The Inevitability of Rate Increases—And What You Can Do About Them
Here we are again. But there’s hope!
Just a few short months ago, the USPS announced rate increases for its Ground Advantage™ line between 5-8.5%. The new round of rate hikes is set for late January of 2024.
Per a press release last month, “USPS Ground Advantage™ prices would increase by 5.4 percent, Priority Mail® service prices would increase by 5.7%, and Priority Mail Express® service prices would increase by 5.9%.” Not even Post Office Boxes™ are safe, as the USPS is also seeking price adjustments with the Postal Service Board of Governors on these and International and Registered Mail®.
New rates taking effect on January 21, 2024 include a 2¢ increase in Forever® stamps. These will rise from 66¢ to 68¢. Price increases have been approved by the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service®. The proposed new rates would raise mailing services product prices approximately 2% if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
More new rates for the coming year:
- First-Class Mail Letters (metered 1 oz) 64¢
- First-Class Mail Postcards 53¢
- International Postcards and Letters (1 oz) $1.55
The additional-ounce price of single-piece letters and flats remains unchanged at 24¢. For First Class Presorted, letters will increase to 57.1¢ each, cards to 39.8¢ each, and flats (large envelopes and magazines) move to $1.244 per. The new rates for Standard Mail are as follows: Letters will increase to 38.5¢ and flats to $1.006 each. Nonprofit Mail rates remain the lowest, with letters hitting 22.8¢ each and flats to 76.7¢ each.
In the announcement, the USPS states “As inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan. The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world and offers a great shipping value.”
Is Direct Mail Still Worth It?
Certainly! Kingery Printing maintains the return-on-investment for direct mail is virtually unmatched. These unavoidable increases should be budgeted for and ultimately, the bottom line for advertisers is not hurt badly enough to look elsewhere. A good mail list, a sound marketing funnel, and skilled design and sales teams will continue to make this facet of print work in your company’s favor.
At the end of the day, the dollars have to make sense, and KPC is vigilant in adding cost-saving techniques and advances that do not mean cutting corners on the quality nor the service our customers have come to expect after a half century. As evidence, we are upgrading our metering equipment to gain discounts for customers on their priority mail. The new postage meter allows us to provide commercial rates instead of retail rates, resulting in a savings of $1 and even up to $3 depending on the destination.
The USPS is offering a series of special discounts wherein mailers can grab between 3-6% in discounts. To take advantage, it will take getting creative with print marketing. Advertisers can add in special visual effects, texture/tactile coatings, or even dimensional aspects. Mailings can also be eligible for discounts by using the latest in printing technology. Retargeting, barcodes, QR codes, and Informed Delivery® will all garner discounts. A very simple savings can be earned just by adding color ink to the regular bills and notifications a business sends out! For the dates various discounts are available and for specific details on each, please contact Kingery Printing today.