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  • Jessica Rael-Brook

6 ways to make direct mail more cost-effective

In the age of digital advertising overload, direct mail has proven to be one of the hardest working and most profitable channels, not only for our financial services and direct-to-consumer clients, but also for our tech and B2B SaaS clients. With the right targeting, offer, and creative, you can see a huge return from this traditional offline channel.

The biggest hurdle: The cost of paper and postage rose beginning in 2021 due to the pandemic and supply chain issues.

The good news: The paper industry is stabilizing, and we've seen costs decreasing this year compared to 2021-2022.

The better news: The USPS has announced several opportunities to save on postage—between 3% and 6%— in 2023 when you add interactivity, automation, and other innovation to your offline initiatives.

This will not only save you on direct mail costs, but it will incentivize you and your team to optimize and test new innovative tactics.

Here is the final list of 2023 USPS Marketing Mail Promotions and Incentives, and examples of what you could roll out to qualify:

Tactile, Sensory and Interactive [Feb 1 - July 31]

This promotion encourages mailers to bring excitement to their pieces with innovative features like special visual effects, pop-ups, creative folds, textures, and more.

Something as simple as a tip-on card will qualify for a 5% discount, but you can get creative with self-mailers, gifting, or inserts.

Personalized Color Transpromo [Feb 1 - July 31]

If you send physical bills or statements, this promo is for you. Add a marketing promo to the bill highlighted in color or use personalization, and you'll save up to 4% on postage. If you include a Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) or Business Reply Mail (BRM), you can save even more.

Emerging Technology [May 1 - Nov 30]

QR codes, virtual reality, and videos have brought exciting digital enhancements to direct mail. Use a technology like this and save up to 4% on postage.

Reply Mail IMbA [July 1 - Dec 31]

Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting (IMbA) is the new automated solution from USPS for counting, rating, invoicing, and billing for Business Reply Mail (BRM). Add the barcode to your BRM and receive up to 6% discount on postage.

Informed Delivery [Aug 1 - Dec 31]

Informed Delivery allows eligible consumers to receive a digital preview, via email, of their household mail on its way. We've seen this improve response rates with a digital CTA, and now the USPS is offering a 4% discount on postage when you enroll your mailer in Informed Delivery.

While this is technically a B2C-only incentive, we've gained approval for an SMB-targeted B2B program, as a portion of our list includes residential addresses.

Retargeting [Sept 1 - Nov 30]

DM retargeting cuts through the digital clutter by automatically physically mailing your non-converters. Whether it's a website visitor, app download, or form abandonment, a reverse IP lookup can lead to a physical address. Send a low-cost postcard, and the USPS will give you a 5% discount on first-class postage.

Here's a look at the full 2023 Promotions Calendar:

The experts at Pragmatic have years’ experience building and scaling direct mail programs for clients in industries like financial services, B2B tech and SaaS, energy, direct-to-consumer and more. From strategy and creative to production management and analytics, we can help you build, optimize or take advantage of a USPS promo for your DM program.

Contact us to learn more today!


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