Post-Presort Mail: Software & Technology Requirements
Post-presort software offers direct marketers postage discounts and greater flexibility in their mailing schedules.
February 24, 2014
After delving into the business benefits of post-presort in a webinar with Satori Software’s Joe Bailey, we bring to you the top 5 reasons YOU should care that your mail service provider (MSP) uses post-presort software. (Spoiler alert! You’ll save money on postage!)
Quick Clarification: Presort & Post-Presort
What is Presort Mail?
Presort mail helps businesses handle and manage shipping fees in the most affordable ways. Presort Mail is basically bulk mail that has been sorted based on several factors like mail class, dimensions of the package, and the package weight. As mentioned, all these are done so that third-party mailers can avail special discounts from USPS.
But how big is the discount? As postage rates change yearly, it can be difficult to pin down a specific figure, but here’s one to illustrate how sorting is crucial for businesses who are looking into significantly reducing their mailing costs.
What are the types of Presorted Mail?
There are two types of presorted mailing services: Presorted Standard Mail and Presorted First Class Mail.
Presorted Standard Mail is also known as Bulk Mail. In order to qualify as PSM, at least 200 items need to be shipped. Since it's cheaper than Presorted First Class Mail, there is no fixed delivery time, nor is there a priority service. PSM usually gets delivered between 1 and 14 business days.
On the other hand, Presorted First Class Mail are also bulk items but are to be delivered within a specific time frame. Moreover, this usually entails proper documentation, including invoices, bank statements, confidential documents, checks, etc. To qualify as First-class mail, you must ship at least 500 items.
How much can you save with Presort Mail?
For online stores that do bulk shipment to subscribers or premium members, the USPS presort rates per ounce for a standard mail presort would be almost half that of normal shipping rates in this instance. That’s a huge amount of savings. For instance, if USPS charges US $0.44 per ounce; you would be charged US $0.25 per ounce after presort. That means for a package that weighs 3 oz, you’ll need to pay just US $0.78 instead of the usual US $1.32.
This is why every marketing professional should care about Presort Mail, otherwise you would be missing out on an immense cost-cutting opportunity.
What is Post Presort Software?
As the name implies, post presort software does just what it sounds like it does—presorts the addresses on your mailing list. It organizes a comprehensive postage statement with details on exactly how many mailpieces qualify for which postage rates, along with performing a number of address hygiene and standardization procedures. Post Presort solutions makes USPS’s work easier, so they reward mailers who presort with lower postage rates!
How Post Presort Software helps Businesses?
Presort software in several ways help in-house or third-party mailing teams handle bulk direct mailings better before handing them off to the post office. They perform a number of processes, including automated data cleaning to make sure that all physical addresses are verified, zero duplicate mailings happen, and address labels are standardized. Using powerful algorithms, these software can catch the smallest details such as nicknames, initials, and abbreviations that could otherwise be difficult for workers to avoid redundancies and other discrepancies.
Once the presort is finished, some changes to the mailing can only be made by completely re-running the presort, and some changes cannot be made at all. If you’ve ever been involved in planning a mailing, you know firsthand all the moving variables that go into it. USPS changes entry points, rates and requirements on the fly, which is why marketers need to be able to change aspects of their mailings to keep up.
Thus we have post-presort software. Post-presort allows for updates in piece weight, thickness, entry point, and lots more after the presort process for maximum flexibility in mail production.
Benefits of Post Presort Mail Software
1. Avoid paying for spoilage or mail pieces that did not get mailed.
A small percentage of mail can be damaged due to the fast pace and automation in mail production. Likewise, certain mailpieces may need to be pulled for reasons such as running out of inserts or postage.
This is exactly why post-presort solutions were designed; once the mailing is finalized, MSPs can remove the spoilage and the pieces that were not mailed from the data file before generating the postage statements and documentation for USPS. That way you don’t have to pay for mail that never made it to the mail stream.
2. Manage mailing dates around USPS’s many rate changes.
Say USPS announces a rate change effective tomorrow. You’re in the middle of a mailing, some pieces have already gone out, and are scheduled to go out the following day. Post-presort software gives MSPs the flexibility to amend the postage according to the rate change in the middle of that mailing.
