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5 Tips for Maximizing Your Direct Mail Dollars

By Arnie Cohen, , Production Manager / Mailing & Finishing Services, Modern Postcard

In today’s economy where every cent matters, it’s important to make your direct mail dollars go further. That means maximizing your direct mail return on investment (ROI) by securing higher response rates and lower mailing costs. You need to go the extra mile to ensure all of your mail pieces are delivered accurately and on time, while taking advantage of all available USPS postage discounts.

TIP #1: Shape It Up - Postage pricing is based primarily on the shape of your mailpiece rather than the weight. The USPS has designed its pricing to reward customers for selecting mail designs that can be processed on cost-effective, automatic equipment.  Mail pieces that are rectangular in shape and no larger than 61/8'' x 11½" x ¼" thick will keep them in the "letter rate" category and save you as much as 20-30 cents per piece. For simple messages and promotions, postcards no larger than 4 ¼” x 6” qualify to mail at the much lower First Class “card rate.” Square cards are an intriguing shape, but since they cannot be automated, be prepared for a postage surcharge.

TIP #2: Slim It Down - Although piece weight is less important, it still makes a difference.  Staying under one ounce will reduce First Class postage costs by as much as 20 cents.  For Standard Mail (Bulk) you can go all the way up to 3.3 ounces before your postage rate will increase. In either case, you should look for mailpiece designs that give you all the room you need for your messages and offers without increasing your postage. Folded self-mailers are a great option to consider.

TIP #3: Keep It Clean – It’s critical that your mailpiece is only sent to fully deliverable addresses.  Keeping databases updated and accurate takes a constant commitment to address quality.  Getting rid of those undeliverable and outdated addresses will pay off over and over with each mailing. Remember that each undelivered or mis-delivered piece not only means a possible lost sale, but wastes the cost of printing, postage and mail preparation fees. Focus on accurately and completely adding new addresses into your mailing list, as well as keeping up with people or companies on your list that have moved.

TIP #4: Share the Workload - The Postal Service would love for you to do some of its work and will even reward you through significant postage discounts.  Presorting your mail by common destination, then drop shipping it at a USPS processing facility closer to the delivery area will earn you discounts that can add up very quickly. To take full advantage of this opportunity, presort software will be needed.

TIP #5: Work with Professionals – If you don’t have the technology to take advantage of the available postage discounts or time to learn all the USPS rules and requirements, you need an experienced and knowledgeable mail service provider. You want to find a mailing "partner" that will provide information, guidance and cost-saving recommendations specifically for your direct response programs. One that will make sure your mail pieces are properly designed to maximize postage discounts, advise you on the right content and offers to get response and you keep your mailing lists up to date.

At Modern Postcard, we’re here to make direct mail easy on you and your budget. We speak USPS and have all the insight you need to for accurate, on-time and money-saving campaigns that achieve your direct mail goals. If you want a mailing partner that goes the extra mile, look no further.

Arnie Cohen, Production Manager / Mailing & Finishing Services, with over 25 years of experience, Arnie's knowledge of the US Postal Service has helped businesses of all sizes effectively execute their mailings. He is actively involved in the mailing community and regularly works with the Postal Service on important issues that affect our customers. Arnie has a detailed understanding of the USPS rules and requirements that enables us to maximize mail delivery and postage savings.

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I have been using Modern Postcard for over 6 years and have never been disappointed. The quality is always top notch and the service has been overly helpful. I have purchased lists from a number of different printers over the years and Modern Postcard has been the most accurate and up to date. The mailing lists were easy to customize and have given us a great return. Working in non-profit it is essential to have the best coverage with every mailing, Modern Postcard has helped us achieve this. You are in good hands and won’t be disappointed.
Kevin Swed
Design Director, Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA