As the old adage goes, the only two certainties are death and taxes.
With the announcement of an earlier November increase (instead of the usual January price rise) – it looks like we can add postage price increases to that list!
Despite the increase, mail still provides unrivalled cut-through – driving online action and commercial outcomes on a scale few channels can rival.
So, to help offset the rising costs and continue to derive true value from the mail channel, we’ve brought together our top 10 tips (plus a bonus one!) for mitigating the impending increases.
1. Get Maximum Sortation Discounts, Regardless of Volume.
Our ‘Go Inspire Post’ postal service enables our clients to achieve the maximum postal discounts available through sorting all mail items into a single daily despatch volume, collected by Whistl and delivered directly into Royal Mail’s Inward Mail centres.
We are positioned to sort postage both pre (via data) and post (via our consolidator) production, this provides significant savings on all 2-day postage items via unsorted to the tune of 19% per item
But if you’re sending lower volumes, don’t worry – our automated daily production run consolidates and mail sorts low-volume mailings (as low as one pack!), meaning all packs benefit from the available mail sort discounts.
Don’t miss out on the huge savings mail sortation can offer (up to 12-13p per pack!).
2. Benefit from Postage Incentive Savings.
Save money and make your campaigns work even harder with postage incentives.
Whether you’re growing volumes, adding an element of innovation or even using mail for the first time, our team of postage experts can work with you, to determine the best incentives to take advantage of.
Savings are delivered as postage credits and vary depending on volume and a selection of other criteria.
The newest incentive opportunity offers big savings between now and January 2023:
October – December 2022 & January – March 2023
A postage credit of up to 25% is available on incremental volume, for brands posting incremental advertising mail, catalogues or partially addressed in these periods.
3. Take Advantage of VAT Management Services (Charity and Financial Services).
Through Go Inspire Post, we can support Financial Service and Insurance and Charity clients in reducing costs, by having a thorough understanding of VAT mitigation.
Clients can mail under our licence and are either billed directly for postage from Royal Mail, or we can invoice them directly, to ensure that VAT is only paid on the applicable element.
4. Adopt Mailmark Economy.
Advertising mail economy was launched in 2021 and offers significant savings for companies wishing to use this service.
Mail fall to earth is evidenced at 75% landing on Day B, D+1 vs standard advertising mail, Mailmark at 86% on the same day (11% differential).
By adopting this tariff, you could save 1.3p per pack vs Standard Advertising Mail!
A test was established to send 2 million communications on Mailmark Economy Delivery, with delivery times extended by an extra 3 days against the Mailmark Standard Delivery.
It was found that this provided a minimal impact on customer service as almost 70% of mail was not impacted, whilst still offering a potential saving of £325,000 to the retailer.
Adopting Economy Business Mail could save you 2.3p per pack!
5. Save Valuable Postage Budget with Clean Data.
Remove records who will not or cannot respond – to benefit from cheaper postage costs across all mailings.
Examples of data cleanse and suppressions include de-duplication, goneaways (people who no longer live at the address) and home movers, bereaved and deceased, CPS/Contact Preference Screening (people who have registered not to receive mail) and postal address validation versus PAF (Postcode Address File).
Precise data not only saves money, but it also mitigates risks to your brand’s reputation, by ensuring your campaign data is fit-for-purpose, before they are executed.
6. Close the Loop to Save Money.
When delivery of a mailed item fails and the item is returned, it’s imperative that the loop is closed quickly to ensure more precious budget isn’t wasted re-mailing the same household.
We process returned / ‘goneaway’ mail Items that have failed delivery as part of our business-as-usual service, with a weekly report provided back to our clients. These reports can also include reason codes, if required.
7. Always Deliver by Channel of Choice First.
If response data shows a customer prefers to consume information digitally, or they have explicitly requested to be communicated with digitally – sending them a mailed item may alienate them and cause a lack of response.
Not only this, but each subsequent mailed item is also valuable budget wasted, which could be being used elsewhere.
On the flipside, a customer who values and responds to mail over digital channels, could be alienated if the mail channel is switched off to realise a quick saving.
As a channel agnostic partner, we can help you ensure all channels are truly fully integrated.
If delivery fails via a customer’s preferred channel, or it drives no response – our automated systems will divert to the next chosen channel.
Unlike traditional print-only, or pure digital providers, our strategies are rooted in finding out, and delivering on, what is best for your customers; whatever the channel preference.
8. Consider New Pack Designs and Format Re-engineering
Redesigning and Re-engineering packs allows us to pass on huge production savings to our customers, by delivering the same cut through and impact in a more efficient format.
By reducing the format size and therefore the amount of paper required or producing mailings in fewer manufacturing processes – you can reallocate production budget to offset increasing postage costs.
9. Consider Partially Addressed and Door Drop
If you’re currently using Direct Mail for Acquisition campaigns, why not test Partially Addressed Mail?
You could save 3p per item on the standard letter advertising mail price, whilst benefiting from a 30% increase in reach!
10. Consider a Supplier Funded Mailing Model
By commercialising valuable space in your next direct mail campaign, you could off-set the impact of increasing postage prices and engage suppliers and partners on a whole new level.
We’re helping clients conduct tests in conjunction with current and prospective suppliers, to determine the effectiveness of a range of advert sizes and offer combinations.
Following analysis, clients can show the incremental uplift in revenue and response attributable to the various combinations and produce anonymised case studies, to grow supplier engagement.
And perhaps most importantly… a bonus tip…
11. Always consider Mail ROI / effectiveness vs other channels!
Often, when postage prices increase, we see some brands rushing to switch off, or scale down the mail channel and divert budget elsewhere, without truly understanding the contribution to ROI and effectiveness of mail vs other channels.
Importantly, a whitepaper issued by MarketReach and WARC showed that when mail was used in the channel mix for campaigns conducted as part of the test, they saw significant gains vs the UK average:
JIC MAIL data also showed that advertising mail has an average engagement rate of 95%, with 70% of people have driven towards an online activity.
And IPA Touchpoints data showed 35% of consumers have made a purchase, or made a payment or donation, in the past year as a result of receiving a piece of direct mail marketing.
Figures like these simply cannot be overlooked, when considering the role of mail in the mix following a postage price increase.
We’re ready to support you in mitigating the postage price increases and continue driving value from the mail channel.
To start the conversation, simply fill in the form on this page or email email@example.com.
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We deliver award-winning campaigns for the UK’s biggest brands
We deliver award-winning campaigns for the UK’s biggest brands