Printed mail remains one of the most trusted, popular and memorable forms of communications. Research has found that 84% of people feel they can understand and retain or use information much better when they read print on paper, and 44% rate direct mail and door drops as their favourite form of direct marketing.
With this in mind, the forthcoming Royal Mail price increases on March 29th could be a concern for small businesses trying to meet their customers’ communications requirements whilst keeping costs down. First class stamps will be increasing by 1p to 64p, and second class stamps will also rise by 1p to 55p. Large letter stamps will also see rises from 1p. Now, though, there are new physical and digital tools, technology and techniques available to businesses of all sizes to simplify their mailing operations, make budgets stretch that bit further, and help create impact. Here are our top five tips which might help just your business get more from its mail:
- Let’s be frank: if you use a franking machine or meter for your post, you’ll benefit from substantial price advantages over stamped post, and you’ll be improving accuracy whilst removing the guesswork of postage costs, as well as removing the likelihood of postal surcharges. There are even greater savings to be had with MailMarkTM meters like Connect+ and DM60, as Royal Mail guarantees that MailMarkTM postage discounts will always be the lowest-available franking prices, saving up to 3p per letter in comparison to standard franking. Meters eliminate the need to queue at a post office, and boost the professional look of your business mail, as you can print a company logo or message on every envelope.
- Get digital: already have a franking machine? Maybe it’s time to go digital. The benefits of digital technology far outweigh analogue for most communications, and postage meters are no exception – digital is faster; digital connections are more reliable; and digital meters provide flexibility, as they’re wifi-connected so there’s no need to plug and unplug your meter as you move offices or sites. And when postage rates change, no manual programming is required: digital systems are always connected, so rates can be sent to the meter at any time and only have to be installed.
- Consider the cloud: a Software as a Service or cloud-based platform is no longer a privilege reserved for big businesses. Many of us are using cloud services without even realising, from Dropbox to Microsoft OneDrive. Now, you can use the cloud to help drive mailing efficiencies and keep your data secure, as the smartest mailing technologies are integrated with cloud platforms – perfect if you need to send out regular transactional mailings, for example
- Fold and fold again: It costs more to send a large envelope than a small envelope, even if the content within it is the same. An A4 sheet can be folded three times into a DL envelope, which is 110 x 220mm. Folding a document three times manually can be laborious but automated folding machines can do that for you quickly and efficiently, leaving your staff free to focus on other activities.
- Spread the cost: leasing or renting equipment or services from a supplier is a payment solution to ease the acquisition process of assets, rather than buying them outright. It can provide small businesses with high performance, high specification equipment that might previously have only been available to large businesses generating significant revenues. For those smaller purchases which are essential to business operation – ink, paper and postage for example - but would not require a long term financial commitment, companies can also benefit from a revolving credit facility, with built-in flexibility so they can repay over time or in full at any time.
By Steven Tyrrell, Postal Market Development Manager, Pitney Bowes