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<p>WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – With postal rates increasing to three cents per stamp at the end of June, the majority of credit union marketers are left uncertain as to what they can realistically do to prepare for the pending postage rate hikes. Here are just a few suggestions from CUES Vice President of Marketing/Research Fran Zaugg and Director of Marketing Teri Schacker on how credit unions can minimize the financial impact: Get a contact at the U.S. Postal Service. They are usually aware of rate increases up to a year or so in advance. This would allow you to budget for it. However, if you are just finding out about this increase now, here are a few things you could do to help offset it: Do more standard/bulk mailings instead of first class. Package or bundle mailings (i.e. more than one piece mails together.) Smaller mailings (i.e. postcards instead of letters.) If you are not already using a mail fulfillment house, look into this. Due to their ability to combine your mailings with others, you could potentially get discounts on more than 75% of the pieces you mail. Implement more e-mail marketing. If you do not have a lot of your members’ e-mail addresses, you could hold a campaign to get them to submit their e-mail addresses to you (i.e. entry into a prize drawing.) As you create new pieces, be sure and check with your contact at the USPS on the postal rate, to be sure it is the same as what you have planned. (i.e., odd size pieces, such as square envelopes, cost more than a standard #10 size.)</p>

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