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HomeTipsA Basic Guide To Bulk Mail Outsourcing

A Basic Guide To Bulk Mail Outsourcing

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Many businesses depend on bulk mailing for essential functions such as sending marketing materials, invoices, and other important communications. However, the cost of bulk mailing could add up to a considerable amount and eat into your operating profit.

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But since it’s a necessary expense, businesses need to think of ways to save on postage costs. One way to rack up postage savings is through bulk mail outsourcing. It enables companies to take advantage of postage discounts offered by the US Postal Service (USPS) through bulk mail outsourcing.

What is Bulk Mail Outsourcing?

Bulk mail outsourcing refers to hiring a third-party print and mailing services provider to handle the printing and distribution of documents. This is a convenient option for businesses as processing outgoing mail could be tedious and time-consuming.

By outsourcing your bulk mailing to a service provider like PCI, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of verifying addresses on your mailing list. They weed out wrong addresses, so there’s no wasted postage.

Furthermore, since such providers have advanced equipment that allows them to print postal barcodes, they’re eligible for postage and stamp discounts from USPS, savings they can pass on to businesses that use their services.

What Is Presorted Mail?

Bulk mailing service providers presort mail from their various clients to maximize postage discounts from the USPS. Presorting mail involves grouping mail according to ZIP code. All the mail addressed to the same location are clustered into the same container or tray.

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Inclusions You Should Look For When Outsourcing Bulk Mail

  • Postage Discounts: When negotiating your terms with a third-party bulk mailing service, you need to check if they offer significant postage discounts for large volumes of mail.
  • Efficiency And Accuracy: Processing a ton of mail daily requires tremendous efficiency and accuracy. Make sure your provider has the means or equipment to sort the mail using a barcode.
  • International Mail: If your mailing list contains addresses outside the United States, you should check if your bulk mail provider handles international mail.
  • Tracking: The third-party provider should have a tracking system that allows monitoring of all mail until they’re successfully delivered. With such a tracking system, businesses can be apprised of the status of their mailings.
  • Metering: This refers to the accurate weighing and stamping of metered mail accordingly. Without automated metering technology, this process could take a lot of time. Also, metering automation could provide your mail with a professional look and feel. Aside from accruing cost savings, you improve your brand as well.

How To Negotiate The Best Rates For Bulk Mailing

How To Negotiate The Best Rates For Bulk Mailing International mail

The biggest dilemma in negotiating agreements with a bulk mailing service provider is that they are only a few available in the U.S. Presort services are limited in that there are only 100-200 companies located throughout the country. Most locations might only have five or fewer in a particular geographic area.

As a result, some service providers might enjoy some measure of monopoly due to the limited availability of facilities. Since it would be pretty challenging to negotiate better rates, consider the following tips to gain a bit of leverage:

1. Examine Your Current Contracts

Determine how these third-party bulk mailing service providers are charging you. Check the terms of the contract and their service fees. Some agreements might already be expired and need to be updated.

2. Validate Past Invoices

To ensure you’re getting the best rates, you need to examine your invoices and receipts for the past six to 12 months. Look into the nitty-gritty details, such as the service fee per piece of mail.

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3. Be Familiar With The Types Of Mail

Having a better understanding of how specific factors impact the bulk mailing services may allow you to gain some leverage in contract negotiations. Consider the following:

  • Mail Quality: If the addresses are hard to read, it would be challenging for the service provider to assign barcodes. In this case, they might charge the full rate. As this means additional costs for your business, you should look for ways to improve your mail quality.
  • Time Of Pick-up: Being more flexible with your pick-up time may lead to better rates. Most bulk mailing service providers prefer the earliest pick-up times so they can commingle your mail with that of their other customers and then presort all the mail by ZIP codes. Doing so enables them to get higher discounts from USPS, which they pass on to their clients.
  • Mail Volume Impact: If you regularly send out large volumes of mail, you have more leverage than you think. You can negotiate for better rates or ask for more discounts because the provider would want to keep your business as much as possible.

4. Broaden Your Scope

You might want to consider the other services that the third-party provider offers. This would give you more elbow room in rate negotiations. Perhaps you can get a package deal that gives you more value for your money.

Final Words

Businesses need to be strategic in reducing operational costs whenever possible. One way to do that is to take advantage of bulk mail outsourcing, which gives you both time and cost savings.

By employing advanced technology, third-party services can affix postal barcodes and metered stamps with speed and accuracy. They can deliver your mail even sooner than expected by streamlining the mail handling process. With the hassles of this time-consuming process out of the way, you and your team can better focus on your core business operations.

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