At a time when you may have other cost issues to deal with, it’s smart to look for ways to save money on the upcoming USPS price changes, scheduled for July 10, 2022.
After skipping the annual January price adjustment this year, USPS is raising rates as part of its 10-year “Delivering for America” plan to put it on a more solid financial footing and improve its operating model.
Reasonable people can agree on the wisdom of these changes, especially with postal reform measures already underway, including the recent repeal of prepayment for future retirement health benefits. Keep in mind, though, that USPS is using the full authority granted by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to raise rates, which includes taking inflation into account.
Check Out The Numbers
Let’s break down those USPS price changes:
- First Class mail and Marketing Mail are going up by 6.5% on average
- Under First Class, Presorted Letters are increasing by 6.9%, while rates for Flats are being raised by 9.2%
- Under USPS Marketing Mail, High Density and Saturation Letters are going up by 8.3%, while High Density and Saturation Flats by only 4.7%
Basically, prices will be lower for bulk mailings that presort to a finer degree or dropship mailpieces deeper into the Postal Service’s network of SCFs and NDCs. If a campaign is more costly for USPS to process, it will pay more. Under the new pricing, High Density and Saturation Flats and Letters will receive lower than average rate increases. Consider how you can presort your mail better to avoid paying much more.
All of the final USPS price changes can be found on USPS Postal Explorer.
So … yeah. Keeping in mind that many of the factors in the increase are out of our control, let’s look at a few ways below to see what we can do to meet this challenge.
1. Postal Tech Promotions/Discounts
The USPS recognizes that for direct mail to be more effective now and in the years ahead, it needs to look at and test ways to work more closely with digital channels.
It runs a robust promotions program that gives mailers discounts (noted in parentheses) for mail campaigns that incorporate new and developing marketing and printing technologies. The idea is to “push the envelope”, to get marketers and printers to think outside the box, and create mail that drives engagement and increases ROI.
Here are the 2022 USPS Promotions:
- Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Engagement – Runs Feb. 1-July 31 (4% discount)
- Emerging and Advanced Technology – Runs March 1-Aug. 31 (2-3% discount, depending on technology)
- Personalized Color Transpromo – Runs July 1-Dec. 31 (3% discount)
- Mobile Shopping – Runs Sept. 1-Dec. 31 (2% discount)
- Value Reply Mail – Runs April 1-June 30 ($0.02 credit per piece)
- Informed Delivery – Runs Aug. 1-Dec. 31 (4% discount)
Each promotion is an opportunity to try out cutting-edge tech that makes your mail more valuable. In a world where every digital experience is delivered over the same devices, these techniques can reach consumers in a tactile way. And the discount for eligible campaigns is a good way to offset the USPS price changes.
2. Identify Opportunities
Just because some cost increases are or seem inevitable doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to get more impact in the customer’s mailbox for your money.
Here’s an example: back in August 2021, the maximum size of First Class postcards that can be mailed at presort rates was increased to 9 inches by 6 inches. This gives you more room to sell. And for a few pennies more than Marketing Mail, it speeds up delivery of your campaign and provides other benefits of using First Class, such as mail forwarding and returns.
3. Know Your Analytics
The USPS price changes give you another excuse to focus your efforts, and budgets, on the most deliverable, and responsive records within your direct mail campaigns.
Any customer can mail a smaller percentage of the volume they did in 2021 or before and save on postage. But to get better results with less mail, you have to be smart and optimize your mail spend using data and analytics.
Analyzing results is really important because you need to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and then, not waste the money on segments or customers who just don’t deliver the ROI you need. Instead, send them an email, and focus on the best direct mail customers.
Ideally, you should analyze and predict reliable campaign performance by collecting and organizing all of your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data, analyze it for insights, build models and tests with certain data sets to achieve your desired KPIs.
Wrapping it up
When it’s done well, direct mail has a higher response rate (and is 100% viewable) than purely digital channels. The key to success is using all of these technologies more wisely. Do it in a way that meets individual members of today’s audiences where each of them is and drives authentic, human interaction.
At mailing.com, we pay attention to even the smallest details. We have over 50 years of experience helping marketers optimize their planning and processes to keep their direct mail costs affordable.
Our mailing services and data management teams can reduce expenses and find savings for your campaign’s setups, pre-press, printing, mailing, and shipment costs. And we drop ship to all United States BMUs, SCFs and DDUs. Drop us a line or call us! We’d love to show you how to keep your direct mail costs (and USPS price changes) controlled in your future campaigns.