In July, the USPS increased the cost of first-class mail from 63 to 66 cents. They are planning another increase in January 2024. The USPS, since 2019, has increased the cost of first-class mail by 32%.
While a mere 3-cent hike may not seem significant, a 32% increase is, and it is having a substantial impact on businesses that send out large volumes of mail daily. For companies handling tens or hundreds of thousands of pieces every day, this increase is translating into a considerable financial burden. It is now crucial for you and your business to find better ways to mitigate these rising expenses.
In this blog post, we will explore 3 key strategies that will help you keep your postage costs in check and enable your business to adapt and thrive in these challenging times.
Implement Postal Integration
With the USPS’s unprecedented set of rate hikes, you need to understand if you are mailing your customer communications at the lowest possible rate. In many cases, the answer is no. Enterprise Communications Processing (ECP) software enables organizations to correct the address at the time of print, commingle-like jobs into larger print runs to gain better postal code saturation and thus reduce mailing costs. Many of our postal experts have started to educate organizations on the benefits of printing and mailing their 5-digit work directly with the USPS while moving 3-digit and other mail to external Pre-Sort Bureaus to presort and mail at a reduced rate. This method has been dubbed “Split 4 Sort” and is ideal for taking a few thousand dollars per month off your already strained postal budget.
ECP post-composition software can easily enable you to improve your automation and reduce your mailing cost while enabling projects to be in production within days instead of weeks. If you are looking for better ways to enhance and improve automation, in 99% of cases, it can be quicker to add application rules to a post-composition solution than to open complex legacy billing programs and try to connect them to your customer experience platforms.
Use Preference Management to Enhance Digital Communication
Another effective approach to offset the increased postage costs is to encourage your customers to embrace digital channels. Many organizations already offer eDelivery and online options, but they often struggle with low print suppression and print deflection rates. By implementing preference management tools and adopting effective strategies, you can significantly increase the number of customers opting for digital communications. Instead of sending traditional PDF statements to mobile devices, explore solutions like Go Mobile that transform PDF to responsive HTML to fit any screen and enable seamless, user-friendly digital experiences. By maximizing the adoption of eDelivery, you can reduce printing and mailing costs while enhancing customer experience.
Overcome Print Suppression Challenges
Print suppression and print deflection are the process of preventing unnecessary printing and mailing. They present a significant opportunity for cost savings. Many customers who have requested eDelivery still receive printed communications due to technology gaps. It’s crucial to identify and rectify these issues to ensure that customer preferences are accurately reflected in the delivery of communications. For example, many large organizations have discovered that centralizing their “Preference Management” database and removing it from their customer communication creation process provides flexibility and improves customer experience. This approach lets you interact with an individual consumer across all their correspondence preferences rather than just specific business lines, such as marketing.
It has also become common practice to process all data through an ECP post-composition step and check for pulls and/or suppress “Electronic/Digital” only correspondence. Centralization of preference management and print suppression is the easiest way to create harmonious messaging for a customer, member, or recipient.
Explore Crawford Technologies Enterprise Communications Processing Platform
If you’re seeking to save costs, improve customer experiences, and enhance print suppression, consider leveraging our Enterprise Communications Processing (ECP). It provides you with the tools and capabilities needed to streamline your print and digital communication processes. Our ECP platform includes a comprehensive suite of intelligent middleware web services and APIs, sophisticated reengineering tools, a high-performance document transformation engine, powerful content services capabilities, a hyper-automated, no-code workflow platform for processing customer communications, and much more. By utilizing this platform, you can reduce postal costs, centralize preference management, and integrate with billing systems, leading to significant cost savings while improving customer experiences.
As the USPS continues to raise postage costs, you must adapt and find innovative ways to keep their expenses in check. By focusing on postal integration, preference management, embracing digital communication channels, and addressing print suppression challenges, you can effectively mitigate the impact of rising postage costs now and in the future. With the right strategies and technological solutions in place, you can enhance efficiency, reduce expenses, and provide superior customer experiences. Embrace these opportunities for change and ensure your company stays ahead in an evolving landscape.