The Importance of Warehousing for E-commerce Businesses

Companies understand that many of their customers are searching for products online, which is why most have shifted their focus towards competition on the cyber market.

Consumers today are able to browse through entire store catalogues from the comfort of their couch, and nowadays, multi-billion-dollar enterprises are exclusively online.

As a business grows and tries to fulfill as many customer orders as quickly as possible, the need for a warehouse comes into play. Proper warehouse storage ensures that companies are able to safekeep their large supply of goods and execute order management efficiently.

Essentially, e-commerce businesses need to understand the importance of warehousing for their efficiency. Using a third-party warehousing and order management system provider can improve a company’s bottom-line and leave them focusing on their daily craft.

Here’s an in-depth look at how Presort can serve e-commerce businesses.

Inventory Management

Inventory management and the storage and distribution of collateral are an essential part of a supply chain. Warehousing and inventory control systems help a business monitor and track the number of goods they have on hand at any given time. This is important for a business to know so that they can make decisions regarding restocking purchases, production schedules, and warehousing needs. Plus, it’s vital for purchasing activity. Accurate inventory data ensures that customers don’t purchase items that are unavailable.

Bottom Line:  Inventory management helps small businesses keep costs low and efficiently deliver products to meet customer demand.

 

Order Management Efficiency

For warehousing to be successful, it should be paired with an order management system. These e-commerce solutions allow an online business to accept, ship, track and deliver products to customers who bought them online. A reliable third-party service can offer inventory management, warehousing, pick and pack, and distribution of goods. This allows you to manage your online business while your warehousing partner takes care of fulfillment.

Bottom Line: Order management systems allow your business to accept, ship, track, and deliver items to customers. By having your warehouse partner handle this, you can focus on all of your other responsibilities as the business owner.

The Need for Support

E-commerce store owners might frequently want to make changes to their business, increase or decrease an investment in some product, whatever it may be. Working with a warehouse services provider gives you a partner who is able to support you and make these changes in a short amount of time. Warehouse partners are always prepared for these adjustments and what they will mean for order management.

Bottom Line: Having a partner means someone who can support you when you need to make changes quickly (for example, changing how long a product is available in the warehouse).

Are you looking for warehousing services for your e-commerce business? Presort offers inventory management, distribution, and Shopify fulfillment services. Our streamlined services include complete end-to-end functionality including inventory management, warehousing, packing, and distribution. We can store your inventory for short-term or long-term purposes. Best of all, we take a customer-centric approach, customizing our warehousing options to fit your needs.

Our services guarantee fast delivery, big savings for your company, and the safety of your goods. Contact us today to get started.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Commercial Printing Company

Finding the right printing company to help you implement an effective marketing strategy can make or break your company’s success. If you choose a provider that delivers sub-par work and makes it more difficult to reach your long-term business goals, then it could spell disaster for you trying to reach the audience you need to survive. So how do you differentiate between different commercial printing companies and identify which one’s right for you? We’ve listed some helpful tips below to help you make an informed decision before you decide what direction you want to go in.

  • Find out their scope: If the printing company you choose can’t maximize the reach of your direct mail marketing campaign, how can they attract the customers you need? Commercial printing companies vary significantly in how extensive their services are—while some shops might just be available for walk-ins, others might require more planning to fully implement your strategy. Make sure you’re aware of what you need from a printing company before setting up any type of long-term agreement. If the quantity of material they have in stock can take care of your entire campaign, then you’re in luck! Don’t rely on a provider that doesn’t have the resources you need to optimize your direct mail marketing campaign.
  • Ask for samples: Just because a printing company utilizes cutting-edge equipment doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to use it effectively. Before you meet with the company, make sure that you ask for printed samples—looking online at their past work doesn’t always tell the full story. See how their samples align with what you’re looking for for your next direct mail campaign. Your industry might have specific requirements for layout, content, and quality—see if the samples they provide are in keeping with your unique standards.
  • Collaborate: You know your industry better than anyone, and printing companies know there’s better than anyone. While it’s completely normal to come in with a very specific idea of what you’re looking for, keep in mind that printing companies are experts in their respective field. Collaborating on your direct mail marketing campaign can yield far better results than if you stubbornly reject their advice and input. Make sure the company you provide is open to your ideas and doesn’t resolutely shut down each and every suggestion you offer.
  • Customer Service: Don’t just reference the website—it’s easy to clever, well-written posts on a company’s website to convey a false sense of customer service. Get references from other customers. Make sure that you’re asking specific questions that give you more insight into how they deal with their customers so that there aren’t sudden surprises about how they handle things. Ask the printing company what resources they have available for you throughout the process—see if you’ll have access to a customer service representative while working with them.

