‘Grey area’, ‘minefield’ – a couple of typical comments about postage discounts for bulk mailings. Why has this important and often overlooked cost become so complicated and shrouded in mystery?
Understanding the options available and, in many cases, simply undertaking a paperwork exercise can save fortunes for the business mailer. Print and Mail buyers have in the past had an acceptance that the postage cost – well – is the postage cost – and focused on beating the printing company or designer down to save some money. When all along processing the mail differently could have saved more.
As an example, if you have a mailshot of 4000 letters to send 2nd class and you are using the Royal Mail – there is a choice of a staggering 18 options of how that mail can be posted – and the bill could range from £2000 for stamps or £1240 for franking, but can be as low as £810 if the correct service and presentation is used!
So what’s to be done? It’s a complicated business and one that people are not expected to know.
When buying a print/mail package spend as much time on how it is to be posted as you do on finding and getting quotes from the right printer! – The postage bill will normally be much higher than the printer’s cost or the designer’s cost – so needs due attention.
If mailing over 1000 letters the minimum service you should be posting by is Royal Mail ‘machineable’. Sounds complicated but it is simply a case of printing address detail in an OCR font or applying a barcode to the address. Typically cleanmail 2nd class prices will be around 26p per letter, compared to the 31p for normal Royal Mail account or franking customers. So back to that example mailing, 4000 x a difference of 5p = £200 – a substantial saving just for using the right service.
The difference in rates for ‘Large Letters’ and heavier weight items is even more amazing. Turn our example 4000 item mailing from letters into 110g newsletters to be mailed in a C4 envelope, 2nd class, through the Royal Mail. Rates here will vary from £3040 (franking) down to around £2015 for a ‘sorted’ mailing. A saving of £1000! The letters are posted the same, look the same and arrive in the same time, any yet by using the right posting option the saving could offset the costs of the whole of the rest of the job. In an effort to make clients’ aware of how much discount is available Postforce have introduced a ‘Free’ mailing service on certain Large Letters mailings. Envelope supply, envelope printing, envelope addressing and insertion all ‘offset’ by the discounts that can be obtained – the user just pays the standard postage price! – A service launched in an attempt to make the client realise what they may have been missing out on.
The way forward? As more mailing options are being added both by the Royal Mail and the other players – things are not going to become much simpler. By adding some time and effort to your postage cost research, savings can be huge. As a minimum ‘letter’ items should be sent by cleanmail and ‘large letters’ or ‘packets’ by mailsort. To get through the ‘minefield’ of postage discounts many printers and mailing houses are offering ‘All-in’ packages that incorporate the postage discounts they are obtaining, into the product. This could be the future! – the client can see the clear ‘all-in’ price and know that they are benefitting from the very generous posting options that are out there!
Please contact us for a chat and free advice on postage discounts!