What to Do If Postage Goes Up Again

Brace yourself for more bad postal news. The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has announced a $5.4 billion loss, and this means direct marketers may face a 2008 rate hike of 20% or more. Here are five easy-to-implement tactics for dealing with this threat.

  1. Test Alternative Merge Priority Methods: Changes to the merge process can often lead to incremental revenue and a reduction in waste by consolidating demand to your highest-performing lists. You’ll also have better insight into lower-performing files that can be removed from future mailings.
  2. Reduce Overall Campaign CPM: Lower your overall cost per thousand by taking names from fewer rental and exchange sources.
  3. Optimize Mailings with Housefile Modeling: Move beyond RFM by leveraging a cooperative database to evaluate your customers’ buying behavior against the entire population. The result can be lifts of as much as 40% in sales per piece over normal selection methods
  4. Add-A-Name: More is less with this strategy where a mailer can receive a better postal rate per unit by mailing deeper into particular zip code regions. The increased response typically more-than-offsets the additional postage cost.
  5. DPV Validation: Take advantage of postal automation rates by reducing the number of non-codeable records in your mailings and mailing to only Zip +4 codeable records.
  6. Diane Lucero is vice president, multichannel merchant group, Abacus Data Services, Epsilon