Don’t leave any stone unturned! Thoroughly evaluate every provider you can find before choosing a commercial printing company for your next direct mail marketing campaign.

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Tips for Custom Postcard Printing

To reach the broadest audience possible, you need to diversify your marketing strategy. While conventional digital marketing coupled with old-fashioned direct mail campaigns are effective, you need to find a unique way for your brand, campaign, or organization to stand out from the pile of mail your customers receive every day. With custom postcard printing, you’re getting your company’s information delivered right into the hands of your audience, while also standing out from dull, drab white envelopes and email that only serves to clutter an already-crowded inbox.

You might be able to reach more customers with emails and standard letters, but there’s something to be said about choosing quality over quantity. Sure, a deluge of letters might wear your audience down slowly over time, but it might be a good pivot to try and grab their attention with advertising that’s a little more thoughtful. It’s easy to overlook using a postcard printing service when devising your next marketing campaign—here are some reasons why you should embrace a more personal approach to your outbound marketing.

Stand out from the crowd

How many letters do you get every day? How many emails? It becomes easier and easier to ignore similar-looking envelopes or boring emails with “exciting offers” in the subject line if you receive hundreds every week. The most important thing you can do is find a unique way to set yourself apart from the horde of boring, bland mail people receive every day. With full-color postcard designs, you’ll make your postcard pop out. After all, your approach should always emphasize what sets you apart, not what makes you the same as everyone else. Grab your audience’s attention from the get-go with different sizes, fonts, and colors.

Find your brand’s voice

With run-of-the-mill marketing campaigns, the emphasis is always on quantity rather than quality. If customers can’t even differentiate what makes your brand unique, then there’s no reason why they should choose your company, organization, or campaign over anyone else. Design your postcard based on what you want to emphasize about your business so that when people see a card of a similar shape, size, and color-scheme, they’ll immediately identify that look with your brand.

Bolster your marketing with a well-rounded approach

Just because you already have an email campaign and direct mail campaign in the works doesn’t make it pointless to implement another plan of attack. Custom postcard printing can work in tandem with your existing marketing strategies so that they supplement your message rather than dilute it. Mailing services have been found to increase web traffic if they specifically mention where and how to get in touch with your brand online. Postcards are a great way to attract the right attention without having to worry about what the next step for your audience might be.

Now that we’ve outlined the benefits of custom postcard printing, we want to give you the tools you need to create your own successful marketing campaign. Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Identify your audience
  • Define your voice
  • Include pertinent information
  • Use engaging images
  • Select appropriate fonts, colors, and sizes.

Now that you know everything that you need to know, go engage your audience with a unique postcard campaign! You’ll attract the audience you want in no time.

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Plan Your Political Mail Campaign with Presort

Direct mail campaigns are one of the best ways to improve your clients’ visibility and give them a better chance of winning. So much of winning a campaign comes from how effectively you market—whether it’s appealing to an oft-forgotten demographic or reinforcing support within your existing voter-base, increasing awareness for your candidate is the only way to make sure they get more votes than their opponent.

Because it’s such a highly-targeted and relatively inexpensive way to combine your field strategy with your communication platform, direct mail marketing is often one of the only forms of paid communication for smaller political races. So how can Presort give your political campaign the boost that it needs? We offer all the traditional regular and political DirectMail 2.0 product suite, plus:

  • AddressMatch on Google
  • Gmail Campaign
  • Youtube Ads
  • Voter District Targeting

Now that you know what Presort can offer your next political campaign, here are some helpful tips to make sure that your marketing strategy does exactly what it’s supposed to do, rather than leave you in the dust behind your opponent.

