3 Tips for Using Business Reply Mail

December 23, 2009

While a website or a toll free telephone number are both excellent channels for receiving response to direct mail, a mail response card can also add a lift to your response. That's because many people find it easy to reply via the channel the marketing effort arrived in. One way to encourage recipients to reply via mail is to included a business reply mail, postage-paid response postcard.

Using business reply mail makes it easy for customers to drop their response card in the mail without worrying about postage and the mailer only has to pay for those responses that are returned. Here are some tips and resources for planning a direct-mail campaign with a business reply mail or postage-paid response card: 1. Budget for rates and fees To qualify for business reply mail, businesses must first fill out an application and pay a $185 fee for regular reply mail volume of less than 890 responses per year, which should fit with most small businesses. There is also a per-piece charge, which varies according to the format of the reply mail. Customers can pay for business reply mail with a credit card or by setting up a pre-paid account with the post office. 2. Become chums with your local postal representative For some zipcodes the US Postal Service will accept online applications for business reply mail, but many post offices still require you to meet with a local postal representative or mailpiece design analyst (MDA) who can walk you through the application and mailpiece design process. Starting a relationship with the local post office workers can be valuable as these folks have the know-how and resources to help you save money and win more business. 3. Plan for fulfillment When you send out a campaign you can expect business reply mail returns to start arriving a few days afterwards in your daily mail delivery. If a customer or sales lead fills out a form and drops it in the mail, depending on how wide your mailing radius is, that response could be two to five days old by the time it reaches your office. So you'll want to have a game plan in place for dealing with business reply responses in a timely manner. For more information on business reply mail check out these resources:

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