USA - CIRCA 1987 5 cents postage stamp:  David ( Davy) Crockett Do you remember when a letter cost 5 cents to mail? It was way back in 1963. (This 5 cent stamp issued CIRCA 1987.)
Back on Monday, April 17th the U.S. Postal service increased some postage fees, and that has many of us sign business owners cringing. From sending out newsletters, to coupons, and even simple business correspondence, we all budget a certain amount to spend on postage, and these changes could end up costing your sign making business. Businesses that send out packages could be hit the hardest, as the base rates changes from 4.90 to 5.10. The first class stamp price remains at 44 cents. That rate was set in 2009. Each additional ounce (or half ounce for 3.5 ounce letters) will cost an extra $0.20 (previously $0.17). Here are some other changes:
  • Postcard rates will be $0.29 (previously $.28).
  • Parcel Post rates will start at $5.10 (previously at $4.90).
  • Media Mail rates will start at $2.41 (previously at $2.38).

In order to combat the increases, the USPS has created a new Forever Stamp back in 2009, which now costs 44 cents and will be able to be used in the future for any one-ounce letter mailing without any additional postage, despite any future increases. If your business does a lot of mailing of normal size letters, purchasing the Forever Stamp may be a good solution to save your business from additional price hikes in the future. If nothing else, it is extremely convenient.

The purpose of changing the pricing scheme to match the size and shape of the mail being sent is in order to "encourage more efficient mail preparation and then passing the savings on to the customers," says Dave Partenheimer, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service. Business owners stand to benefit if they can reduce the size of their mail so that it fits into smaller size envelopes. For instance, if you regularly send out forms unfolded in larger envelopes, try folding them so they fit into a standard envelope. Doing so can save you 39 cents per piece of mail. Small packages that can be converted into larger envelopes can result in a savings of 33 cents.

Of course, the easiest way to avoid having to alter your budget for the increased postal rates is by simply shying away from snail mail altogether. Can your business convert traditional marketing tactics to online marketing? Using a service such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, which provides easy to use e-mail templates may be an excellent solution for your small business. Other solutions include using an online postage provider, such as a new service called FlyDoc which delivers physical mail, faxes and e-mails for you at the click of button.

There are a variety of ways your business can adapt so as not to be hit too hard by the increased postage costs, whether it be by changing the shape of your mailing or changing the way you handle mail entirely.