Becoming Less Reliant on the USPS as a Business Strategy
As the United States Postal Service (USPS) goes to Congress and asks for support to survive business owners need to be looking at ways to become less reliant on the USPS. Chances are ,the USPS will not close; however, if we lower our reliance on the USPS we must be ready for slower mail, reductions in service and increased costs. Email Marketing, text messaging, online Invoicing and other more modern forms of communication will increase in use.
Email Marketing is the first technologies many people think of when they want to rely less on the mail service. It provides as fast and inexpensive way to send email out to many people who otherwise might have received postal mail items. Using email you can target anyone in your CRM, send email to everyone who has opted in to receiving email from you and track how that email is used.
Email does not replace standard mail in every case. You cannot send a bobble head doll by email and get the same attention that you might with the postal service. You can, however, send links to compelling videos and online tools such as electronic editions of magazines. For example ICS Cleaning Specialists Digital Edition.
Directed text message as a marketing strategy is growing in use. Texts can be sent based on triggers set by a customer, to announce sales, drive business and any number of other marketing needs. You do not have the same analytics with text as you have with email but you know that is going to get directly to the person who you are sending it to.
There are many online invoicing systems out there to choose from depending on your accounting needs. Denver DataMan creates PDFs of our invoices and sends them as email. We have also built online payment and account management systems for some of our clients. Depending on what you need online invoicing can help create a large reduction in mail use.
Online invoicing systems are also great for payments you want to receive every month or renewals you want people to make. Rather than sending a letter saying your subscription or membership is up your system can email the person and your rep can call them. This is great for nonprofits that have annual membership’s renewals.
The postal service is not going to go quietly. We will see it and services like UPS for some time now as we still want tangible things delivered to us. However, the more we can get digital things delivered to us the less we will need a postal model. Looking for opportunity in change is the best way to grow a business.
A great article was released by Follio, a magazine and website for the publishing industry that talks about the historical, present and future challenges for the USPS.