Save Money on Your Next Direct Mail Campaign
Do you want to lower the postage and production costs of your next direct mail campaign? With some upfront planning you can significantly reduce these expenses.
Are you regularly cleaning up the names on your database? Mailing records with old mailing addresses can be costly. Not only are you are spending additional production and postage costs, but worse your message is not being delivered.
- NCOA Processing: To comply with USPS regulations, you are required to perform the National Change of Address every 95 days. This not only enhances the deliverability of your mail, but also allows you to take advantage of the best postal rates. If you are having this service done each mailing at your mail house, ask for the updated records. You have paid for the service; why not update your database? Then once you have updated your database, if you intend to mail those records again within the 95-day validation period they are now incompliance with the USPS requirement. You now won’t need to pay for the service at your mail house again to mail within that 95-day window. You have just saved yourself valuable data processing, production, and postage costs with this one step.
- Alternative services for NCOA: ACS Service, Ancillary Service Endorsements (Return Service Requested, Address Service Requested, and Change Service Requested). Ancillary Services allow the mail owner to obtain the addressee’s new address from the USPS after the mail has been processed. If you have opted for the Change Service Requested service, the USPS will provide you with not only the new addresses, but also the reason for any addressee mail that is flagged as undeliverable. These services also provide the USPS with information to update its systems. The downside to these services is you are not able to impact your current appeal production and postage savings prior to mailing. You will have spent unnecessary money producing and mailing records that will not be delivered.
- DECEASED Processing: This is not a requirement from the USPS, but it is recommended that you perform this processing on your database once per year. You may even want to consider testing a mailing to donors that are flagged deceased. Some organizations have success in mailing to these “past” donors where a family member will continue to make donations in honor of the deceased member.
BMC/SCF DROP SHIP PROCESSING
Be sure to take advantage of this service at your mail house. You want to have the mail house check your mail file to see if there is a NET cost savings to drop ship during the postal presort stage. The USPS offers a discount to mailers who arrange to have their Standard (Bulk) Mail delivered to the closest postal processing facility to the final destination. This is especially beneficial when mailing a high volume in a concentrated area. If the postage savings is higher than the cost of freight to ship your mail, you just found some saved dollars.
PRODUCTION and POSTAGE SAVINGS
Can you make those five small mail lots into one large lot? If not, how about two or three? Consider all production options to combine as many segments into one mail lot as your mail plan and communications allow. Every little bit will help.
- PRODUCTION Savings: Each mail lot you create requires an initial set-up process with associated fees. Every mail lot you can eliminate will effectively reduce the number of set-up fees you pay, and amortize the required set-up fee over a greater number of records, bringing down the cost per piece.
- POSTAGE Savings: Each mail lot is sorted individually for postal presorting. The more lots you have, the less each lot will qualify for maximum postal savings. If you condense the number of mail lots, this increases the concentration of postal sortation, resulting in more postage savings.