Although the Royal Mail has defended the recent increase in postage costs, many businesses are still finding it difficult to keep up with the rising costs of mail. Sending post is still essential for drumming up revenue and building relationships, despite the modern day online and social media presence of many companies.
Chief Executive of the Royal Mail Moya Greene has justified the hike in stamp prices, saying that they are “incredible value for money” when compared to the cost of stamps in countries such as France and Germany. Yet the impact that this recent rise has had on businesses, especially small ones, is significant. However, there are many ways to counteract the added cost of postal charges while creating a more efficient work environment.
First and foremost, think on a practical level: physical mail has been with us a long time, but, it has benefitted from significant advances in technology which make handling post for the business an easier and cheaper task than before.
Firstly, making sure your address data is up to date can cut wasted mailings. Software such as Bulk Mailer updates your database or mailings to match the very latest Royal Mail PAF file, cutting postage and material costs.
Envelopes are now charged according to weight and size, so folding letters into smaller envelopes really goes a long way to cut costs. This doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds either. Providers of mailing solutions, such as Neopost, offer a folder inserter which can fold A4 letters into DL or C5 envelopes, saving 22p per letter.
Outgoing post can also be handled quickly and efficiently without the need to conform to the higher Royal Mail prices. By switching to franked mail, small businesses can save 19p on a second and 16p on a first class letter. Neopost offer a free 30-day trial of their entry-level franking machine, which is an ideal solution for utilising your office space and is available for less than £1 a day. Businesses that send only five items a day can offset all the costs of a small franking machine with the savings on post, so other benefits such as time saving and security are effectively free.
Larger franking machines can give access to Business Mail – the Royal Mail’s volume-related discounts scheme for batch mailings. The Business Mail service delivers savings of between 16 and 23.5 per cent on the cost of franked mail for between 500 and 25,000 letters sent out in one mailing.
As well as cutting costs significantly, franking machines and folder inserters can work together to automate the workflow within the office. By linking together the folder inserter to the franking machine, for example, a business can achieve a seamless end-to-end process, which saves a valuable amount of man-hours.
Businesses, especially those of a small nature, are certainly likely to struggle with the combined pressure of the financial crisis and the increase in postage rates. Yet by implementing a set of solutions at every stage in the mailing system—incoming mail, mail processing and outgoing mail—businesses can still meet their postage needs and bypass the price increases.