Streamline postal production with workshare transparency
Truman Pope, VP, mail operations, Specialty Print Communications
Postage is typically the largest expense of a direct mail campaign, ranging from 30% to 70% of the total investment. Shouldn't mail owners know what they're paying for?
Unfortunately, too many in our industry don't take the time to explain the workshare process of the U.S. Postal Service to marketers. As mail owners become more sophisticated, breaking down the process to its core shouldn't be that difficult. At a high level, it could be explained this way:
Participating in the workshare process allows marketers to leverage privatized transportation systems to bypass many of the USPS delivery steps that transport mail from point A to point B. Workshare delivers mail closer to its final destination, making in-home windows more predictable. The USPS rewards workshare in the form of discounts.
Typically, a successful effort can yield cost savings of 3.4 cents per piece. For 10 million mail pieces, that's $340,000. By accessing privatized operational efficiencies, aggregating mail for greater volume discounts and inserting mail deeper into the postal stream, marketers can realize significant benefits and advantages.
Sharing this level of detail may seem like an overload of information for a marketer. However, this honest approach can lead to a more collaborative working relationship. It also establishes a common language with mail owners. The USPS system is littered with a unique vocabulary. If we use a common language and understand each other, we can achieve better solutions more efficiently.
An educated mail owner is better suited to understand and resolve delivery issues. They focus on in-home delivery rather than drop dates. In a customer survey that we conducted, honesty was determined to be one of the most important factors in selecting a vendor-partner. Transparency in this matter amounts to integrity, the foundation of mutually beneficial relationships that lead to positive word of mouth and referrals. Workshare education and transparency levels the playing field
Keeping workshare details close to the vest may make life easier in the short term and allow for some financial gain. However, a long-term and transparent approach leads to problem resolution and enhanced company reputation. Bringing transparency to the workshare process isn't just the right thing to do — it can also help streamline production and make direct mail more effective.