The Power of Print: Experts Offer Printing Tips to Offset Postal Rate Increase
In keeping with the recent NEMOA conference’s overriding theme of trimming down and keeping your catalog business fit, three printing and postal experts offered techniques to help combat the May postal rate increase as well as anticipated rate hikes in the near future through smart and effective mailing plans, list hygiene and postage discounts.
Ann Marie Bushell, group executive vice president of marketing for the Global Print Solutions Group of RR Donnelley; Joe Schick, director of postal affairs for Quad/Graphics; and Anita Pursley, vice president of postal affairs for the Quebecor World Logistics division of Quebecor World, comprised the guest panel at NEMOA’s fall conference in Portland, Maine. Here are some of their tips taken from the session.
1. Proper address hygiene is an essential. The importance of good addressing can’t be lost on catalogers, Pursley said. By simply cleaning up addresses, catalogers can reduce overall postage costs and improve deliverability and response, while reducing U.S. Postal Service undeliverable-as-addressed costs, which hopefully would be passed down to mailers.
As an example of how much postal automation discount rates can save catalogers, Pursley provided the five-digit presort rates for Standard mail. The automation five-digit rate is $0.335, while the nonautomation rate is $0.363, a difference of $0.028.
2. Take advantage of all the discount and work-sharing opportunities available. Catalogers need to look to co-mailing, co-palletization and address hygiene, as well as possibly converting their Standard mail flats to letter size, Bushell said.
3. Educate yourself on the new USPS requirements.
a. While the USPS already has installed new delivery point validation (DPV) requirements, more are on the way. A move update is expected to be implemented in the latter part of 2008. This will require mailers to process their lists through USPS-sanctioned software within 95 days before a mailing goes out in order to receive the automation and other discount rates.