There is something that will take a small nip out of your profits and budgets, and that is the increase in the cost of postage and shipping. The impact of this increase varies from one business to another depending on the amount of mail and shipping they do. The cost of the first-class letter has not changed from the 49 cents it has been, but people using Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express in the US will have to pay a little more because of an average increase of 15.6%. All global businesses, regardless of size or industry, should be doing their best to ensure that their mailing and shipping costs are as low as possible.
Below are some ways that a small business can minimize their mailing and shipping costs.
It is a good idea to choose email. If the person you are sending agrees with email, you can send them the proposals, invoices, contract terms, presentations, and even signed documents (Printers in many of the offices will easily scan documents and save them in PDF format. Sending a signed document will mean the other end printing it, signing it, scanning it, saving it in PDF format then sending it back as an email attachment).
Put Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) into consideration. This a new service which can save your small business a lot of money when it comes to sending out mail to every mailing location to a given area you have specified, and this can be narrowed down to a single mail carrier’s route. There is a “retail” version of this which can be used without a mail permit. Read this guide so you can find more information and step to step information on how you can go about it. You can also talk to your postmaster.
If you are selling information products, you should consider offering a cloud-based version or downloadable version of the training material or product at a reduced cost. This will help you save on postage and handling.
Use an Effective Signature
Before you send out the email, remember to add PS at the end of the email then put a promo and link to your website. e.g. “P.S. I thought you would be interested to know about the offer we currently have on product X”.
Couple with Promotion
When sending out invoices using mail or ship products to your customers, you should consider adding ads and promotion for other products and services you offer. You get to send an ad for free provided the weight of the paper used doesn’t affect the cost of mailing to the next pricing category. It’s a great way to turn shipping costs into a sales driver.
Be Accurate in Weighing
Get a scale. You need to weigh every piece of mail to help you in determining the exact amount of postage needed for each of them, then use the exact amount of postage needed. If you use stamps, you should have several denominations of stamps on hand suggest USA Stamp Guide
If you are sending out a document that is less than a once in weight, you should fold it in a standards business size envelope instead of having it mailed flat. You can expect to pay less for a business size-envelope than the same document being mailed using the 9 x 12 envelope.
Choose the Optimal Form
Choose postcards and standard sized envelopes. You usually pay more when you use odd-sizes.
If the designer wants a very heavy stock for mailing, take a sample of the envelope and paper you would mail and weight to find how much it weighs and what it will cost you to mail it. If the weight of the document increases the cost of postage, then you should ask the designer to go with a lighter weight alternative.
Save on mailing envelopes and boxes. If you are going to ship a given item using priority mail, consider choosing mailing envelopes and boxes that are provided by the Post Officer and other shippers. They feel sturdy. You should also weigh those envelopes and boxes. There are some cases where the mail boxes are usually heavy enough to cause a bump in mailing price to the next level, which means you end up paying more for using the box than how much you would have used if you choose to buy your own box and shipping priority mail.
Get Volume Discounts
If you regularly mail a lot of letters, use bulk mail. Bulk mail is a term used by the Post Office for both advertising mail and first-class mail that is being sent in large quantities. Sending out items as bulk requires a permit and will cost less. Find out the shipping costs and mail preparation requirements from your local postmaster so you can know whether getting a permit for your business is practical, or if it will be far much cheaper to choose a third-party mailing service that will do the preparation and sending out of the bulk mail.
Maintain Your Lists
Clean your mail list so as to remove any duplicates and bad addresses. When the mail is sent to a bad address, you end up losing the cost of the mailing piece and that of the postage. This is one of the easiest ways to reduce shipping costs.
If you are looking to make an impact but don’t have to have the package or document delivered overnight, it is fine to choose Priority Mail. You can expect to pay a few more pennies than what you pay for the regular parcel rates, but it will depend on the shipping location.
Ultimately, being smart with your shipping choices will save you time and money.
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