From improved data hygiene practices to a better print contract, a little savings here and there really can add up.
Last month’s postal rate increase of 5.4 percent should have caught no one by surprise. If you’re looking for ways to save on other parts of your operation in order to pay for your higher postal bill, you’ll find many options.
In the first part of this article, you’ll learn about list hygiene tools that aren’t just important to offsetting the postal rate increase, but are good strategies to keep your housefile healthy and responsive. In the second part, we’ll offer tips and caveats regarding common print cost cuts.
Data Hygiene Tools, Practices to Try
Delivery Sequence File Second Generation: You’ve got a customer’s name and address, so you’re pretty sure you can get catalogs to her door, right? Not necessarily. What the customer can’t or won’t tell you is how she gets her mail. That’s where the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Delivery Sequence File: Second Generation (DSF2) can come into play.
Available through service bureaus, DSF2 can help you determine: whether you’re mailing a residence or a business; if the address is seasonal or vacant; or if the address is a commercial mail receiver, says Dan Minnick, director of postal services at Broomfield, Colo.-based data services provider Abacus. Further, DSF2 can tell you if addresses in your housefile are invalid or simply missing information.
Each of these attributes provides the opportunity for a decision or a test, Minnick notes. For example, you may not want to mail to a vacant address or one that’s lived in seasonally. If you can’t correct a fractional address, it may be more economical to stop mailing it.
National Change of Address Link: While the USPS requires all First Class mailers to check their lists against the National Change of Address Link (NCOALink) file quarterly, that may not be enough.