I think everyone is familiar with those little cards that fall out of your magazines and newspapers. Notice that they all say something along the lines of “No Postage Necessary”. This is Business Reply Mail and it can be a useful tool in your marketing program.
Business Reply Mail (BRM) allows a mailer to distribute preprinted First-Class Mail reply pieces to customers. The mailer, not the customer, pays the return postage. This allows mailers to save postage costs on large volumes of distributed reply pieces when a response is not assured.
BRM is appropriate when your customer needs a little extra inducement to reply – in other words, the response or its timing is not certain. This type of reply mail is frequently used by direct marketers seeking to encourage orders, researchers needing survey responses, or magazine publishers soliciting subscriptions.
You must have a Business Reply Mail permit account with your local Post Office. You will pay an annual fee for the permit account, a small handling fee and First Class postage on each piece of mail returned by the USPS. Note that you are paying postage only for mail returned to you through your BRM permit.
Business Reply Mail can be used for business reply cards, envelopes, self mailers and cartons. Because a Business Reply Mailpiece must conform to a specific format to qualify as BRM, mailers must consult with their local Post Office or Mailpiece Design Consultant to create the artwork needed for printing your response device. There is now also available an online tool available through www.USPS.com, you will use the Business Customer Gateway, which requires a Mailer ID. You can sign up to get your Mailer ID here: https://gateway.usps.com/bcg/login.htm
Once you have your Mailer ID in hand, login, go to Design and Prepare and then Automated Business Reply Mail. The steps to create your own BRM artwork are straightforward.
There are four types of BRM permit account available. Each requires an annual permit fee and advance deposit.
Basic BRM – Annual permit fee of $190.00. Per piece charge of $0.76 in addition to First Class or Priority Mail postage. Paid through advance deposit account. This option is best suited for return volume of less than 890 pieces per year.
High-Volume BRM - Annual permit fee of $190.00 plus annual account maintenance fee of $605.00 per year. Per piece charge of $0.087 plus First Class or Priority Mail postage. This option is best suited for return volume of 891 pieces or more per year.
Basic Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) – Annual permit fee of $190.00 plus annual account maintenance fee of $605.00. Per piece charge of $0.056 plus First Class or Priority Mail postage. Because QBRM requires automation compatible mailpieces, you are eligible for reduced First Class postage rates. This is suitable for automation compatible pieces of more than 850 pieces per year.
High Volume Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) – Annual permit fee of $190.00 plus annual accounting fee of $605.00 and a quarterly processing fee of $2,025.00. This might seem a little pricey, but when you factor in the lower postage rate for automated mailpieces and lower per piece rate of $0.008, if you expect more than 43,000 pieces of mail returned to you, this is a viable option.
Make it easy for your customers to respond to your offer and start a Business Reply Mail program for your next mailing. Studies show eliminating the customer’s need to find an envelope, address it and attach a stamp greatly impact your response rate!