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11 Ways to Save on Small Business Postage

The average U.S. small business spends over $4,000 per year on postage. That amount can vary substantially depending on the size of the business, with businesses that have 20 or more employees spending over $1,000 a month, while those with fewer than 10 employees spend about $239 monthly.

Small business postage costs can erode your profits if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, these expenses are unavoidable if you run a business that delivers products to the doorstep of your customers. However, there are ways you can keep shipping and postage costs from causing significant damage to your profits. 

In today’s post, we outline 11 easy ways to save on postage. Read on to learn more.


1. Consider Virtual Mail

Would the message be just as effective if you sent it online instead of mailing it physically? If so, then you may want to send an email instead. 

The main challenge, of course, is that an important email may end up in the spam filter of your target recipient. Thankfully, there are email marketing firms that take measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen. These firms charge a tiny fraction of the standard postage fee to send a mailing fee to hundreds of recipients each month.

2. Use One Vendor

Aligning your business-wide loyalties to one vendor can help you save considerably on shipping costs. If you have several branches that use different delivery firms, now’s the time to consolidate. Many American delivery companies, including UPS and FedEx, often give price breaks to clients who consolidate their shipping needs. 

3. Sanitize Your Mailing List

When was the last time you went through your mass mailing list? If you’ve only been adding to your mailing list and sending out mail through the years, chances are some of the customers you’re mailing to have moved. Some may no longer be interested in your mail.

Now’s the time to sanitize your list. The United States Postal Service (USPS) may be able to help when it comes to this. They can inform you about addresses that have changed.

Another way to clean up your mailing list is by finding a way to check with your mail receivers whether they’re still interested in your mail. Sure, it’s a drastic move, but it helps you avoid spending money sending mail to recipients who no longer want it.

4. Use Electronic Postage

There are many electronic postage services that offer software that you can use to print USPS-approved postage using a PC, printer, and internet connection. These services let you use their software at a lower fee compared to using the USPS itself to post mail. 

5. Sort Your Own Mail

Another way to reduce your postage costs is to do more work on your own than the postal service. Consider sorting your mail by zip code before dropping it off at a central bulk mail center. 

You may want to invest in equipment for custom self inking stamps and do the task yourself instead of having the USPS do it for you. Ultimately, the less work the Postal Service has to do, the more discount they’ll extend to you.

6. Negotiate Rates

You’ll be surprised how much you can save in small business shipping costs if you’re willing to negotiate with delivery services. It’s always smart to first compare quotes from different vendors and look for incentives. Armed with multiple quotes, you’re in a better position to negotiate a lower rate from the courier service that you’re most interested in working with.

7. Opt for Regional Carriers

If you supply products to a particular geographical location, you may be able to save on shipping costs by working with a regional carrier. These carriers generally charge lower compared to national carriers.

Before you sign up with any regional carrier, go through the list of their delivery areas to be sure that they can service your clients.

8. Consider Prepaid Shipping

Certain postal carriers offer discounted rates if you purchase certain amounts of shipping labels before you use them. You can then use the labels when you need to send out your packages. 

If prepaid shipping sounds like something you’d like to give a try, make sure you know the envelope or box size you’ll most often be using. 

9. Take Advantage of Association Discounts

It’s not uncommon for delivery services to offer discounts for small businesses that belong to some renowned organizations. If you belong to a certain organization, inquire from your carrier whether they have member discounts for that particular body.

10. Compare Packaging

Ideally, you should use the packaging supplied by your postal carrier. Many carriers charge more if they consider the box you’re using off size, if especially heavy or exceeds given dimensions. 

If you’re using USPS’s flat rate, then you may be able to pay the same price regardless of the weight of the package. Generally, you should opt for the smallest envelope or box possible. Smaller packages usually cost less to ship.

11. Avoid Expedited Mailing Charges

There are times when you’ve had to send out mail urgently. Mailing companies love that, and they’ll raise their charges to the roof. Of course, you’ll have to pay because you need that mail to leave your office right away.

The best way to avoid this scenario is to plan ahead. This way, you won’t be scrambling at the last minute to send mail out. 

Start Saving More on Small Business Postage

Shipping and postage may be an integral part of your small business, but that doesn’t mean you have to break your bank account paying for them. If you’re determined enough, you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to cut your small business postage and shipping costs without compromising your customer service.

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