You want to get the word out about your business. What is the best way to promote a small business? Or, for that matter to promote a large business?
Direct mail, isn’t that old fashion? Besides, postage costs seems high, is there a way to save money on direct mail postage?
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In today’s fast paced electronic age, direct mail is still one of the most effective ways for you to acquire new customers for your small business. Your message goes directly to your target market, and they will see it. There are still no spam filters or remote controls on your mailbox and the United States Post Office delivers regularly and reliably. This makes direct mail one of the most effective ways a small business can promote. There are only three things that can affect the response of a direct mail campaign. Other forms of advertising have many different factors that can affect response. Direct mail is by far the easiest form of advertising for success and results.
Postage cost is easily your biggest cost of direct mail marketing. Having a understanding of how the post office sets postal rates will help you to get the lowest postal rates.
Bulk mail, as defined by the United States Postal Service, is “quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates.” The key word here is “prepared” because essentially we do the work for the USPS, and in return they give you a break on postage. Bulk mail provides the lowest postal rates for you, but still the mail has to be prepared to get these rates. There are two ways you can prepare direct mail:
- Use a Direct Mail House
A direct mail house is a business that has the equipment and expertise to sort and process your mailing list and mail piece to get the lowest possible postage. There are many guidelines to follow and requirements to meet before your mailing qualifies for discounts. A direct mail house knows the guidelines and how to get you the best deals on postage. Wilson Printing USA has a division or our company that is a direct mail house.
- Go Your Own Way
This means you are going to do the sorting, labeling and paper work the post office needs. Going your own way will save you the money the direct mail house will charge for this service.
If you are really going to do this, understand it will take several hours to get the work done depending on how many pieces you intend to mail. You may need an employee specifically to handle the direct mail for your company. Or you can get your whole crew to stay late and have a bulk mail preparation party! You will also need a mailing permit from the post office.
Usually if you are going to mail 1,000 or more pieces it is worth the investment to hire a direct mail house like Wilson Printing USA to sort and process your direct mail for you. If you go it on your own you will need to get a mailing permit, buy mailing labels and stick the labels on your piece.
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Understanding the basic types of bulk mail postal discounts:
Standard presort letter rate will average between .26 – .30 cents per letter or postcard. Your postal rate mostly depends on the number of zip codes you are mailing and the number of zip codes you mail to. The piece will need to have a standard mailing indicia and be bar coded. The standard delivery time is 7 to 12 business days. You will also get no returns of undeliverable postcards. The minimum number of pieces the post office requires is 200.
First Class Presort
First Class Presort postage will average between 33 to 40 cents per piece. The delivery time is 5 to 7 business days. Once again the amount of postage depends on the number of zip codes mailed to and the number of pieces mailed to each zip code. With first class presort you will get returns of the undeliverables.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)
EDDM, as it is called, will give you the cheapest postage rates. Postage will run 17 to 20 cents per card. You also do not need a mailing list with EDDM. Read the related article on EDDM for the pros and cons of this type of mailing
There are other types of discounts, but the above three are the most common for most small business marketing. The types of direct mail pieces you can use to promote your business are very large and will be the subject of a future article.
I hope this article helped you to promote your business.