USPS Postage Increase
Benjamin Franklin once said “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” If he were alive today, we’re fairly confident he’d amend his phrase to “nothing is certain except death, taxes, and postage increases.” The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently raised prices for a number of mail services, and the new postage rates went into effect this past Sunday, January 22, 2023. Here are some of the key changes:
- Priority Mail service prices increased approximately 5.5 percent
- First-Class Package Service prices increased by 7.8 percent
- First-Class Forever stamps increased from 60 cents to 63 cents
- Both First-Class and Standard Marketing Mail flats increased by 6.2 percent overall
- EDDM retail for Standard Marketing Mail increased 1 percent
- Standard Marketing Mail letters increased by 3.2 percent overall
When you dig into the numbers, you will see the price changes are anywhere from $0.01 to $0.04/piece for Letter or Postcard size mailings. Flat Size, First-Class postage experienced the greatest price increases of ~$0.03 to $0.13/piece.
We’ve updated our handy, dandy postage overview for reference, which you can download here.
We know postage is often a larger line item than the print when it comes to direct mail. Luckily, we’re well-versed in helping our clients navigate these changes and make the necessary adjustments to keep budgets in line. There are a number of ways to get creative with your direct mail campaign to maximize response rates while sticking to your budget.
- Scoring leads helps you make informed decisions about who to target and how to allocate your budget. It allows you to focus on the prospects most likely to convert so you don’t waste money chasing less qualified leads.
- Use different postage classes for different segments of your data. Segment a smaller group of high quality leads to mail First-Class (even Presorted First-Class if you have a minimum quantity of 500) with a second segment of less qualified leads going via Marketing Mail (note you need a minimum quantity of 200 to qualify for Marketing Mail).
- Look at the size and format of your direct mail. Depending on what you’re sending, it may be possible to save on printing and/or postage. You can turn your letter + envelope into a self-mailer to save on the envelope costs, or you can redesign a flat-sized mailer to go at the letter rate.
- Rethink your BREs. We recently suggested that one of our clients open a business postal account for their BREs rather than live stamping each one. This way, they only pay for postage on the BREs that are mailed back, saving them tens of thousands of dollars a year.
We know these types of postage increases are frustrating and can have a big impact on your budget, but there are things we can do to alleviate the strain. Our team is here to help you work through these changes and answer any questions you have.