Collection of stamps

Mailing and distribution of critical documents is the kind of thing that can feel like a minor expense in each instance, but can quickly add up. This is particularly true if you tend to frequently send bulk mail to your customers and stakeholders.

Consider, for example, that first-class postage costs at the United States Postal Service (USPS) are $0.68 per 1 oz. This is for standard-sized rectangular envelopes. If you have larger envelopes, square envelopes, or irregularly shaped ones, this rate goes up. 

If you’re an enterprise or entity that needs to send out printed correspondence often, such as a bank or a utility, you could easily mail anywhere between 10,000 to millions of letters every month. At this rate, postage costs are a significant expense on your income statement.

Thankfully, there are ways for you to minimize these costs. Here are some business postage options to help you reduce first-class mailing costs and get the most out of your shipping budget. 

Rationalize Your Mailing Process

Start with taking a step back and analyzing your mailing operation. Get a sense of the different types of correspondence you typically send out. How big is each letter? Do you tend to use different envelope sizes for different letters? If so, are your employees using the right postage for each letter or simply using their best guess to apply stamps? You’d be surprised at how much unnecessary expense incorrectly stamped envelopes can rack up.

Also, consider your postal provider. Do you use one or multiple providers? Is there an opportunity to rationalize that and secure better first-class postage costs by consolidating all your mailing with just one company?

Analyzing your process end-to-end can help you identify the major contributors to this cost center and find the right solutions to help improve your bottom line.

Try Using a Postage Meter

A postage meter is a postage printing machine. You can use it to generate your own postage, which is either printed directly on your mail or on a meter tape that you can affix to your envelope. This saves you the logistical costs of procuring first-class or other postage from your local post office.

Postage meters are typically regulated by a country’s postal authority, in this case, the United States Postal Service. You can fill out an online form to apply for a permit in the city of mailing. Once you have a permit, you can buy a postage meter from authorized suppliers. 

A good tip is to use a machine supplied by your local post office, rather than a private company. This usually means you’re entitled to some free shipping supplies, helping you reduce first-class postage costs.

Postage meters can also be used to accurately measure packages so that you know exactly what your shipping costs are going to be. This is a great business postage option that’s helping enterprises reduce costs, save time, and minimize hassle, especially when mailing in bulk. 

Optimize Your Package Before You Send It

Stack of mail

One of the main reasons why first-class postage and mailing costs tend to spiral out of control is that packages aren’t optimized before they’re posted. 

Begin by always ensuring you’re choosing the right envelope size. If you’re mailing out a lot of discount coupons, flyers, or invitations, consider using a flat-rate envelope. This will save you first-class postage costs over an envelope that requires extra stamps. 

If some of your letters are unusually shaped, your employees are likely using larger-sized envelopes or nonmachinable envelopes to mail them. This adds a surcharge on top of your regular first-class postage costs. Consider standardizing all your mailpieces to minimize instances of this. 

Finally, ensure you’re not stuffing your mail with unnecessary packaging materials, including redundant pieces of paper to keep the weight down and obtain lower mailing costs.

Automate Where Possible

Mailing and shipping software is another great business postage option to reduce human error and easily track all your shipments. This helps you spot any unusual delays and even electronically inform recipients that critical mail deliveries are heading towards them. Eventually this helps minimize mail return costs for you. 

Also, it goes without saying that one of the best ways to reduce first-class postage costs is to use ebilling. While it might not be possible to send all your correspondence this way for compliance reasons, you can transition what’s possible and reduce your expenditure. 

Consider Outsourcing Printing and Mailing

One of the best ways to reduce your postal costs is to partner with a third-party printing and mailing company. Full-service providers, like Information Outsource, can take care of everything from designing to printing and securely mailing your correspondence. You can reliably track your shipments and even outsource customer service. This frees you up to focus on your core business activities while saving you a ton of money in machinery, labor, and postal costs. 

Information Outsource is a SOC 2 Type 2 certified printing and mailing company that has worked with some of the leading enterprises, government agencies, and utilities in the U.S. Benefit from the service of a family-oriented enterprise combined with the capabilities of a large corporation that’s been in the business for over 25 years. Speak to an expert today. Follow our blog for more tips and options on reducing first-class postage costs for your business.