In the world of non-profit direct mail fundraising, we are used to “flying blind” on certain things and having to adapt last minute to ever changing market forces, especially these days! Paper cost increases, labor shortages, and of course the ever-popular Postal Delays; all can have an effect on your annual mailing plans and consequently, donation streams. But one area that you regain some control is through MAIL TRACKING! And sure, most of us are tracking our outgoing mail and making assumptions on when (and how many of) those returns are coming back, why make assumptions when you can TRACK your REPLY MAIL?
There are a few methods for turning on response mail tracking, and each has certain benefits. All will help you establish standard delivery times for mail coming from certain areas of the country, and develop overall response curves for each of your mailing programs.
The use of Reply Mail tracking alleviates many potential issues for your donation revenue predictions, but did you know that it could also help alleviate some changes in the USPS service standards? As you may be aware, the post office recently amended their standards for First Class mail delivery, moving from the previous 1-3 day standard to a new 1-5 day standard. That may sound dire, but in reality there are a couple caveats.
FIRST, it is only the mail that WOULD have been delivering on Day 3 that may be pushed out to as far as 5 days from the mail date, and SECOND, mail tracking over the last few years reveals that the post office was basically mailing First Class unofficially under this standard in a lot of cases anyway.
Either way, there are too many variables these days to continue “flying blind” on your incoming donation revenue streams. Worst case scenario, you can now with full visibility see when to expect potential short falls and even better, potential wind falls! And as always, if Production Solutions can assist in setting up one of these services, just reach out to your PS contact and we’ll get it up and running immediately!