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Getting the best stamp discount for business post can be a minefield.  Mailing houses all offer some form of stamp discounting for business post.  This presents a day one saving to your business when switching over to their service – something that’s understandably attractive.  But if you’re really searching for the best discount on your business post you need to look at little further…

How much is the best stamp discount for business post?

Let’s give some context to the potential savings from stamp discounts.  The Royal Mail stamp value of a 2nd class Frank rate is 41p, and a downstream access provider will discount around 5p off this, to 36p per stamp.  That’s a saving of 5p per item, forever.  Evaluating this over say 10,000 posted items each month gives an ongoing saving of £500 per month.

Another way to achieve a similar business saving is to convert a percentage of posted items into electronic documents – where there is no cost for their distribution.  To match this example, you would need to convert 1,351 documents to an electronic distribution model.  That’s 13.5% of the 10,000 monthly distribution.

The question you should be asking then is whether a 13.5% conversion to electronic distribution is a realistic figure.  There’s some good news here.  At Netsend we achieve an average conversion of 82% within 3 to 9 months.  So that’s a saving of £3,034 per month on the example given.

So the best stamp discount for business post is actually more than 80% – equivalent to buying stamps for less than 7p!

It’s not just the cost of stamps for business

Okay, so there are some additional costs to consider in the set up and management of electronic document distribution, but there are also additional costs in the printing, folding and envelope stuffing of traditional postage.

If we take a critical view of what’s involved in moving customers over to receive electronic documents, it’s clear that there are a few steps involved.  Each has associated costs, but these can be offset against the saving in both stamp costs and printing/postage process equipment, maintenance and staff time.  Let’s evaluate the main components.

An Electronic Document Distribution System

This is the engine that enables you to send documents electronically.  Think very carefully about how you invest in this.  There are many off-the-shelf solutions that can be tailored to varying degrees for your business needs.  It’s important that you select one that is flexible enough to support your current needs and potential requirements in the future.  Also consider how this will work alongside your need to support a percentage of documents that still have to be printed and posted.  Here’s a handy guide to evaluating document distribution systems – from determining the value and saving for your business, to ensuring you are future-proof and your investment provides long-term returns.

Whilst investing in an off-the-shelf solution may seem like an unpleasant initial outlay to be off-set against savings over time, it’s worth considering the option of shifting this capital expenditure into operational expenditure with a SaaS, or outsourced solution such as Netsend.  Outsourcing presents the fastest way to get up and running, and requires the least initial outlay for the fastest return on investment.

The alternative route of creating an electronic document distribution system in house can actually become more costly than the potential savings, as well as missing out on many of the nuances of established solutions.  It’s wise to carefully evaluate the reasons why you might want to consider developing a solution in-house, and the risks vs. benefits this presents.

Migration of customers to electronic format

In order to maximise savings on business postage, you need to encourage as many customers as possible to accept documents in an electronic format.  The best way to do this is to work with a solution partner who can help you migrate customers, using proven techniques that they can demonstrate the success of.  Talk to potential solution partners about their conversion rate to electronic format, and look for case studies or testimonials to better understand what is involved in this process.

The faster customers are moved over to electronic documents, the more quickly you will experience the return on investment in electronic document distribution.  Within 3 to 6 months, the savings should be far beyond the very best stamp discount for business post.

 

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