In many ways, formulating a postal strategy is like gourmet cooking. It demands the right mix of ingredients and a skilled chef to develop a menu perfectly suited to the needs and desires of the guests.
At IWCO Direct, our postal optimization strategy is one of most important ways we do direct marketing like no one else. Just as a gourmet dish is a complex combination of subtle flavors, a sound postal strategy includes much more than just reducing postage. It’s about finding the right combination of tools to lower postage costs, provide more predictable in-home delivery dates and help increase response rates to achieve your marketing goals.
One of the best postal optimization ingredients we have in our pantry is commingling. IWCO Direct helped pioneer commingling and we’ve been continuously improving upon it since 1995. Here is some helpful background on what commingling is and why you should ask your direct mail partners about their commingling capabilities for your next direct mail campaign:
What is Commingling?
Commingling is the process of merging multiple mailstreams at the piece level into common mail trays. Don’t confuse commingling with a similar term, co-palletization. Effective commingling is more than just combining mail for common destinations on common pallets; it’s placing mail from different mail streams into common mail trays to capture enhanced postal presort savings through improved tier qualification.
What are the Benefits of Commingling?
It provides lower postage costs through improved presort qualification. It also results in enhanced logistics planning by aggregating mail to common destinations and more full trays. This results in better use of transportation resources, enhanced destination entry rates and better control of in-home dates.
Why Does Commingling Work?
The USPS requires a minimum of 150 pieces per ZIP code or 5 Digit Scheme to achieve 5-digit discount rates. Many direct mail campaigns use highly targeted offers, which are proven to increase response rates but also reduce the percentage of mail qualifying for 5-digit discounts. By combining your mail with other mailings, commingling improves the chance for ZIP codes to attain the 150-piece threshold and qualify for the five-digit discount rates.
At IWCO Direct, we’re always looking to improve our postal optimization strategy to help our customers achieve their marketing goals. In fact, we might be adding a few new recipes later this year.
Marketing Services Manager
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