Postal rate increases are coming, but there are steps you can take to minimize the impact. Here are five things you should do in 2021.
#1 Start local and get involved
Several organizations can help you keep in front of the latest trends. Here are a few to check out:
- Postal Customer Council (PCC). A space where local businesses get together and share ideas with USPS representatives.
- Areas Inspiring Mail (AIM). With chapters representing each of the six USPS areas, AIM finds ways to bring local innovation onto the national stage.
- Advocacy associations like the National Postal Policy Council. Join an association to influence USPS policy, discover new products, or learn best practices to simplify your business.
#2 Reduce returned mail
Returned mail can cost large organizations millions each year.
The good news is that proven solutions are available that help automate the process and significantly reduce returned mail. The Broadridge Returned Mail solution, for example, integrates with USPS systems to help you automatically update changes in address and access digital images of returned envelopes.
#3 Take advantage of postal promotions
Each year the USPS offers meaningful promotions that can help take the sting out of rate increases. Some of these promotions deliver up to 2% off postage.
Here are the First-Class® and USPS Marketing Mail® promotions for 2021:
- Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mail (February to July)
- Emerging and Advanced Technology (March to August)
- Earned Value (April to June)
- Personalized Color (July to December)
- Mobile Shopping (August to December)
- Informed Delivery (September to November)
See full details at the USPS website.
#4 Prepare for postal requirement changes
There are two key postal requirement changes in 2021 that could have a significant impact on your overall postage expense.
The first involves Seamless Acceptance. This is a new required mail entry process that automates the entry and verification of commercial mailings. A scorecard will display error rates against a pre-defined threshold. Mailings that exceed error thresholds will incur additional assessments. You’ll want to review the scorecard often, so you can catch those errors before assessments accrue.
Check out the complete program on the USPS website.
Next, there is a proposed change to address standards associated with address updates. Updated addresses must be used within 60 days instead of the 12-month period standard today. This change could affect your current updating processes, so stay on the lookout for that too.
#5 Adjust your budget
The best way to stay ready for postage rate increases is to plan your budget accordingly. You’ll need to revise your forecast:
- Potential mail volume
- Extra services
- Changes in presort levels if volumes are dropping
- Additional expenses or assessments
Don’t get caught by surprise. If you reset expectations and create a budget that reflects concrete realities, you’ll have a much smoother year and be able to make the most of every dollar.
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