Small and medium sized enterprises or SMEs are under intense pressure to reduce costs. Yet they are too small to receive the same discounts on services as their bigger rivals.
Here are a few tips for managing the mail for SMEs, delivering the service and low costs your customers demand.
Multi-purpose your mailers
You can lower shipping costs by making everything you sell fill multiple purposes. For example, include free samples or coupons with every product you ship to customers. When you send bills, include advertising for your next product or information on your referral incentives. Provide your social media account information and website information in mailed correspondence. Just don’t add so much additional stuff to the envelope that you make it more expensive to mail or cause clients to throw out important documents.
Work with a distribution service
One of the best tips for managing mailing for SMEs is to work with a firm that does this for a living. Let them store the products that you sell online and fulfill the orders received online and via apps. They can package and ship the products for far less than you could. And they offer relief for small businesses. For example, your clients can place an order any time of day or night. They will place orders on weekends and holidays. And many small businesses don’t have the manpower or desire to try to run 24x7x365 to fill orders. However, drop shipping or distribution firms do run 24×7 and often 365 days a year. They also divide the cost of this always-on service among many customers, so you aren’t paying overtime in case someone orders your product on a Sunday afternoon.
Pay attention to your metrics
Pay attention to your metrics. How much does it cost to ship product or mail out bills relative to the cost? You may need to increase what you charge customers for shipping to avoid losing money on your eCommerce division. Or you may want to raise product prices to cover the full cost of that “free” shipping. Run the numbers and determine which items are cheapest to ship and have a high profit margin. An even better step is analyzing the marketing ROI. When you mail coupons to potential customers, which neighborhoods or deals result in the most new business or volume of business? Which coupons included in the order lead to repeat business? Then drop the inserts and other materials that don’t add value.
Perform an ROI on every eCommerce item
You should determine the profit margin on every item you sell. And you should rerun the numbers on the profit margin for the items when sold via eCommerce. The free or low shipping may reduce the profit margin on the item, or high rates of returns and damaged goods eat into the profit margin.
You may want to adjust your eCommerce advertising to promote those items over the big ticket items that tend to get damaged in transit or bought by scammers. Conversely, you could determine which products often sell together at a higher profit margin than they do individually. Then offer your customers deals that combine items into a profitable bundle.