UK had the fourth highest letter rate increase – but it is still possible to reduce costs

UK had the fourth highest letter rate increase – but it is still possible to reduce costs

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Recent research from Deutsche Post has revealed taking inflation into account, the UK experienced the fourth highest increase in letter rates (over 10 years) across Europe, notching up an eye-watering 62.5% during this period.

This was due in no small part to a 30% hike during 2012, a sharp increase which was implemented very quickly after Royal Mail prices were deregulated by Ofcom. By comparison, other countries in Europe had much lower increases in costs with France recording a 5% rise and Germany actually decreasing costs by 7.8%. The UK is the seventh most expensive European country within which to send a domestic letter.

The data shows that for most businesses the cost of postage has increased significantly at a time when domestic demand has been reduced due to the economic outlook. One way for companies to reduce the cost of postage is to reduce the number of mailshots and mailouts but this is of course a short term solution – businesses need to continue effective marketing and research has shown that Direct Mail receives a higher response rate than digital marketing.

However it is possible to reduce costs without reducing marketing activity:

• Size matters. Choosing the right format and size for the printed item or envelope will reduce costs as Royal Mail have different charges for different sized letters
• Bulk buying. Using a Mailing House can help you access bulk postage savings that will further reduce costs-per-item
• Keep clean. Royal Mail also offer discounts for ‘clean’ data – address accuracy, machine readable addresses and many others and specialist Mailing Houses will help you make the most of available data
• Fit for print. Look at the cost of the campaign from another angle – one way to cut costs is to save on printing – a print management service can help you cut the costs of printing as well as improving response rates
• Mixed up. Most organisations will mix traditional Direct Mail with digital marketing to maximize their budget and improve response rates.

Developing a good relationship with an experienced Mailing House can be the first step to not only reducing marketing costs but also improving the effectiveness of any campaign. Make the most of their expertise in everything from design, layout and wording of the Mail Shot to integrity of the data and access to postage discounts. The Mailing Houses ability to buy in bulk and understand the nature of the postal sector will work to your advantage – and you don’t always have to be posting in the tens of thousands to start receiving valuable discounts on the cost of postage.

Image Credit: Rainbow Badges

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