Hall of Shame #2: Why creative folks should consult with postal folks

Last night I flipped through my mail to find an “Invitation” to a special event at a fancy shoe store on Madison Ave.  Okay, my wife received it, but I opened it…

Looks like a special invitation.  I feel special now...

Looks like a special invitation. I feel special now...

Error #1 – The fancy 6 x 8 linen envelope weighed in at 2.1 ounces. With a slightly lighter card stock, the mail piece would have weighed less than 2 ounces, and saving $0.17 in postage.

Ridged letter sized mail = USPS parcel.  $0.78 postage premium.  Oops.

Rigid letter sized mail = USPS parcel. $0.78 postage premium. Oops.

Error #2 – The card stock was in fact so heavy, it made the envelope rigid.  The USPS requires that mail pieces be flexible.  If not, the mail piece is classified as a parcel, no matter the size or weight.  The USPS rate for parcels is $0.78 greater than that of flats.  That hurts.

$2.00 for postage! That makes an already pricey campaign that much more expensive.

$2.00 for postage! That makes an already pricey campaign that much more expensive.

Error #3 – To make maters worse, they simply put too much postage on the envelope!  If this mailing was in fact a parcel at 2.1 ounces, the postage should have been $1.56, not $2 as posted.  The USPS certainly appreciates the $0.44 charitable contribution.

Invite and envelope.All told, the mailing is quite catchy, but the postal errors add up fast.   With a slightly lighter weight card stock, this mailing should have been sent as a 2.0 ounce letter for $0.61.  A $1.39 savings.  That’s $1390 savings for every 1000 cards sent.

And here I thought companies were trying to stretch their marketing dollars to the limit.

by Bob Makofsky bmakofsky@conformer.com

About Bob Makofsky

Bob runs operations and marketing and is Conformer’s resident postal expert. Bob has over a dozen years of entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry, in both marketing and business development roles ranging from negotiating $100 million-plus contracts nationally and abroad to developing marketing campaigns. He is regularly featured in print and packaging trade magazines on innovation. Bob is a competitive cyclist and longtime member of the Century Road Club Association in Central Park, competing in the Empire State Games (2007, 2008). Bob graduated from the University of Denver.
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