Whether you manage a business office or mail room, keeping on top of your business mailings can be a nightmare. Between coordinating with the main house, organizing shipments, and ensuring you’ve prepared all necessary documents can quickly become overwhelming.
Fortunately for those of us who can’t keep up with every single detail in our business mailings, there are some simple steps that we can take. These steps make the whole process as seamless and efficient as possible. Below are nine helpful tips to ensure you have everything covered when coordinating and managing your business mailings.
1. Know the Difference Between a Mailing and a Bulk Mailing
A mailing is any information that you send to individuals or businesses in your area. A mailing can be as simple as a letter or more complex, such as a newsletter with accompanying ads. If you are looking for local businesses or individuals, you should include their addresses in your mailing.
A bulk mailing is an information that is mass-produced and sent by one entity to multiple recipients simultaneously. Couriers, such as UPS and FedEx are specialist business mail services and mail management services.
Be sure not to send a bulk mailing if you are trying to reach a few specific recipients. If you’re unsure if your organization qualifies for using these services, ask an expert for particular criteria for what qualifies as a bulk mailing.
2. Remember That Paper Matters
Envelopes should comprise 24-lb. or heavier paper stock since this is tough enough to withstand heavy sealing and sorting machines.
The two-cent savings is often not enough to sway people into buying stamps for bulk business mail. Still, it can be significant in some cases.
Suppose you were to send five large envelopes that weigh 12 oz, each containing 24 oz. of paper. You would spend around 23 cents to mail them. Yet, the same weight envelope could cost as much as $2.10 if you were to purchase the mailing stamps.
3. Keep It Relevant
It’s best if you tailor your mailing to the audience that will receive the mail. If you’re looking for new customers or prospects, then your mailings should be different than if you’re trying to keep your current clients happy.
If you are advertising a job opening, make sure it’s a relevant job opening for your business type. For the recipient to be interested in your ad, make sure they’re interested in the topic at hand and that your ad matches their interests.
4. Be Direct, Concise, and Clear
Your mailing should be direct, concise, and straightforward. If you want your recipient to respond to your ad, make sure it’s easy for them to do it. The longer the form they have to fill out, or the more times they have to write out their information, the more likely they will toss it in the trash.
5. Consider Personalizing Your Mailings
Personalize your ad wherever possible so that your recipients will feel a personal connection with you and your business. If you have a physical storefront, include your address. If you are sending out an ad for a particular product or service, mention that in the subject line and reference it in the advertisement’s body.
6. Avoid Common Mistakes in Postage
Don’t use pre-printed labels on your envelopes, if possible. They are known for having an adhesive that will not stick well, and the envelope will come loose and fall off before it arrives at its destination.
Also, many postal machines are temperamental with these labels. This issue can lead to delays in your mailings getting delivered and lost revenue when undelivered mailings don’t get paid.
Other Common Postage Mistakes:
If you’re sending a large amount of mail through the postal system, you might be tempted to bundle your mail and save money. However, this can be a costly mistake. It’s important that each mailpiece is clearly identifiable as yours so that the recipient knows what to do with it. Bundled mail can present this challenge.
In addition, if you bundle multiple pieces of paper together for mailing purposes, each piece will likely contain different information and have different postage requirements. One-piece might require additional postage for its size or weight; another might require additional postage because it is a piece of media mail or other specific weight class.
It can also create confusion at the post office if you are adding extra postage because you are claiming it is a package. There will be uncertainty about where to put the package in the sorting process.
If you’re going to use a bulk mailer, make sure to ask for help from an expert. They can tell you what type of paper is best, and how many pieces should be in each envelope. They can even provide you with samples so that you can practice before sending your own bulk mailing. This extra step will help save money and reduce mistakes that result in undelivered mailings.
7. Make Sure You Follow the Rules
In addition to following postal regulations for bulk mailings, you must also check your state’s business regulations. It is because some states prohibit mail management systems from targeting specific products or services directly to consumers. Also, make sure you aren’t breaking any local ordinances when sending bulk mail.
For example, suppose you’re using a return address on an advertisement or invoice that will need mailing back to your company. In that case, you should use a bulk mail permit. This permit is for a package that can have multiple recipients and have the return address printed.
If unsure, it’s worth looking into finding a direct mail manager that can help.
8. Hire a Direct Mail Manager
Direct mail managers are responsible for all the different aspects of direct mail marketing, including mailing. They will help you create and test an advertising plan, then actually send your mailings. A good direct mail manager will not only work with you to make sure your procedures are good, but will also advise on best practice as they are the experts in the field.
The process of creating a direct mail strategy is often called “creative research,” which involves the use of market research and quantitative data to discover audience needs and wants, as well as researching competitors to determine what you need to do to become more competitive.
A direct mail manager will take the information gathered to create a direct mail plan. When planning direct mail, the manager takes into account how they want to present the product, how they want it to benefit the consumer, and how it will be received by them.
Direct Mail Managers also help you plan the mailing schedule depending on cost and any other parameters you may have set. They do this by creating a database of addresses that you can target (or exclude). They then print labels based on your specifications and affix them to envelopes so that your brochures don’t become as wrinkled as an old newspaper when in transit.
And best of all, they understand the technicalities and legalities, meaning you won’t make any costly mistakes.
9. Know Your Options for Tracking Your Mailing
Bulk mailings are a great way to save money on postage. If you’re mailing something, chances are you’re going to want to know where it’s at, right? Well, you can do this in many ways.
You could use the postal service’s tracking system, but it can be slightly on the slow side. The faster option is to use a bulk tracking system to let you know exactly where each item is and what delivery status it has.
For businesses sending to businesses, you can use a zip code in your marketing materials. You can let them know they must include the zip code so the mailer that receives it knows how far it needs sending.
And don’t forget, you can check certified mail status without the receipt.
Coordinate Your Business Mailings Today
As a business owner, you are always on the move. You might be in your office, at an event, or out of town on a site visit.
Keeping on top of your business mailings doesn’t have to be a chore, however! Several companies offer bulk mailing solutions to businesses. Please look at what they have to provide you with and coordinate your business mailings from your office’s convenience.
By following these steps, your mailers will get delivered with confidence. And, your recipients stay happy and willing to do business with you again, and you’ll keep making the most of what’s available to you. Happy mailing!