6 tips for maximizing your postage savings

June 21, 2023
Minh Mai

Postage is a lot like paying for the gas in your car. It costs what it costs, and there isn’t all that much you can do about it, besides driving (or mailing) less. Right?


There are lots of ways to save on postage. You can minimize the time and money spent on handling, find postage discounts for businesses, or even take advantage of little-known USPS offers that can net you valuable discounts.

Read below for some of the best tips to help you maximize postage savings.

1. Digitize your mail with a virtual mailbox service

Time is money, and a virtual mailbox can save you a ton of time.

But first, what is a virtual mailbox service? When you sign up for a virtual mailbox, you get a real street address at one of the service’s locations. You can direct all of your mail to this address.

When the service receives your mail, they scan the envelopes and upload digitized versions to a web portal that you can access at any time. It’s like checking your mail, only with the convenience of doing it online.

From there, most virtual mailbox services will give you a range of options. You can have envelopes opened and scanned, automatically deposit checks, recycle junk mail, and forward mail and packages to a new address.

This is where the cost savings really come in. Imagine all the working hours  you would spend picking up mail, opening envelopes, recycling, and filing. When you digitize your mail, the virtual mailbox service does all of this for you. All you need to do is log on, check your envelopes, and choose what to do with them.

Another advantage to some virtual mailbox services is that, since they handle such a large volume of mail, they can often pass postage savings on to their customers. If you need to do a lot of shipping or mailing, check with virtual mailbox providers to learn whether they can offer you lower postage rates.

Benefits of a virtual mailbox

Some of the best benefits of a virtual mailbox include:

  • Ability to check your mail 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world
  • Forwarding bulk mail and packages to a location of your choosing
  • Automating check depositing, junk mail sorting, and other tasks
  • Opening and scanning important pieces of mail

When you choose Stable as your virtual mailbox service, you’ll get all of these benefits — and then some:

  • Consolidation services to lower postage rates (more on this later)
  • Automations to open and scan all mail, extracting key information for your needs
  • Categorizing and tracking mail statuses
  • Integrating with key business software

2. Choose the right postage class for your mail

Another way to save on postage costs is to choose the right postage class for letters, periodicals, and parcels. There are several considerations to make, including:

  • Delivery times
  • Letter or parcel size
  • Package weight

Media Mail

For example, if time isn’t a concern — and if you’re shipping qualifying items like books, printed educational materials, or computer-readable media — you can save money using Media Mail. Just keep in mind that shipping will take between two to eight days.

First-Class Mail

You could also choose First-Class mail for First-Class letters and small packages, which is faster, but it costs a little more.

Priority Mail

Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express are the fastest, plus you can get features like informed delivery or shipping for packages of any size. However, this is the most expensive route.

USPS Marketing Mail

For marketing materials, be sure to consider USPS Marketing Mail. It has a slower delivery time, but low costs that allow you to send out marketing mail campaign materials in bulk while saving on postage.

3. Presort your mail

If you do a lot of mailing, one great way to save money on postage is to presort it. When you take it to the post office, just make sure the mail is bundled or grouped by ZIP code.

You’ll then be eligible to get commercial postage prices, which are at a discount compared to full First-Class prices. The way USPS sees it, if you’re sorting by ZIP code for them, you’re saving them some of the work, so they pass those savings on to you.

4. Use a postage meter

Metered mail can be a great way for small businesses to save money. With this type of mailing service, you’ll need to purchase or rent a postage meter. This allows you to weigh each mail piece that you send so you can print and apply exact postage.

In other words, rather than paying the standard retail rate for a single stamp or postcard, you’ll pay for exactly what each letter or card weighs. This comes with a couple of great advantages:

  • You’ll save up to $0.05 per envelope for mail up to 3.5 ounces, which really adds up if you send a lot of mail.
  • It’s fast, convenient, and flexible. Instead of applying postage stamps, use the meter to weigh letters and print postage.

But, you should also bear in mind that there can be some cons with metered mail, too:

  • The monthly costs to rent the meter and scale average between $15 and $20 for the meter itself and $5 to $10 for the scale, which can outweigh your postage savings.
  • You’ll also need to pay for ink, which can be up to 100 times more expensive than inkjet ink: between $15 and $20 for a small cartridge.
  • Postage meter companies often want to lock you into a contract, so if you discover this service isn’t for you, you’ll have to keep it until the contract expires or pay to end it early.

5. Keep an eye out for USPS promotions

You may not have been aware, but the USPS runs promotions and incentives, which can save you big time if you catch them right. Visit this page to take a look at the various promotions available right now. 

Some 2023 highlights include:

  • Personalized Color Transpromo: Get discounts if you add a reply mechanism or personalize marketing messages with color and dynamic variable print.
  • Reply Mail IMbA: Use Intelligent Mail Barcode Accounting (IMbA) to streamline Qualified Business Reply Mail.
  • Informed Delivery: Earn a 4% discount on postage for mailings that follow best practices in Informed Delivery Campaigns.

There are many more promotions that can help you save and the U.S. Postal Service updates them yearly, so be sure to check back for changes and new incentives to try.

6. Utilize mail consolidation services

Mail consolidation services can help you save time and money on handling mail, and also on mail forwarding.

For example, let’s say that your business has several locations, but you’d prefer to receive mail in one spot. You can set up mail forwarding so that all of your mail goes to a mail consolidation service (or a virtual mailbox service). From there, the consolidator can sort out the junk and bundle both packages and letters into a bulk mailer that they can ship directly to you at a lower cost, as opposed to sending individual pieces.

In fact, instead of using a mail consolidation service for this, you could instead use a virtual mailbox service. Why?

Because services like Stable offer you that along with a whole lot of other features, too. With Stable, you get guided Change of Address assistance — we’ll even prefill USPS Form 1583 for you! Once your address forwarding is set up to your new Stable business address, we effectively consolidate your mail for you. This includes packages from USPS and other carriers like Fedex, UPS, and DHL.

You’ll have a number of options for handling, too. If you’d rather not wait for bulk mail forwarding, you can flag certain envelopes, and we’ll open them and scan the contents. We’ll also sort out the junk and deposit any checks, which helps you keep the cost of shipping bulk mail down.

Say goodbye to sky-high postage expenses with Stable

The tips above will help you cut your postage expenses. Stable can help you cut them even more.

Make the switch to Stable to make handling your mail easier, save time on picking up, sorting, and opening mail, and consolidate your mail and packages so that you can have them forwarded on to your business location.

We’ll walk you through the process. Get started today!

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