What Can (and Should) a Postage Meter Do For Your Business?

Updated: March 04, 2010

Apply Correct Postage

This seems like a no-brainer, and it is, as zipping a letter through a postage meter takes little time or effort. But this feature goes deeper than many realize. While almost everyone knows the postage necessary for a typical business letter weighing one ounce or less (five sheets of 8.5" by 11" paper), few know how much it costs to send, say, a three-ounce business letter. The postage meter knows.

End the "throw another stamp on to be safe" method of applying postage. The more oddly sized mail pieces you send, the more you will overpay for your postage. Even the least expensive meter or software will end those donations to the Post Office.

Speed Mail Handling

Sliding an envelope through a postage meter is faster than finding and attaching a stamp, especially with heavy or unusually sized envelopes. Even better, metered mail slides through the Post Office faster than stamped mail, too. Bypass the scanning and postmarking steps in the Post Office by stamping and postmarking your mail pieces with your postage meter. Many users report speeding delivery by a day on metered mail compared to those with stamps.

Weigh and Stamp Oddly Shaped Pieces

Most postage meters include a scale that determines postage by weight and class. If you ship unusual envelopes or boxes without a postage meter, determining the weight and class requires a scale and a rate sheet. And when your piece won't slide through the meter, your postage meter will print a stamp you can then attach to the odd sized piece. For unusually large or heavy pieces, you may need a second scale, or a postage meter with a scale placed so it is able to weigh large and oddly shaped packages.

Turn your PC into a Post Office

PC-based postage services include software and a Web site, a scale connected to your computer, and approval from the Post Office to print postage. Most experts believe PC-based systems work well up to the range of $50 per month in postage, and for e-commerce applications with addressing information as part of the order and fulfillment software. Low -volume mailers find the PC option easily affordable.

Track Mailing Costs

Stamps don't offer tracking codes, reports, or cumulative spending totals, but postage meters do. Whether you track postage costs by department or by client for expense billing, a postage meter makes tracking simple, easy, and accurate. Fully featured postage meters can even connect to your computer and feed information directly to some accounting software applications.

Customize Your Mail with Logos and Slogans

Modern postage meters include space for logos and slogan printing by the "stamp" area. While you can certainly put your logo on preprinted envelopes, many postage meters allow you to change your message at will, something impossible to do with preprinted envelopes. More advanced postage meters allow for more customization and longer messages.

Eliminate Postage Pilfering

When there are no stamps in drawers, pilferage drops to near nothing. Take the next step by requiring a PIN (Personal Information Number) to activate the postage meter, and pilferage disappears completely.

Fold Pages for Insertion

Postage meter options range from simple letter "franking" devices to complete mail handling systems. While not inexpensive, your postage meter dealer can also supply document handling tools to reduce or eliminate manual folding of pages. While you can get printed pieces folded by your printer during production, internal pages like invoices must still be folded by handLet your postage mailing system does that for you.

Stuff, Seal, and Address Envelopes

After folding, the next step up is stuffing and sealing envelopes. Postage metering systems can automate these functions with the proper optional equipment. In fact, youre mailing system can also address envelopes as it applies postage. These more complex systems considerably reduce mail handling time and speed workflow. They pay for themselves quickly when printing bulk mail pieces.

Handle Return Receipt, Delivery Confirmation, and Insurance

One of the best values when acquiring a postage meter is avoiding the lines and poor service at the Post Office. Get the right postage meter, and you can avoid the Post Office for Return Receipt, Delivery Confirmation, and Insurance pieces as well.

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