The cost of individual postage stamps is rising to 49 cents, but commercial mailers will benefit from lower prices and Postal Service adjustments effective on January 22nd. The cost to mail First Class letters weighing over 2 ounces is decreasing. This change means First Class Presort mailers can use heavier paper stock, insert more pages, or use different inserts to create mail pieces weighing up to 3.5 ounces without paying more postage.
The allowance for heavier letters comes while changes are happening in the printing industry. As mailers migrate from offset and toner-based printing to inkjet technology, they are switching paper stocks. Heavier paper prevents images and text on the front side of a page from interfering with content on the back. The new postage rates will give mailers more freedom in their choice of paper stock.
Other improvements mailers may have dismissed in the past because of postage concerns are using larger or sturdier envelopes, and inserting attention-getting elements such as stickers, magnets, or plastic cards. Some organizations may be able to combine two formerly separate mailings to generate substantial savings in production and postage costs.
Full color variable digital printing makes it easy to add data-driven photographs and other images directly to the documents, allowing designers to personalize mailpieces for individual recipients. Variable promotional messages are taking the place of traditional pre-printed inserts. With the new postage rules, mailers that have postponed using transpromo techniques in fear of adding pages and weight can unleash their creativity.
The higher weight limit is especially attractive to producers of multi-page documents like statements, welcome kits, or insurance policies. Document designers can make these items more user-friendly and improve the customer experience. Companies can add features such as plain-language summaries to confusing documents like contract terms and conditions, and add extra white space or larger fonts to make the pages more readable. Features such as variable data charts and graphs also increase understanding and distinguish a company from their competitors.
75% to 80% of consumers still prefer to receive transactional documents on paper. Because customers open and read the vast majority of these messages, they are an ideal place to include marketing, informational, or educational content. Accurately targeting the personalized material, and printing the messages in full color, make the additional messaging standout.
By increasing the weight limit on First Class Letters, the US Postal Service allows businesses to improve their documents with no increase in postage costs. By taking advantage of the latest printing technologies, companies can support corporate objectives for improved customer experience by creating understandable documents that connect with customers as individuals.
To learn more about how this change with affect your next direct mail programs, contact us today.