Whitepaper Provides Cost-Saving Postal Optimization Tips
Catalogers seeking ways to cut their postal bills should consider postal optimization, a system to address their foremost concern, postage costs. According to a recent whitepaper distributed by the consulting firm Winterberry Group and sponsored by the Direct Group, postal optimization entails coordinating technologies, processes and physical formats with one goal in mind: reducing postage costs.
This system takes advantage of two categories: volume and work-sharing discounts. Below are some tips from the whitepaper to help catalogers cut postage costs.
1. Commingling. This tactic combines direct mail from various marketers into a single mailstream to secure the highest volume and work-sharing discounts for all contributors. This technique is particularly useful in five-digit ZIP discounts, the whitepaper notes.
2. Co-palletization. Compile various versions of the same mail campaign, or various campaigns from the same mailer, into destination-specific mail pallets to help you receive the greatest possible volume discounts, the whitepaper says. You generally don’t need to rely on the contributions of another mailer to realize these savings.
3. Consolidation. Bundle catalogs from various mailers into trucks destined for the same geographic regions to gain drop-shipping, work-sharing discounts due to deeper mailstream penetration and reduced logistics costs from mailing independently, the whitepaper points out. Delivery points include sectional center facilities serving three-digit ZIP zones; bulk mail centers; and auxiliary service facilities, for high-volume Standard mail.
4. Data hygiene. To reduce production waste and improve deliverability, the whitepaper advises direct mailers use the following tools:
* merge/purge and deduplication of mailing lists;
* address updating through the National Change of Address registry; and
* proper address formatting through the USPS’ Coding Accuracy Support System.
“Close enough is not good enough,” Postmaster General Jack Potter says in the whitepaper. “When dialing the phone, if you’re one digit off, your call won’t go through. Unlike phone calls, your mail may still go through, but you’ll lose postal discounts of two to six cents per piece.”