For some businesses, savings are in the mail
Businesses not up on the latest postal regulations may be wasting thousands of dollars. Nonprofits can also save tons of funds by changing some mailing habits.
That eyeball-grabbing, odd-shaped mailer that will cut through the clutter of daily mail could cost considerable coin to send, when a colorful, bulk-mailed No. 10 window envelope might be just as effective, said Susan Dik, industry co-chairwoman of the Postal Customer Council of Hawaii.
Also president of Dik & Associates Direct Mailing Inc., she knows a thing or two about direct mailings and the budgets they require.
"Envelopes are like the storefront," that can "shout" a marketing message without costly manual handling by the U.S. Postal Service, she said.
A new, "shape-based" price structure for mailing took effect in May, said Duke Gonzales, Public Affairs and Communications Specialist for the USPS. It has led to many questions about how best to take advantage of the new structure to maximize efficiency and reduce costs, he said.
This is one reason the PCC of Hawaii has been resurrected after about five years of inactivity, though the group was founded some 20 years ago.
The council's purpose is to nurture relationships between the USPS and business mailers through information sharing and to provide a forum to discuss and resolve local mailing issues, according to its mission statement. It is led by local USPS officials and local businesses that do a lot of mailing.
PCC of Hawaii is inviting mass mailers to a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26 at the Ala Moana Hotel's Hibiscus Ballroom, to discuss new postal regulations.
Sound about as much fun as watching adhesive dry on an old lick-and-stick stamp? The big bucks at stake may make it worth the $30 price. Reservations, due Monday, can be made via phone at 423-3471 or online.
In addition to shape, mail's size and weight can bleed the bottom line too, so Jim Cochrane, manager of package services at USPS in Wash., D.C., will also make a presentation.
The Postal Service is "excellent" and costs "significantly" less than alternatives, Dik said.
"Is it worth thousands of dollars to get the piece in customers' hands Wednesday instead of Friday?"
Careful planning could keep that question from ever coming up, and keep the mailing moola in the bank, she said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org