The Elite Billing and Payment Blog

4 Billing and Payment Takeaways from the Latest USPS Postage Increase

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 @ 11:42 AM

If your business is one of millions that rely on the USPS to deliver bills, account notices, and invoices to customers, then I’ve got good news and bad news.

To get it out of the way, I’ll start with the bad: the USPS is introducing new, across-the-board postage rate hikes – effective immediately.

Yes, again.  The latest round will increase first class letter rates by three cents (from $0.46 to $0.49), and other first class, automated, retail, and nonprofit categories by as much as 12%.

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Tags: Print and Mail, Statement Processing, Statement Printing and Mailing

8 Simple Tips to Reduce Your Direct Mail Costs

Posted by Brian Watson on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 @ 05:18 PM

Direct mail probably won’t end up on many end-of-year lists of the marketing trends to watch in 2014.  And it definitely trails social media, email, and other online marketing technologies in terms of buzz.

But despite the overwhelming popularity of digital marketing channels, tried-and-true direct mail remains one of the most effective tools for marketers to reach – and convert – customers and prospects.

According to the 2012 Response Rate Report from the Direct Marketing Association, consumers are much more likely to respond to a direct mail piece than marketing delivered using other popular digital channels. 

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Tags: Direct Mail, Print and Mail

How to Use the Psychology of Persuasion In Your Direct Mail Marketing

Posted by Brian Watson on Thu, Feb 07, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

You don’t need a PhD in cognitive psychology to create an effective direct mail piece.

As a marketer or small business owner, you probably have a good head start on the stuff that makes great campaigns: a valuable product or service, a good understanding of target markets and buyer personas, sticky messaging, and a solid brand perspective.

But a few research-backed insights probably wouldn’t hurt either. 

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Tags: Direct Mail, Print and Mail

4 Mistakes That Might Be Hurting Your Direct Mail ROI

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 @ 03:57 PM

Stop me it you’ve heard this one before: you worked hard to put together a winning direct mail campaign.  Your list was carefully cultivated, relevant and targeted.  You worked and re-worked your copy, creative and offer until it really spoke to your target audience. 

But the results?  They weren’t quite what you expected.  Maybe the response was lukewarm.  Or the conversions were flat.  Or you lacked the campaign tracking to find out exactly what went wrong.  Whatever the case, your project fell a little bit short of the mark.

Talk about frustrating.  As a marketer myself, trust me: I’ve been there.  And I share your pain.

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Tags: Direct Mail, Print and Mail

4 Reasons Direct Mail Is an Underutilized Marketing Asset

Posted by Brian Watson on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 @ 04:07 PM

As a marketer, you need eyeballs.  Viewing your landing pages.  Watching your ads.  Checking out your email blasts.  Those eyeballs are crucial drivers of contacts and conversions – that keep the pipeline stocked and your reputation around the office sterling.

As a marketer who has bosses, and a budget, and bosses that have budgets, you need ROI.  Investments need to pay off.  Conversion revenue needs to exceed outlays.  And you have to prove it all – day in, day out.

Which means that achieving the ideal marketing mix can sometimes seem like an abnormally high-stakes shell game. 

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Tags: Direct Mail, Print and Mail

Building a Bulletproof Return Mail Program

Posted by Brian Watson on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 @ 02:28 PM

From healthcare to financial services, plenty of companies rely on first class mail to support core business activities. 

Whether it’s delivering monthly investment statements, billing customers for home Internet, or informing patients about a pending insurance claim, statement processing is a central part of how these businesses interact with customers and collect revenue. 

And that’s why undeliverable mail can be such a big, hairy, costly problem.

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Tags: Print and Mail, Statement Printing and Mailing

4 Ways USPS Every Door Direct Mail Can Boost Local Marketing ROI

Posted by Brian Watson on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 @ 12:05 PM

Location, location, location.  For decades, that’s been one of the most trusted (not to mention shopworn) adages in retail marketing.

But this is 2012.  These days, we’re experienced online consumers.  We use Google Shopping to compare prices.  Track down web reviews and ask for advice via our social networks.  And even shop and make purchases using our mobile phones. 

All of which begs the question: what exactly does location have to do with retail and service-based commerce these days?

Well, as it turns out, plenty.  That’s because when it comes to local businesses, most of their business is, well, local.  For example, 85% of a store’s customers live within a five-mile radius, according to a 2010 BizReport study.  And if you’re a small business owner looking to get consumers through your door, that kind of data provides an excellent indication of where you should be dedicating future marketing spend: local, local, local (as in local ads, local search, and local direct response campaigns).

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Tags: Direct Mail, Print and Mail

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