Using Pre-canceled Stamps to Improve Direct Mailing Results

direct mail pre-sortMany companies are not aware that there are “live” stamps that can be used with a bulk direct mailing campaign. The stamps are available as 1st class presort, 3rd class presort and non-profit. The USPS postage for these stamps is the same rate as using an imprinted mail indicia. There are a number of advantages to using a stamp versus imprinting a mail permit (indicia) for a non-profit or school fundraiser and for business marketing campaigns.

Improve Open Ratio with Direct Mail

You will improve the open ratio of your mailing campaign because people do not immediately assume it is a “junk” mail piece. On initial examination of an envelope with a pre-canceled stamp it appears to look like a normal 1st class stamp until you look closely and read the stamp (see examples on this web page). Improving your mailing campaign’s open ratio by 2 to 5% can have a huge impact on your financial results. You can further improve the personal nature of the piece by doing the following: (1) On the return address do not include your company and/or organization name. Simply use only an address or use a person’s name and address; (2) consider not bar coding the piece in the addressing area (this will cost you 2 to 3 cents more per piece but in many cases it is well worth it); (3) You might want to consider having your direct mailing company hand write the address information and return address (not the cheapest option but you will see huge results with this marketing idea) and (4) another idea is making the piece look like an official notice (something that would force people to open the piece).

direct mailing 3rd class presortMaking Your Mailing More Personal with Business Invitations, Announcements and Holiday Mailings

Using these stamps will give your piece a much higher “personal touch” when mailing out a formal business invitation or announcement card about your business. This is especially true when doing custom Holiday Cards (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc). Honestly the piece looks pretty “cold” when you do not use a live stamp when your intent is make people feel special.

direct mailing non profitDirect Mailing Service Cost

We have already discussed the postage cost, but what about the cost for having these stamps affixed by your mailing company. Most mail houses will charge between $20.00 to $25.00 per 1000 to have the stamps affixed to a #10 business envelope or A-7 invitation envelope. For a large mail campaign (over 10,000 envelopes) most mail houses will give you a discount on this cost. The best suggestion is to try using pre-canceled stamps with one your mailings and track the financial results. Typically the results are much better!

Written by Glenn Cummins

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