How to Combat the Rising Costs of Statement Printing and Mailing

Cutting Costs of Statement Printing and Mailing

Rising paper, production, and postage costs for statement printing and mailing are squeezing business margins. Between the 1970s and 2000, first-class mail rates increased three to four times a decade. Now, twice-yearly increases affect many of the most popular USPS classes, from first-class mailings to Certified Mail® and Return Receipt service. A 7.8% increase is slated for July, with another proposed increase in January 2025.

Even if you send only a few hundred statements per day, the increase is significant. To blunt the impact, a well-managed print and mail strategy can help you lower costs while improving efficiency and customer experience.

The evolving landscape of transactional printing and mailing

An effective strategy starts with understanding the current state of transactional printing and mailings, which are time-sensitive documents that organizations send to customers after a transaction or financial activity. Examples include medical billing, financial statements, invoices and collection letters. These communications must be highly compliant, accurate and secure, as every piece is based on customer data and holds personal and confidential information. Mishandling could result in non-compliance with government regulations or a costly data breach.

While digital delivery, including email and text messaging, is growing at a fast pace, transactional printing and mailing continue to play a vital role for both businesses and their customers. Catering to each customer’s preferences for receiving communications is essential for driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A significant portion still prefer paper statements. ACI Speedpay Pulse research found that in 2023, 17% of adults in the US preferred to receive bills by mail, but 27% in the Boomers+ age group preferred paper billing statements. Reasons for this preference include concerns about data security online, lack of access to reliable internet or simply a preference for paper.

Transactional communication trends vary by industry. For example, 78% of healthcare providers primarily collect from patients using paper and manual processes, according to InstaMed. Some industry regulations mandate paper versions of certain critical communications for legal or archival purposes. Businesses are increasingly adopting hybrid models, offering both paper and digital statement options to cater to diverse customer preferences

Optimize your statement printing and mailing strategy

To continue offering customers their choice of communication channels but to do so cost-effectively, there are plenty of actionable solutions to reduce costs in print and mail operations. A savvy print partner can bring a host of options and expertise to help companies overhaul their statement printing and mailing and achieve cost savings and CX goals.

Here are some ways to save on printing:

  • Use standard finished goods versus custom shells for significant printing and storage savings. This also eliminates waste from pre-printed, unused stock.
  • Redesign and simplify statements to reduce printed pages.
  • Reformat coupon books to print payment coupons in sheets rather than booklets for more flexibility and to eliminate bindery and fulfillment costs.
  • Utilize double-sided printing and fit more into a standard #10 envelope. This also reduces postage because sending more than seven sheets of paper in an envelope results in an oversized letter and extra charges.
  • Add custom QR codes to mailings to provide access to online resources for additional information or documentation rather than printing and mailing multiple pages.

Wrangling postal rates

For postage savings, it pays to partner with a provider that negotiates the best USPS rates. Larger print companies will likely have more mailing capabilities and options that each client can take advantage of, such as USPS discounts, including commingled ZIP code presorting if you send more than 500 first-class pieces per day or have one-time mailings over 1,000 pieces. Using a presort services provider can net greater savings because they will combine mail from multiple senders.

More options for lowering mailing costs:

  • Utilize the sorting and tracking information available via Intelligent Mail® Barcodes (IMb), which add significant automation efficiencies. These programs are valuable and cost-effective.
  • Choose 6 ½ x 9 ½ packages instead of 9 X 12 to save on both postage and hand fulfillment expenses.
  • Leverage mailing regulations. The USPS requires invoices, billing statements and other financial documents to be mailed first class when they contain recipient-specific information. However, letters and notices that only contain generic information can be sent as standard mail at significantly reduced postal rates.

Healthier list management

Practice good data hygiene and improve the accuracy of your mailing list. Bad addresses can mean undelivered bills, lost revenue and added costs. Address management problems can also lead to compliance issues and increased fraud risk.

  • Verify the quality of your data before printing addresses on envelopes with address correction services, including NCOA National Change of Address and CASS™ Coding Accuracy Support System processing to check against USPS databases. CASS-certified mailings can qualify for additional postage discounts.
  • Consider ACS (Address Change Service), which sends electronic notifications when mail is undeliverable, reducing manual processes associated with returned mail.

Enhance communications for better CX

Customer communication management (CCM) software empowers business users to create, personalize, print, distribute and archive statements. This ensures consistent, relevant communications sent via mail, email, and text messaging. Automating tasks and streamlining workflows ensures customers receive the right information, faster, on their preferred communication channel, ultimately boosting loyalty and speeding payments. 

Leverage metrics for more savings

Monitoring key performance indicators is crucial to helping companies adapt their communications based on customers’ actual behavior. One health system realized more than $3 million in additional payments in one year by switching patients who did not engage with emailed bills back to mailed statements, according to the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Using an omnichannel platform for print/mail, email and text messaging simplifies tracking KPIs across channels and automates backup distribution. For example, one of the country’s largest healthcare billing and collections providers uses a cloud communication system that lets it send emails first, but if they remain unopened, automatically triggers a print/mail statement within a few days.

Outsourcing adds operational impact

Outsourcing your print and mail services to one trusted partner with omnichannel delivery capabilities can also be cost-effective. Outsourcing frees up internal resources and can give you access to state-of-the-art technologies, such as variable data printing with high-speed color digital printers that lets you change customer document content – including dynamic messaging, graphics, charts and logos – to customize communications with information that’s relevant to the recipient.

When selecting a provider, prioritize reliability, dedicated customer service, and expertise in transactional mailing rather than direct mail. Also, companies should look for the latest technologies that allow them to quickly scale up or down volume as necessary and lower overall costs. Another non-negotiable: Robust data security practices for both data and physical access and audited processes, including SOC 2 Type II, HIPAA and SSAE 18 certifications, for compliance and security.

For a complete solution, Nordis Technologies offers CCM and statement printing and mailing services on one cloud-based platform, accessible from anywhere.

Benefits beyond cost savings

Cost reduction is just one piece of the puzzle. A well-managed statement printing and mailing strategy also ensures clear, concise bills and timely delivery, enhancing customer satisfaction and cash flow. Secure and reliable document handling and a professional presentation reflect well on a brand, and the option to integrate paper statements with online bill pay options delivers a seamless billing and payment solution.

Rising costs are a challenge, but by implementing smart strategies and partnering with the right provider, you can significantly reduce expenses while ensuring a positive customer experience.

Looking for a print and mail outsourcing partner? Contact Us to learn how we can transform your statement printing and mailing operations.