are processed by USPS. Sending a flat-size piece via Marketing mail can help defray some of those costs. However, it should be noted that flat-size pieces will almost always take longer to be delivered via Marketing mail.
- Mailings that make sense to be “dropped shipped”: If it makes sense to verify and drop ship the mailing “up the food chain” (as I like to call it) to the proper SCF facility, you can earn an additional $.04 per piece postal discount. You cannot qualify for this discount with First Class Presort mail.
- Non-Profit: If you qualify for USPS Non-profit rates, it is almost impossible to justify mailing anything via First Class. The postage savings are that dramatic.
- Delivery time is not an issue: The major “con” of marketing mail is delivery into the “mailbox”. We will go into more detail about marketing mail delivery in a future piece because to have a discussed here will not do that subject justice. For now, please know if you have a piece that needs a specific delivery into the mailbox, marketing mail is not for you.
Deciding on the proper postage method to use for your campaign has a lot to do with “trading off” one positive against one negative and deciding which one is more important. For example, the cost of Marketing postage against a slower delivery time. Your mailing professional should be able to discuss the “pros” and “cons” of all of your options to help you reach the best decision for your mailing. We here at Cox take a lot of pride in helping our clients achieve their goals at the best value possible.