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Top 5 tips for keeping your international mail costs low

Posting mail and parcels abroad form the UK can be a costly business.

But mail still has many benefits as a distribution channel, and if you consider the following five points when planning your mailings it could keep the costs as low as possible – whether it’s business mail, parcels, direct mail, publications:

1.       weight, size and method of posting

2.       consolidation options

3.       direct entry into Europe and extensive networks

4.       customs and tax expertise

5.       data and returned mail.

Although costs are highly dependent on volumes, frequency, method and weight, using a mailing provider like Asendia UK,  which can offer all these options, will dramatically reduce your international mailing costs over other alternatives, and save you hassle and time as well as money.

1. Weight and size

Weight is obvious. The lighter, the better. Therefore, you will need to consider this even before you go to print. Asendia can offer digital printing and fulfilment services making them well placed to advise you on all aspects right from the start, whether you are mailing business mail, direct mail, publications or parcels.

Consider the size. If you are posting direct mail or business mail, will your letters fit into a C5 rather than a C4 envelope?

Could you use lighter paper, or perhaps polywrapping instead of using an envelope?

Does it need to be mailed by an express service or can it take a few days?

Does it need to be tracked, or can you get away with partial tracking?

How valuable is your packet or parcel? Can you opt for lower insurance rates?

Asendia handles huge volumes of packets and parcels due to the explosion of e-commerce across borders recently, so if you are in this busy retail market and need to mail internationally, they should be at the top of your list for distribution channels.

2. Consolidation options

Asendia keeps postage costs down by consolidating all their mail – millions of items every month. They handle such volumes that they are able to achieve discounts from their partners across the world, which they pass onto customers.

Some countries prefer collection points as opposed to letterbox deliveries, which can also trim your international mailing costs, and Asendia can advise you on this point.

3. Direct entry and extensive networks

As part of the global Asendia family, Asendia UK work with colleagues in 14 other countries across the world. They have access to 220 destinations, including USA, Europe and Asia. Each operation has its own mailing houses or approved mailing house partners.

If you are sending direct mail or e-commerce goods into France and on across Europe, for example, Asendia has privileged access to the extensive services, networks and experience through La Poste, one of the founding Asendia companies. These distribution networks benefit from optimised transport costs, creating further savings on postage.

Through its substantial networks, Asendia also has the facilities to send your mail from other countries, depending on where it makes best commercial sense. This could mean that post arrives at its destination bearing local franks, appealing to the consumers and saving money.

4. Customs and tax expertise

As international mail crosses borders into other countries there can be issues with tax, like VAT, and customs duties. Every country – even those within the EU – has different rules and regulations it seems, making this part of the process a veritable minefield for the sender.  Asendia can advise you here, using its vast knowledge to get your mail through to the recipient safely, with no hidden charges incurred.

5. Data and returns

It’s important for your international mail to arrive with the intended recipient, but there are issues to consider to avoid getting this wrong and losing return on your investment. The last thing you want is a pile of returned mail.

Firstly, is the mail piece right for the international market you are mailing to? There may be cultural issues to bear in mind, such as sending mailing on inappropriate dates. Asendia can supply you with a calendar of dates to avoid in different countries.

Secondly, good data is essential to maximise your ROI, so make sure your mailing list is clean or purchase a targeted one from a reputable source. Asendia offers data cleaning and supplies mailing lists, and they will deal with returned or undelivered mail. They will feed back this information to you so that mailing lists can be updated, reducing wasted mail – and costs – in the future.

About Asendia UK

Asendia is part of a multinational business and is undoubtedly the most experienced company in the UK specialising in international fulfilment and postal services. The company was formed from a merger between the French and Swiss post offices, La Poste and Swiss Post, plus BTB Mailflight and Pitney Bowes International Mail Services (UK). We optimise our transport and distribution networks to offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly service.

Using a mailing house like Asendia makes sense for keeping the costs of international mailings low. Much of the hassle is taken off your shoulders too. Contact us to discuss your international mailing options and get a quote.

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About the author
Catherine Jackson is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has been a publishing professional for over 30 years, working in newspapers, magazines, and marketing in the education, retail and travel sectors. She has also worked as a freelance copywriter, editor and proofreader before joining Asendia UK as Content Marketing Executive & Copywriter. Google+