How do you send your direct mail marketing pieces, products and invoices? Depending on the materials you ship and the distance they must travel, there are several ways to get your stuff from point A to point B. You could use the good ol’ United States Post Office, go with a private courier for local deliveries, or work with an international company like UPS or FedEx.
How you ship should be determined by the price of the service, the speed with which it can be shipped, and the level of customer service you and the recipient can expect during the process. In general, you should get quotes for shipments and make sure that you get the best price for the service you require.
If you opt for delivery through the USPS, there are some mailing tools available — including postage meters and computer postage tools — that can help you save even more.
Benefits of Using Mailing Tools
There are many reasons to use mailing tools in your small business. Here are some of the biggest benefits:
- Prevent Overpayment: Using mailing tools to accurately determine exact postage can save you money by ensuring you don’t overpay. This can really add up for small business doing high-volume shipping.
- Buy at Your Office: Postage payments can be managed from your home or office, saving you and your employees countless trips to the post office for stamps and postage.
- Discounted Rates: In some cases, you can get discounts on specific services from the USPS. (Make sure you check to see if you qualify for bulk rates.)
- Reduce Undeliverable Mail: It’s a waste of money to send undeliverable items through the post office. Using online tools to verify the recipient’s address before you ship can save your small business money, too.
- Track Shipments: By tracking shipments online you can be sure that a package has reached its destination and more easily troubleshoot any problems with shipping. Saving time saves money, plus it makes your customers happier.
The following list doesn’t include any affiliate links; they are just some of the more popular resources you can browse as you begin your search for the right services and equipment. If you’d like to share your experience or expertise, please feel free to add to the discussion in the comments.
- Stamps.com: Here you can buy and print postage on your home or office computer. One of the really great features of Stamps.com is that you can create photo stamps with your company logo on them and brand your business postage.
- PitneyBowes: PitneyBowes offers postage and metering equipment, software, and other services to help you calculate and purchase postage.
- USPS.com: You can do just about everything from the USPS.com website: calculate and purchase postage, buy stamps, verify mailing addresses, schedule pickups at your home or office, and even order free priority shipping supplies. (By the way, rates are going up in January.)
- Hasler: Hasler is another company offering postage and metering equipment for low-, medium-, and high-volume shipping. They also have folders, inserters, software, and other products to streamline mailing.
Does your business do a lot of shipping? What are your favorite services, and what shipping tips would you give to new business owners?