We have our own success story of saving thousands on postage by strategically mailing around postage rate changes. Read about it here >>
3. Make last minute changes to your mailing schedule.
Yes, the postage savings aspect of post-presort is enticing. But if you’re an indecisive marketer or your leadership tends to be indecisive, the fact that you can make changes to your mail up to the point that it is delivered to the post office is equally significant.
(We’ve literally chased down Compu-Mail trucks before to pull a letter or two from being mailed. We’d prefer NOT to do that again, but say we had to – post-presort makes it possible.)
4. Qualify for mail-merge and dropshipping discounts.
Merging multiple mailings onto a single mail pallet incurs postage discounts. To combine jobs in this way, a MSP must merge mailings that have already been separately presorted, therefore requiring post-presort capabilities.
Taking the postage savings a step further, MSPs can tactically plan entry points with post-presort, a logistic management technique known as dropshipping. Essentially, logistics crews can evaluate if the postage savings from dropping a mailing closer to its end destination outweigh the cost of transportation to get it there. Get more detail about dropshipping here >>
5. Better track a mailing’s in-home time.
With dropshipping specifically, mailers can have ultimate control over the delivery window of a mailing. But with Full Service Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) technology soon to be mandatory for the industry, marketers will be able to track their mail from entry at the post office to the moment it hits mailboxes. This is especially valuable to businesses staffing call centers according to the time their letters hit homes.
- Businesses that go the extra mile and presort their mail enjoy several advantages, the number one being that presort mail costs less. Since you're doing some of the post office’s tasks for them, third-party mailers enjoy significant discounts on their postage rates.
- Another great perk of presort mail is it gets processed faster since mailing addresses and other pertinent details are sorted by bulk beforehand.
- Since presorting streamlines the mailing process, customers tend to get their mail faster, which in turn results in better response rates. This is a proven fact since clients and customers that receive their invoices, statements, and bills regularly and quickly are more likely to pay faster.
Is direct mail automation for Presort Mail the right call for your business?
Mounting a direct mail marketing campaign can be quite tedious, so any form of automation should come as a sigh of relief. Writing copies, designing the mail, plus collecting and checking addresses already represent a lot of work, which is why businesses should look into direct mail automation for Presort Mail. All these mailing processes can be streamlined by a powerful Presort Software, while direct mail automation allows marketers to digitize the tracking and targeting of campaigns.
What is presorted first class mail?
First Class Presort requires sorting mail to the finest extent based on USPS standards. Doing so can be downright expensive but it does result in even more significant savings on postage.
What is USPS 5 digit presort?
These are numbers used for presort levels, a unique 5-digit ZIP code which denotes the delivery address. A minimum of 150 mail pieces should be sent the same five-digit ZIP code to qualify for the lowest level of postage.
Does presorted mail need a stamp?
Presort mails require what we call precanceled stamps. These are special stamps that come in small denominations and are specifically for Presorted First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail mailings. These stamps are applied to envelopes at a lower postage price (at the present rate, around 15 cents).
How long does presorted standard mail take to deliver?
There is no priority service for presorted mail so there is no fixed delivery time. The estimated delivery time is between 1 and 14 business days.
What is the difference between first class and presort?
The main differences between First Class and Standard mail are, aside from the price, the speed of delivery, and options for mail forwarding and returned mail with outdated addresses. Since presorted First-Class mail cost less than the price of a regular postage stamp, they tend to have a lesser leeway in terms of services that they can avail.
Does mail get sorted at the local post office?
Letters that arrive at the local distribution are sent through a sorting machine that sorts by actual carrier route within the city. They are prearranged in what’s known as walk order, the order in which the carrier is going to walk the route.
Doing post-presort allows increased flexibility and improved control across your mailing operations. By fully analysing entry points and standardising everything from addresses down to paper weight, mailers can enjoy lower postage rates and other discounts.
Listen to our very own Michael Vitch and Rich Baker discuss how Satori’s post-presort software has given our clients flexibility in their projects and saved thousands on postage: