Reducing the cost of communicating with your clients
There are myriad ways to communicate with your audience; whilst the use of digital transmissions continues to increase with companies sending invoices electronically, scanning and storing correspondence in document management systems, many clients would rather receive their communications by post.
Organisations can use a variety of methods to communicate with clients from tweets to webinars, texts to emails, face-to-face meetings and post; the method is usually driven by the clients’ preference and output management solutions that manage multi-channel communications enable businesses to reduce their overheads by substituting hard copy for digital. A paper bill can cost over 65p for an SME to issue and it makes sense to establish how your customers wish to be contacted and derive considerable savings.
Up to 50% of organisations print documents so that they can be signed individually and then it is still emailed to the client. Have you considered a digital signature solution? And other businesses print out hard copies simply for the purpose of filing them for their records which uses valuable office space and increases the risk of human area versus a document management system.
But there is still demand for paper communications and savings can be achieved by improving processes and increasing productivity.
Sending documents with incomplete, inaccurate or duplicated addresses, wastes postage, paper and materials. It could also disqualify you from postal discounts offered by the Royal Mail. There are a number of tools to help you keep your database up-to-date and compliant with Royal Mail’s “postal address files”, such as online address cleaning solutions and address validation, deduplication of contact lists and the use of a franking machine to print a return address on envelopes so that the Royal Mail can return post that is undeliverable.
Mail is still a vital part of the communications mix and, whilst it is less cost-effective than digital communications, there are opportunities for keeping costs to a minimum.
Franking is convenient and economical. A second-class stamp costs more than it does to send a letter by first class metered mail and you can save 33% on second class postage. Businesses should avoid sending “large” letters wherever possible as they can save up to 75% by folding them into a DL or C5 envelope. If you do need to send “large” letters though, a franking machine will save you up to 18%. Queues at the Post Office and over|under-stamping can also be avoided.
If you are an existing franking machine user, you can reduce your costs further by upgrading to a device that supports Mailmark ® and helps the Royal Mail to speed up mail processing, a saving that can be passed onto the customer. Bulk mailings will attract additional discounts providing they are printed with OCR-readable fonts, postcode and delivery point.
If you are relying on manual processes to produce mailings or handle incoming mail, have you considered offsetting the labour costs with productive equipment such as an envelope opener, an envelope inserter or a sorter? An automatic folder-inserter can insert letters and prepare envelopes for mailing up to 13 times faster than by hand and will alert the user to mistakes in the processing.
frankingmachine.co.uk can help you select the best tools for managing communications within your organisations from franking machines, folders and sorters to document management and tracking software and complementary services such as finance, service and support.