  • There are three kinds of people who read direct mail marketing campaigns.
    • 3-4 seconds (these “readers” take a quick glance at the headline, look for a picture, before putting the letter right back down without so much as a second thought.
    • 10-20 seconds (they’ll stick around a little longer than the former, and check out the general information you have to offer on your direct mail piece)
    • Full-on readers (these are the readers that are already informed about the election—they have an acute understanding of what’s going on, and are eager to read more about what information you have to offer)
    • It’s never entirely clear how many of each kind of reader there will be before an election. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that in a high-turnout election, you’ll have more of the 3-4 reader, while in lower-turnout elections you’ll generally have more long-form readers.
  • Strategize to meet your audience’s demands.
    • The success of a direct mail political campaign comes down to how well the mail itself conveys the message the campaign wants its audience to take away. That means you need to proactively identify your audience, stick to a rigid timeline for distributing, and find a unique voice that gets your message across without appearing forceful, arrogant, or untrustworthy.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
    • So, you’ve decided that a direct mail campaign is right for you—have you decided on what the best strategy for a rollout is going to be? Whether that’s making sure your solution is cost-effective, compiling a mailing list of targeted voters, or figuring out if political postcards or more standard pieces of mail works best for your strategy, don’t be rigid in your approach.
    • What’s your angle? Your mail could include:
      • Positive information about your client
      • Negative information about the opponent
      • Early-voting information
      • Compare-and-contrast information about other candidates
      • Other pertinent information
  • Find a layout that works. Not all mail is created equal—find a strategy that makes your specific piece of mail stand out from the rest.

Ready to launch your political campaign into the stratosphere? With Presort, we give you all the tools you need for a cutting-edge, innovative direct mail campaign designed to attract the audience your client needs to get elected. Wasted time means wasted voters—lock down your election today, with Presort.

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DirectMail2.0/Presort Plus Announces New Integration with Informed Delivery® From USPS

On May 4th, 2018, DirectMail 2.0 and Presort Plus announced a brand-new integration between Informed Delivery® and DirectMail 2.0. The new integration gives companies the opportunity to supplement their physical mail campaign with engaging impressions and clicks by increasing exposure for specific users. When customers add Informed Delivery® to their multi-channel marketing campaign, they can expect to increase impressions by an average of 10-20%. With an expected 10-20,000 new users joining every day (according to USPS), you’ll be able to improve response rates and enhance your digital marketing campaign like never before.

How does Informed Delivery® work?

Every digital marketing campaign and direct mail campaign should be employed with the express purpose of increasing your audience—if the steps you’re taking aren’t generating the attention you need, then you’re putting your company at a disadvantage. Informed Delivery® enhances your client’s mailing piece with a clickable, full-color ad within the email sent by USPS. Driven by customer feedback, the integration will help clients track when and where their ads are opened, help customers see when their package is going to arrive, and much more. It makes customer service more manageable, it improves visibility for your product or service, and it promotes lead generation in a platform that before led to more ambiguity for businesses and their customers alike.

What is DirectMail 2.0?

Founded in 2015, DirectMail 2.0 is a cloud-based integrated marketing platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses launch, manage, and track multi-faceted digital marketing campaigns to expand the reach and return on investment (ROI) of their print campaigns.

Why should I use Informed Delivery?

Not every marketing platform is designed to optimize your strategy like Informed Delivery®. Digital and direct mail marketing campaigns can be difficult to track, leaving your digital strategy in flux with more questions than answers. The easiest way to generate brand awareness is to increase the reach of your digital campaign and make sure that your target audience has the option to give you more pertinent information than conventional marketing tactics. If you want to increase your brand’s visibility, simplify your tracking, and drive up the awareness around your marketing campaign, Informed Delivery® from DirectMail 2.0 is an excellent strategy for your business.

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What is Seamless Acceptance and Why Should You Care?

This is a time for change in the mailing industry. The digital age has brought about an abundance of new needs: results, results, RESULTS…all at a faster rate. The USPS and general mailing industry—long steeped in whispers of its own demise—is looking for ways to adapt, and they are doing just that! Seamless Acceptance is a product of this innovation and is a relatively new and exciting development.

What is it?

Basically, it’s an automated system for mail. Automated = faster. Using electronic documentation from the mailer, the mail-entry process has become more simplified. This means that the commercial bulk mail does not have to be physically verified by a clerk anymore. Instead, the Intelligent Mail Barcode provided by the USPS will be scanned to verify that the proper postage is collected and that mail meets applicable acceptance thresholds. Then it is ready to go out. Once mailed, the USPS sends a scorecard to measure mailer’s compliance. It is a report card of sorts for the mailers and there is always room for improvement!

It answers these key questions:

Have all the pieces been paid for?

Is it prepared correctly by the mailer?

Are the pieces addressed accurately?

What’s the process?

What’s the mailer scorecard?

