Every month, Sandra Long of Pitney Bowes answers readers’ questions in the popular Mail Room: Ask Sandra advice column. In light of all the changes and rumors surrounding the USPS, we had a couple of questions of our own. Sandra and her colleague Jane Friddell were kind enough to provide their insights.
QP: How do you think ending Saturday delivery will affect promotional USPS programs such as Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)?
PB: The ending of Saturday delivery will have no greater effect on EDDM than it would on any other type of mailing. EDDM has grown to be one of the most popular direct mail offerings from the Postal Service as it’s easy to use and very cost effective. EDDM mail can be as little as 14.5 cents per piece if you already have a mailing permit; and given the response rates on direct mail, that’s a wise investment.
The Postal Service is advertising this program heavily. They even have a link on their website on where to find printers that offer EDDM. Make sure your shop is on that site.
No address list is necessary to do an EDDM, so it offers the opportunity for anyone to do a mailing. They recently even had a mailing submitted to a neighborhood looking for a lost dog. EDDM is a great program your customers can use to get started in direct mail, which of course, requires printing. Become familiar with the program and increase your value to the mailer.
QP: Do you think that cutting back the number of mail processing centers will discourage printers from offering mailing services?
PB: Don’t be discouraged; this is an opportunity! Mailers don’t want to travel farther to drop off their mail, so the local printer has an opportunity to capitalize on these changes. The proposed consolidations of the USPS mail processing centers should create more opportunities for those printers that offer mailing services.
Your job is to sell the value of direct mail. Handling the mailing component is an additional revenue stream for your business—and one that is needed by your customers. This is best accomplished by linking direct mail to larger marketing campaigns. Talk to your customers about using color, graphics, and QR codes that link to social media or websites. You can also incorporate mail into multi-channel campaigns for greater impact.
Finally, many printers are offering mail piece tracking with the Intelligent Mail Barcode to put their customer’s minds at ease about mail deliveries amidst all these USPS changes.
Sandra Long, vice president, Printer Market and Customer Development, Pitney Bowes, answers readers’ questions about mailing. Send your questions to her at Sandra.Long@pitneybowes.com. Jane Friddell is vertical manager, Pitney Bowes. For more information visit www.MyPrintResource.com/10007238.