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The Guide to Postal Optimisation in a Digital World

While print and mail is a highly effective customer communications channel, it’s how strategically you employ it that matters. Postal optimisation is about delivering the best service to your customers at the lowest cost, delivering operational efficiencies and improving customer experience.

But how do you do it well?

This guide will take you through the common misconceptions, demystifying the jargon, exploring the different ways to reduce costs and offer our tips on finding the right print and mail suppliers, or even asking your current supplier the right questions for your requirements.

You’ll also be able to run your own postal audit with our free template that will help you ask the questions that reveal how much you could save by optimising your postal spend.

Print and mail resources

As you read through this guide there will be links to our other articles that go into each subject with greater depth. We’ve compiled them all here too:

Find out how Adare SEC services can help you optimise your postal operations with our Print Solutions.

View print as a key part of your multi channel strategy

The digital world we live in can sometimes be misconstrued as a digital-only communications environment that exists solely online or on our devices. 

While 94% of UK households are connected to the internet, with people spending an average of 4 hours per day online, according to Ofcom. 

But because paper-based customer communications still enjoy a 99% engagement rate, are trusted by 71% of customers and deliver a commercial action 43% of the time,¹ physical mail remains one of the most effective tools in your multi channel customer communications toolbox.

Making use of all the physical and digital channels available to you means you can reach your customers and elicit responses using the most appropriate tool for the job. Choosing the right mix will improve your customer experience and customer retention, whether it’s due to customer preference, or because it will optimise your CCM and save you money in the process.

While digital experiences are ideal for instant two-way communications between your business and your customers (for example, completing a form online and asking quick questions), physical mail is better for starting the relationship (for example, welcome packs and policy documents) because it grabs attention and is trusted because it feels more “real”.

Studies have shown that customer open and response rates are far higher than email or social media. According to Marketreach, it is 49% more memorable than email and 35% more memorable than social media. It is also 33% more engaging than email and 35% more than social media.

To dig deeper into how print optimises your channel mix, read the full article: Why Print and Mail is Critical to Multichannel Customer Communications Management.

How postal optimisation saves you money

The number one reason for businesses to optimise their postal operations is, of course, minimising costs while retaining a high service. There are many parts of the postal journey that can be scrutinised to find savings. Strategies to reduce size and weight are a quick win to reducing postage costs. 

Conducting an audit of your postal operations will show you where you are overspending and where there are opportunities to improve efficiency. Download our postal audit template to see what questions to ask of your operations.

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Composing your documents following best practice so that they influence the action you want customers to take will save on back office time and prevent the need to resend documents that have been ignored or forgotten about.

By looking critically at postage tariffs and sorting your documents into those that have different time pressures, you can save on unnecessary spend. For example, Royal Mail has different products depending on the urgency of your mail.

Read the full article: Royal Mail Prices 2023: 6 Tips to Unlocking Discounts for more detail on exactly how postal optimisation can save your business money.

Understanding the postal industry

What are public sector frameworks for procurement? What is the difference between national and zonal access pricing?

In your research for a postal optimisation, you may have come across terminology  like CDA (customer direct agreement) and DSA (downstream access). They all play a part in making your postal operations flow better and cost less.

But if you don’t immediately recognise these terms, then never fear. We’ve put together a comprehensive glossary that explains the jargon that we work with on a daily basis with our postal partners.

Read the full article: A Glossary of Print and Postal Terms for UK Businesses.

How to find the right supplier

There are many good reasons to work with a print and mail vendor (like ourselves!) to take on the responsibility of your postal operations.

The reality is that we all offer similar services, so it can be hard to decide who to go with. It can be helpful to know what’s not automatically put on the tender. 

How exactly do they get you these discounts? How do they ensure business continuity in times of crisis? And how do they ensure the sustainability of your relationship by keeping costs stable?

A supplier that has long experience in your sector will spot optimisation opportunities that others won’t. A supplier that has a close relationship with Royal Mail will be able to advise you on postage changes in advance, and influence policy in your interest. And a supplier with multi channel expertise will be able to bring in digital channels where necessary.

Looking past the simple tender questions, you can find a supplier that suits you.

Read the full article: 6 Tips to Finding the Right Print and Mail Supplier.


¹ Marketreach Customer Mail https://www.marketreach.co.uk/using-customer-mail