Seamless Acceptance is one of four initiatives of the USPS to streamline the mailing process for speed and success. After the process is complete each month, they send mailers a scorecard that evaluates mail preparation and quality against established thresholds. This includes a graph-based snapshot of the verification results including nesting/sortation, undocumented, FS mail volume, etc.

And since we have nothing to hide, here is an example of our scorecard:

Why should you care?

Seamless acceptance is a way for the USPS to continually evolve and keep up with the times, while also keeping mailers in check. Mailers, like us for example, take these scorecards and improve each time. As you can see above, there is always room for improvement. We will grow and we will get even better, which means faster and better results for you! Overall improved mail quality is a featured benefit of the Seamless Acceptance initiative. Look below for some more benefits.

Benefits:

  • Shorter processing time/longer mail production cycle
  • Process automation (remember: automated = faster!)
  • Increased visibility and insight
  • A standard acceptance & verification process
  • Reduces complexity
  • Auto-finalization puts postage payment into the control of the mailer
  • Flexibility of Mail preparation

USPS® reports that direct mail has an effect on millennial voters.

With the 2016 elections coming up, be prepared for lots of reading materials in your mailbox, same as every four years. But while this has been the norm for those earlier generations, the millenials are finally moving out of their parent’s house and living on their own. They have to begin checking the mail everyday and now there is a brand new set of eyes on political direct mail pieces…but are they really making an impact on the digitally connected millennial generation? According to the USPS, yes!

The USPS has conducted a joint survey that has found that this new class of voters “pay close attention to political mail and in fact favor it over other forms of political advertising.” It also found that millennials are more involved in politics and very engaged with the direct mail that they received, even more than non-millennials. In fact, 40% thoroughly read political mail and an even bigger 78% discuss it with others.

Finally, about 80% of millennials prefer political ads through the mail rather than online. They feel as if it is a more authentic and direct connection to the political candidates.

So what can we gather from this?

For starters, that it would appear that millenials still very much sort through and read their mail on a daily basis. About 36% of those under 30 years of age are eager to check their mail everyday. Not only do they sort them, they even open them immediately just as much as non-millenials. It would stand to reason that this applies to all direct mail pieces as well. If millennials are open to mail pieces with a message, they might just be open to your particular message.

Many of the same tactics used in political mail can be applied to consumer-related direct mail. It’s all about reaching that age by using authenticity and directness.

Now that we know millennials are a good audience, below are some tips for trying to reach them with your direct mail

  • Make it authentic
    • Right away, millennials can assess when you’re trying too hard to connect with them. Just have a relevant message that they want to hear and if you present it in a way that’s on their level, they will be more responsive. Keep things simple and loose and they’ll come to you.
  • Make it easily accessible
    • If millennials can’t easily access something you’re trying to push, then it is not worth the hassle. And as always, make it easy for someone to reach out to you. If you’re accessible to responses, chances are you will get more responses.
  • Use technology
    • At their heart, millennials are digital natives and will always fall back on those resources. Make sure your direct mail campaign connects to online sources in which the younger generation can easily find information, share that info, place orders…etc. Finally, it is also worth noting that Augmented Reality is a great way to integrate technology and direct mail.
  • Make it visually appealing
    • Millennials tend to be visual learners, so it might just be worth that extra penny to make something look cool to catch their eye. It could be the difference between a sale or the trash.

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Price Increase for First-Class Mail

Pricing – keeping you informed about the prices and mailing standards of the United States Postal Service

First-Class Mail Parcels transfer to the Competitive Price Listing

On July 20, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”) conditionally approved the transfer of the First-Class Mail Parcels (“FCMP”) product from the market-dominant product list to the competitive product list. The transfer was conditioned on the subsequent proposal, review, and approval of prices for the transferred product.  On July 28, 2017, pursuant to Governors’ Decision 16-9, the Postal Service filed a notice of price change seeking to implement new prices for the transferred product.

The Commission approved the new rates (13 rate cells in total) on August 9, 2017, See Order No. 4032 in Docket No. CP2017-230, and they will go into effect on September 3, 2017. After implementation, the FCMP product will become a new “Retail” rate category within the existing First-Class Package Service (“FCPS”) product. The new “Retail” price category will be called “First-Class Package Service – Retail” while the existing FCPS price category will be renamed “First-Class Package Service – Commercial.”  The new FCPS-Retail product has the same characteristics as the former First-Class Mail Parcels product.

View the complete announcement here.