Summer is approaching with two critical postal events just over the horizon – a semi-annual postage rate increase and the Informed Delivery promotion. Rates increase about 6% on average on July 9, 2023. Three weeks later, on August 1, the Postal Service gives back 4% in the form of a discount for those mailers who include an Informed Delivery campaign with their mailing. It’s an important opportunity for mail service providers to help their customers, while generating some extra revenue for themselves. Without a doubt, this is the easiest, most lucrative promotion in which to participate.
The promotion has a new twist this year: In addition to a 4% postage discount for the mailer, they are offering a .5% incentive for the mail service provider who submits the eDoc.
What Are the Savings and Credits Worth in Money?
A 4% postage discount is not insignificant for mailers. Of course, the higher the postage the greater the value of the discount. A mailing of 10,000 Marketing Mail letters can expect to save about $130, while a 100,000-piece mailing may save $1,200. A million-piece mailing will save more than $10,000. These savings are based on typical presort levels for these quantities.
Mail service providers, more than ever, need to be able to secure these discounts for their customers. With constant rate increases, finding a way to mitigate them can be a real differentiator.
The eDoc submitter credit is just that – a postage credit, as opposed to a discount. For every dollar an MSP pays in postage with their eDocs, they can have $.005 credited to their EPS postage account. For Marketing Mail this works out to about $1,500 for every million pieces mailed. The key for MSPs is to get as much of their mail as possible to include Informed Delivery campaigns. A mail house that mails 2,000,000 pieces a month could potentially qualify for total credits of $15,000 over the five-month life of the promotion.
It Costs Money to Create Informed Delivery Campaigns and get the Promotion Incentives
Creating an Informed Delivery campaign is not difficult. It is a manual process – someone needs to go into the Mailer Portal, upload images, determine the correct serial number range, and set the campaign dates. Getting a campaign approved for the discount is another process – submitting a campaign and waiting for approval. And it all needs to be done on time – you cannot mail and get the campaign approved later. Creating one campaign is not difficult – creating and managing 50 campaigns is – and someone has to do it. You can dedicate internal staff – if you have staff to spare – or you can let SnailWorks create campaigns for you. Setting up lots of campaigns is what we do, and we do it well.
Here's the good news: Your customers will pay you for this service! You do not, and should not, need to provide this service for free, or attempt to bury it in the bill. You are saving your customer postage, and helping them boost response, and you are spending money and resources to do this. Make sure you get paid appropriately. Too often mail service providers seem timid about charging. Don’t be.
There Is Potential Liability Associated with the Informed Delivery Promotion
Here is a big reason to let SnailWorks help you with your Informed Delivery: There’s liability if you do it wrong. When you are engaged to get your customer a discount for their Informed Delivery ad, they will not be happy if they do not get the discount, and they may want you to help compensate for the lost discount. On big mailings it can be a significant amount of money. This raises three important points:
- Limit your liability with your customer. It is good to be sure your customer understands that there is a limit to your liability, typically limited to the cost of providing the service. We, emphatically, are not lawyers, but on large mailings it is good to have a clear understanding with your customers.
- Keep meticulous records and make sure your customer meets all their deadlines and requirements in order to secure the discount. Be particularly careful when things start to change or need to be redone as deadlines approach. Timing is one of the most frequent causes of discount loss.
- Leverage a vendor with lots of experience – like SnailWorks. SnailWorks has systems in place to make sure all the possible steps are taken to maximize the discount. And to increase your capacity to sell Informed Delivery to your customers.
Your Customers Want Informed Delivery. You Need to Provide It.
Even without your urging, your customers are going to want to use Informed Delivery – the Postal Service is making it difficult to ignore. Your best move is to approach it enthusiastically, with a little help from your friends at SnailWorks. The opportunities for added revenue and customer satisfaction makes it the right way to go.
Contact us to learn how we can make Informed Delivery easy.