Some important recent news from the Royal Mail indicates that because of recent changes in VAT law, from 2 April 2012, all bulk mail services will be subject to VAT. You can read more about this on the DMA website or at Royal Mail but unfortunately, this is just another in a long line of trends that are driving up the cost of mailing. While most mailers will be able to reclaim the VAT from their customers, this is going to worsen cash flow for the mailing sponsor and the bottom line is that companies need to be even more shrewd with their marketing and mailing strategy to keep costs under control.
So what can you do?
Know who you’re mailing. Make sure that the postage you spend for each mail piece is well-spent by ensuring it’s not a duplicate and that it is a prospect or customer that is likely to be worth the investment. Whether you are a mail house or a marketer, here are some quick tips to make sure you are not paying for mailings that are not likely to generate ROI:
- First, always remember to request your mailer to perform deduplication and suppression on your lists. This may not be standard and while you will spend a little bit extra to run these processes, the cost savings usually far outweighs the spend. You can ask for a cost estimate for these processes first if you prefer.
- Always remember to send suppression files with your mailing list to remove customers who have opted out or to remove customers who are not likely to be a good investment for this mailing. Remember that your ideal target audience will change from campaign to campaign and to send the appropriate suppression list to get your ideal target list.
- Consider using NCOA and Deceased/Gone Away suppression to reduce your list size even further – removing people who have died or moved and updating any addresses that may have changed – and of course MPS suppression not only saves money on unresponsive customers but is also a requirement for DMA members.
- Remember to remind your customers about the various types of suppression. Although it does take an extra step and it reduces the total number of mail pieces, your reputation and retention of business in the long run will be bolstered when customers know you are looking out for their bottom line.
- Create a check list for customers to prompt them for certain types of target market suppression – Have you suppressed customers who have recently purchased this product or service? Have you targeted your list to the price range of this particular product or service?
- Promote NCOA and other new address services where possible to help your customers target the right address