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Kurt Ruppel

Kurt Ruppel is Director Postal Policy and Marketing Communications. He educates clients on postal regulations and rates, helps ensure mail packages meet spec, and develops postal strategies that achieve in-home delivery targets at the best possible postage rates. Kurt has brought the “all of us know more than any of us” business philosophy to IWCO for more than 40 years (oy!). He is a three-time IWCO President’s Award winner, former Chairman of the EMA Board of Directors, graduate of Utah State University, gardening enthusiast, and Ohio State Buckeye football fan.

Anyone who has read my past blogs knows IWCO has a long history of helping our clients optimize their postage spend. Now it is even more important to mail smarter and make every dollar count!

Mailing Smarter

As rising postage costs drive marketers to streamline mailing programs and mail more efficiently, our marketing and creative services (MCS) team assists clients with tactics such as refining criteria to target and segment their audience, tailoring messages to be even more personalized and relevant to recipients, and fine-tuning the cadence of mailings.

While all of these tactics help to ensure the right message is delivered to the right person at the right time, increasing response and return on marketing investment (ROMI), they can create challenges for postage optimization. As a result, IWCO offers a variety of customizable optimization tools to address postage increases.

Postage Optimization Tools

We were one of the first to offer commingling for Marketing Mail letters more than 25 years ago. Since then, we have added programs for managing drop shipment and in-home targeting of mail. (Did you know 97% of the Marketing Mail we produce is entered at the destination SCF?) We also fully support walk-sequence carrier route preparation for larger, geographically-targeted mailings. In addition, IWCO takes full advantage of the wealth of data available through Informed Visibility and from our partner GrayHair Software to drive precisely targeted in-home windows, better reporting, and more transparency for your mailing programs.

Over the past eighteen months, we have been busy enhancing our production platform, installing state-of-the-art digital presses and high-speed finishing/inserting lines. Not only does this new equipment accelerate speed from data to delivery for our clients, it also allows us to accommodate more variability in a single mailstream, which means we can combine more offers and lines of business, driving more geographic density and better postal qualification.

Another great way to make the most of your postage spend is to participate in USPS Mailing Promotions. Two of the most popular with our clients are the Tactile/Sensory/Interactive promotion running now through July 31 and the Informed Delivery promotion that starts August 1 and runs through the end of the year. IWCO has streamlined workflows to make it easy for our clients to participate in promotions, which can result in postage savings of up to 5%.

Why Postal Optimization and Logistics are Now More Important than Ever

With the U.S. Postal Service now enacting postage increases twice a year, efficient postal preparation and entry is now more critical than ever. On Monday, the USPS announced a pricing proposal that, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), will take effect on July 9.

Under this proposal, the average rate increase will be 5.4%, but as with most rate changes, the actual increase for any specific rate cell will vary. For example, Marketing Mail automation 5-digit letters entered at the destination SCF will increase 4.8%, while Marketing Mail high-density enhanced carrier route letters entered at SCF will increase 7.8%. One bit of good news is that the USPS is adding a small discount for Marketing Mail letters on SCF pallets. This discount will encourage preparation of mail that  can be more efficiently handled as the USPS realigns its processing network.

IWCO will continue to work with our USPS partners to identify the next opportunities to sort, prepare, and enter mail in ways that add efficiencies to USPS processes, giving our clients more ability to earn postage savings, and creating win-win outcomes.

Reach out to learn how IWCO can Make Better Happen for your marketing campaigns by optimizing postage spend.

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