Name recognition and increasing revenue are the goals of any organization. One of the many ways to try to accomplish this is through Direct Mail Marketing. While for years the use of direct mail marketing was in decline because of the options using email and social media, direct mail has made a significant comeback over the last five years because of its physical nature and the glut of advertising that consumers are hit with in email and social media.
Once you have decided to do a Direct Mail Program, the next decision is whether to do the mailing in-house, or to outsource. Many organizations shy away from doing mailing in-house because of the perception that doing so is complicated and requires additional expertise in dealing with the US Postal Service to get mailings done correctly. The reality is that doing mailing in-house has been significantly simplified over the last 10 years by the USPS.
In House Mail Processing
Many companies don’t do marketing mail because they assume they need software to meet the USPS requirement, and the costs of the software can be prohibitive. In addition, the processing of the mail can be labor intensive.
However, the truth of the matter is that you can do mailing using a simple zip sort, and post rates will be about $0.15 less than normal first-class mail postage rates. For Non-Profits, savings are in the range of $0.30 per mail piece. Access to USPS postal discounts for Marketing Mail (also known as Standard Mail) rates requires you meet the following criteria:
- At least 200 pieces of mail sent
- Mailing is letter size (6.5” x 9/5” or smaller envelope, less than ¼” thick)
- Weight is 3.3 ounces or less
- All the info in the mailing is generic, not specific to the recipient
- Mail is presented to the USPS sorted by Zip code
- You have an annual permit form the USPS for doing Marketing Mail.
Deeper postage discounts are achieved with USPS approved software, but the size of the database and the mail piece will help you determine if the costs make sense for your organization.
As to the labor component, organizations should know that there is equipment available that can print, fold and insert mailings quickly. For example, a mailing to 5000 recipients that consists of two pages with a return envelope or flyer into a standard #10 business envelope can be processed by a single employee in less then a couple of hours.
Outsource Mail Processing
For many organizations the shear volume of mail that they send makes outsourcing more feasible than processing in house. This decision is based on the volume of mail that needs processing and also the manpower required to process in-house.
When outsourcing, the biggest mistake many organizations make is to hand over their database to the mail house and ask them to let them know what they will charge for doing their mailing. All mail houses charge for running the database through USPS approved software for mail sorting, address corrections, move updates and more. The costs of this database management can be significant, and there must be a trust factor that you are also getting the lowest postage rates.
If your company is doing enough volume to outsource mailings on a consistent basis, you would save on the database management costs by having this USPS software in-house. You are also now more in control of this transaction with the mail house as you will give them a USPS sorted database along with postage reports, so you know what your postage costs are going to be. Now you can ask them what they going to charge to print and mail your campaign, because you know what the postage costs are going to be, and you have eliminated the database charges.
The team at Kelley Imaging supplies printing, addressing, and folding and inserting equipment to assist your direct mail marketing initiatives. Learn more about our available mailing solutions, and then get in touch our team by phone or through our contact form to have your direct mail needs assessed by one of our dedicated professionals.