It’s one of the biggest factors in any mail plan. It can determine how many promotions you mail or how often. It can even dictate the look of your mail piece.

But do you let price dictate where you mail from? It’s always worth considering.

For example,

maybe you can inject your mail in Canada and mail to the US for some savings. With the Canadian dollar at a 4-year low vs. the US dollar, many US mailers are looking north of the border to save money. Many companies even offer pickup services to make it easy to mail out of another country.

However, if you’re an international mailer, does it matter where you lodge your mail? Yes! Over the past few years we have seen mailers use lodging services in places such as the Philippines, Singapore and Ghana (yes Ghana) to save money. Sometimes it’s a combination of printing and postage savings, and other times it’s just postage.

However, what most mailers fail to follow up on effectively is whether lodging in a different country affected their response rates. There are several factors you should consider before lodging your mail from a new country:

  1. Not all mail channels are created equal. Mail delivery times, to and from certain countries, can vary wildly. For example: if your mailing into Japan, mail lodged with Canada Post or Deutsche Post may be delivered much faster than mail lodged with Ghana Post. This means that if your offer is time sensitive, there is a risk it may not reach your customer in time if you don’t account for these variances.
  2. Reliability is not the same worldwide. Our experience has shown that not all postal systems are at the same level of reliability. We have actually had a client’s mail simply go missing (see #3 for the benefits of seeding your own mailings). While this incident was rare occurrence, when the mail does go missing you not only lose out on a potential sale but you also lose out on your print and postage costs. These potential losses could far outweigh the potential savings, so reliability should be a big consideration when choosing a foreign postal system.
  3. SEED YOUR MAIL! We can’t stress this enough. Every mailer should seed every mailing and track it. We’ve provided seeding services to our clients for over 25 years, and this helps us and our clients know exactly what’s happening with each campaign. Without this intel, you will have no idea when (or if) your mail gets delivered until you start receiving responses. See How a Decoy Protects Your Data for other benefits of seeding your data.
  4. Split test your mailings from time to time. Even if you have used the same, reliable, foreign lodging service for years, it makes sense to use your local lodging point from time to time to test your responses. It’s a small expense to make sure you’re getting the best response rate and response time.

While price may be the biggest factor in your mail plan, it cannot be the sole factor. Foreign looking indicates and lost mail can all negatively affect your results. Check every element of your mailing to determine where you can save on costs without sacrificing quality or response rates.