Mail Rates: How Can I Get The Best Rates?
When it comes to using all the marketing tools available, you have to consider the mail. While the US Postal Service seems to perennially in deep financial trouble, prompting them to hit us with rate hike after rate hike, mailing stuff out is still a very effective way to drive sales. All too often though, it seems like we get stuck with increased mail rates we have to spend on mailings, making it harder than ever to justify spending as much money as we do to distribute postcards, brochures, catalogs and flyers through the mail. So what can we do to get the best mail rates possible?
First, take a look at what you’re mailing and how much of it you are mailing out at the same time. The best mail rates the post office gives is known as “Bulk Rate” but to take advantage of it, you have to purchase a Bulk Rate license, and also have to send out a large amount of items, be it flyers, brochures, catalogs or whatever, at the same time in order to qualify. While this can be a huge benefit to large companies, smaller businesses can wind up stuck in a Catch-22 with the bulk rate postage. While you can save money on a per piece basis with Bulk Rate, between the cost for the license, the per piece price when you can use it, and how often you’ll actually be able to benefit from that bulk rate will determine whether it will be cost effective or not.
The next is using Media Mail and Parcel Post. These two methods are dependent on what you’re mailing and how quickly you want it to be there. These are the least expensive way to mail things, especially when you’re mailing CD’s or larger items. However, it is also somewhat slower than other methods, since you’re in effect giving the post office permission to not process those as fast. This is where you have to balance speed versus the rates.
Lastly, using postcards may very well be the most cost effective way to deliver sales materials. Not only are they inexpensive to buy and print, but the post office gives you a huge break on the price since they are extremely easy to process. A postcard is very easy to look at and digest all the information on, so putting postcards into client’s hands is a very effective way to spend advertising dollars.
When it comes to getting actual mail rates, the only way to know for sure what prices will be to mail your stuff out is to go to the post office and see. Regardless of how often you mail advertising literature out, you’ll find that your money is well spent