10 Easy Ways to Reduce Direct Mail Costs

Reducing direct mail costs - abstract illustration

The cost of doing direct mail marketing depends on many factors such as mail list data integrity, your business type, which mailing product you use, and who your direct mail provider is. In this guide, we included ten tips that will help you reduce direct mail costs when you run your next direct marketing campaign.

1. Eliminate Bad Data

First and foremost, make sure your mailing list contains clean data. Have your list(s) run through CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System). CASS will correct the addresses so they meet USPS requirements and make them eligible for discounted postage rates when doing mass mailings. Duplication elimination software is readily available to reduce your direct mail postage cost as well. Marketing Tech can do this for you as part of any direct mail project you complete with us.

2. NCOA / Move Update 

Every year, over 40 million individuals, families, and businesses change addresses. In approximately 84% of these cases, there exists a valid forwarding address. There is no need to suffer the inefficiencies, lost opportunities, and high cost of receiving change-of-address notifications after your mailing has been sent. Marketing Tech can run your mail list through Move Update and provide you with the updated data free of charge with every mailing.

3. Use SCF, DNDC Discounts 

Don’t fret, these are simply acronyms utilized by the post office. SCF (Sectional Center Facility) and DNDC (Destination Network Distribution Center) represent 3-digit zip code regions within the postal system that are managed by a main post office. If you deliver mail going to those respective regions at the main post office you will receive as much as 15% off the price of postage. Check with your mail house to make sure they deposit mail to these main post offices.

4. Commingle 

There are commingle houses all over the country that simply combine mail from various customers into one whole mailing so discounts are realized. The commingler will essentially split the savings with their customers. This is mainly used for large volumes of national first-class mail such as statements and invoices.

5. EDDM & Carrier Route Coding 

When you want to blanket areas with mail there are two very cost-effective ways of doing so: Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and Presort Standard Carrier Route. EDDM allows you to bundle mailers without addressing and mail them to specific carrier routes at a highly discounted rate.

Carrier route mail needs to be addressed but you can personalize the mail. EDDM rates are better for very large-sized mailers as it is only for “flat” mail and Carrier Route can be better, even when taking in the cost of a mail list, when mailing “letter size” mail. If you are using your own list be sure to use a data services company that can append walk sequence codes to your list to ensure the best possible discounts.

6. Precise Targeting

There are so many selections available when renting a mail list that all of them wouldn’t fit here. The obvious criteria are income level, geography, age, gender, and homeownership. Be aware that there are multitudes of other selections you can use such as pre-movers and new-movers, publication subscribers, and compiled lists that indicate anything from a propensity to travel to a propensity to buy life insurance.

The better you target, the less you have to mail to get the results you are looking for. If your targeting is very broad, your direct mail cost will be higher and your budget will likely be wasted on contacts that don’t generally fit your criteria.

7. Profile

By utilizing profiling technology, you can match customer records to a predefined set of demographics. You can develop a view of who your customer is through a concise, automated report which scores prospect records and increases marketing ROI by providing you with a detailed demographic view of your customers. Armed with this information, you can make better targeting decisions for your campaigns.

8. Integrate Your Communications 

Take advantage of the latest technologies to build campaigns that can integrate print and digital communications. Use marketing automation platforms to send print, email, and SMS communications within one campaign. Use personalized landing pages and websites to improve response rates. Postage expenses, as well as production expenses, can decrease as triggered communications will go out at the right time with the right media. Cut costs and improve response rates – what a great concept! 

9. Design For Mail

Mail is processed by high-tech equipment and needs to be compliant with certain technical requirements. It is important to select the right size, ensure that all postal regulations are met, and design elements are positioned properly for scanning. One wrong move can increase direct mail costs and ruin your postal budget. 

If you hire a graphic designer to help with your mailing pieces, let them know about these requirements. Always have your mail pieces analyzed by companies that specialize in direct mail to ensure everything will be processed correctly. You can also have your mailings checked by the USPS as well. They can tell you if your piece meets their requirements, but they won’t be able to tell you if it is correctly designed for efficient production. The total direct mail cost can also be reduced by hiring a company that can also print your pieces.

10. Talk to an Expert 

Direct mail companies always keep up to date with the latest industry requirements and are aware of the direct mail costs and ways to save money. It is always good to consult with a professional to make sure you get the best outcome for the best price. Additionally, if you’re doing your project in-house, you may not be eligible for some special pricing that is available to professional mail houses.

As an experienced direct mail provider, Marketing Tech is here for you! Whether you would like help with any single aspect of a mailing project or need one source to take care of all parts of it, you can count on us. We will always ensure your programs are done in the most economical method possible while meeting your creative and result objectives. 

Marketing Tech has the best in design, data services, print technology, and direct mail production so you can rest assured your programs are being done right. We go the extra mile with many free services to further reduce your direct mail costs. For example, we supply you with online tracking at no charge so you can determine when your mail is being delivered. We are confident that our services and expertise will save you time & money. Contact us for a free quote.

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