The USPS makes first-class a bargain with new rate

With a recent change to 2017 first-class commercial mail rates, the U.S. Postal Service has opened up new opportunities for companies to cost-effectively reach their customers with everything from mandatory mailings to marketing campaigns. So it’s an ideal time to reassess your document and mailing strategy for customer communications.

Effective January 22, 2017 the USPS increased the allowable weight for one of the most common classes of mailings. Companies can now send presorted first-class mail weighing up to 3.5 ounces in letter-size envelopes for the same rate the post office used to charge for 2 ounces.

With nearly double the allowable weight, the rate change offers companies new ways to maximize each customer mailing. It primarily affects bills, statements, invoices, notices and other regular customer communications that are time-sensitive and sent first-class. Marketing mailers and other less time-sensitive materials generally opt for the less expensive but slower standard mail (now rebranded by the U.S. Postal Service as USPS Marketing Mail®)

For presorted first-class mail, you may be able to save significant postage by reconsidering your package choices. If you’ve been using a larger 9” x 12” envelope to accommodate the pages you regularly send to consumers, you may want to switch to 6” x 9.5” or #10 letter-size envelope, even if it means folding the materials differently.

Companies also could leverage the higher allowable weight to increase customer touches and engagement. You could ramp up marketing and customer service efforts by adding brochures, buck slips, newsletters and other collateral to invoices, statements and letters without increasing postage costs.

Even with this advantageous postal rate change, companies should make digital communications a growing piece of their customer outreach strategy. Studies show that consumers of all ages want options for receiving, viewing and even paying electronically. You can leverage your mailed communications by including instructions for customers who want to convert to digital, thus improving customer service by providing more choice while reducing paper and postage costs.

If you are interested in exploring ways to take advantage of the recent postal rate change, our experts can advise you on packaging and optimizing distribution of your mailed customer communications. And our Expresso application makes managing mailed and emailed recurring communications fast and easy.

About the Author

Rich leads Nordis Technologies’ sales and client relations teams and is responsible for revenue growth and client retention. He’s been integral to the company’s fast growth, doubling sales since 2010, and playing a key role in developing new products including ExpressoPay, ExpressoVote and ExpressoArchive. Before joining Nordis as a sales executive in 1999, Rich managed production operations for Postal Center International in Ft. Lauderdale, where he also held positions in data processing, customer service and sales.