Bulk Mail Tips – 2 Ways to Save on Direct Mailings

When trying to save on postage for your direct mail campaigns, you run into a dizzying array of potential bulk mail discounts. Let me simplify the process for you by telling you there are basically two ways to save.

Bulk mail, as defined by the United States Postal Service, is “quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates.” The key word here is “prepared,” because essentially you do part of the work for the USPS, and in return they give you a break on postage.

Here are 2 ways to save:

1. Use a Mail House

Usually I would put this option second, but the process of preparing bulk mail is so convoluted, I think it needs to go first.

There are many guidelines to follow and requirements to meet before your mailing qualifies for discounts. For a majority of businesses, the easiest way to save is to go through a registered mail house with trained professionals.Finding a direct mail firm that offers mailing services is ideal for small businesses. You get the discount without jumping through the hoops.

2. Go Your Own Way

If you are really going to do this, understand it will take several hours to get the work done depending on how many pieces you intend to mail. You may need a staff member that doesn’t have very many other duties to help. Or you can get your whole crew to stay late and have a bulk mail preparation party! To qualify for Standard Class, the most common bulk mail option, all of your pieces must be essentially identical. The discount for Standard Class can be pretty darn good – sometimes up to $0.20 off standard postage – but you pay the price with the work it takes to get the mailing prepared.

To qualify for Standard Class, your mailing must be:

· At least 200 pieces or 50 lbs.

· Less than 16 oz.

· Marked with your registered bulk mail indicia (If you register through your local post office and pay the fee, you can get one.)

· Pre-sorted according to USPS standards and the exact 9 digit ZIP code

So there you go. If you really want to tackle bulk mail on your own – you can do it! But remember, the easiest way to save is through a direct mail company that can mail for you.Make sure your mail house of choice passes the postage savings on to you, because some companies keep it for themselves!

Effective Marketing in 2011 – Direct Mail Vs Email Marketing

Reaching out to maximum customers in the shortest possible time is the basis of marketing. Direct mail marketing for your business is the age-old strategy of promoting your products and services by mailing newsletters, printed ads, catalogs, letters and other business mails to the targeted market. Over the time as technology developed, and internet came to the fore, the marketing strategies also took a complete turn. Enabling instant communication to a vast number of individuals, email marketing was seen as the new revolution in the marketing world.The traditional form of direct mail marketing for your business including collecting customer addresses, preparing advertisement leaflets, applying postage and mailing them, all took a backseat. Instead email marketing with its extremely low operation cost, instant gratification and the ability to connect with a large number of consumers at the same time emerged as a far more preferable alternative. Thus, leaving the traditional marketing style of physically posting newsletters, direct mail marketing for your business took the form of sending advertising communication through emails. With information being sent from one corner of the world to another within seconds, the speed of the new system was its biggest advantage. Email marketing allowed entrepreneurs to reach out to consumers with personalized and dynamic messages. Advertisers too could connect with email subscribers who had opted-in to receive email communication from them. But as with any overused system, flaws emerged in email marketing too.The biggest problem associated with email marketing is the possibility of being viewed as spam emails. Everyday internet users receive a large number of unsolicited emails posing as genuine business communication. The increasing number of spam emails has led to the development of stronger spam filters, spam laws and users being more cautious about the mails they receive. Emails with subject line resembling spam emails are now automatically sent to the spam folder or are deleted without even opening, which ultimately costs the marketer.With the development of newer applications like blogging, article writing, affiliate marketing and social networking, the dimensions of online marketing are undergoing further change. However, email marketing still occupies a major position in the marketing world. The latest trend is to combine the positive aspects of both traditional marketing and online marketing to create a form of blended marketing.With this type of marketing strategy email marketing can be combined with direct mail marketing for your business to achieve greater results. Emails can be used to introduce an advertising campaign which would create awareness among the customers about your product or service, which can then be followed up by direct mails. Alternatively, a direct mail campaign can also be followed up by emails containing purchase links which would enable the customers to land up directly on the shopping page. Hence, despite certain disadvantages, email marketing continues to be an effective form of marketing.

Expense Report Processing Software – What to Expect?

Expense report software is used by many organizations, both private and public, to maintain accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive expense accounts. Such accounts include travel costs, sales and expense, and the administrative expenses related to the business operations. These software packages are designed to make the tasks associated with expense management easy and effective. There are two types of software available: web based and desktop. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Web based expense reports software includes a single centralized location that provides a number of different user profiles. This allows for the creation of expense reports within differentdepartments at a time, without requiring additional deployment of staff to create each department’s report. This also means that the company can increase productivity as departments expand. A typical package includes territory management software, the POS system, the ability to export data, and the ability to integrate the reports with other systems, such as those for payroll and accounting.

Desktop software requires minimal setup, and is typically installed on the user’s computer. It then provides log in access to an accounting system that allows the user to create custom expense reports, to enter relevant information, and to print the data. The main disadvantage of this type of program is that it does not provide the ability to share information between departments or to examine past transactions. Desktop software is typically only suitable for large companies, since it may not be useful to small business that normally do all of their own invoicing.

To use expense report software effectively, the user should be able to describe the types of information needed. The sample input fields are described next. These allow the user to select the account that needs to be entered, the number of business units to include in the transaction, the employee that will be billed for the service, the date the transaction occurs, the amount of money to be charged, and the customer that is being billed for the service. Additional information can also be entered if needed by the representative.

Most electronic billing systems include an electronic claims entry feature, which enables the client to electronically assign expenses to designated vendors, and to track the status of their claims. Electronic claims also make it easier to manage recurring transactions. The next section of the expense report describes the actual expense data. This includes the date and dollar amount for each transaction, and includes the service code associated with the service that was contracted for. The following line provides the invoice number of the contract that was originally given, the service code for the service that was contracted for, and the service description that pertains to the services that were contracted for.

After describing the different types of information, the final line item is the actual dollar amount associated with each transaction. Most fields will list the items in the expense account by vendor name, service code, or service description. There will also be one to three lines for the actual dollar value. If there is a tie between the amount of the total charges incurred and the dollar amount of the original contract, a word box must be included here. The final line item in an expense report is the chargeback status, which is indicated by an asterisk in case the field has been paid but the invoice is still being delivered.