Many businesses rely on customer response to function. These responses can come in different forms such as phone calls, e-mails/online submissions, mail, or even in person visits. Each method targets different groups, but many organizations have found using a combination of these techniques can generate the largest volume of responses.

If your company sends out a large amount of mail every day and expects customers to respond, there are a few different variations of reply mail you can offer your customers.

BLOCK: What can your business expect with its mail options?

Reply Mail Options

Customer pays postage and provides envelope This is the least expensive option, but also creates the most work for your customers. This could result in a lower volume of response via mail.

Courtesy Reply Mail This method can generate a higher, and more timely response through mail by supplying the customer with a pre-addressed envelope. The customer will only need to supply the postage.

Stamped Reply Mail By stamping the pre-addressed envelopes yourself, you can increase the odds of the customer replying drastically, since there will be no costs associated with responding through mail. This will require full retail, first class postage regardless of whether the customer responds or not.

Meter Reply Mail If you have a postage machine, you can apply discounted postage on each preaddressed envelope. Meter Reply will net a savings of $.05 per envelope effective 8/29/21.

Business Reply Mail (BRM) Business Reply Mail is the most beneficial, when the need to get a response from the customer is more important to the business than it is to the customer. You will only pay postage on the pieces that are used by the customer, but you will also be required to pay additional fees.

With the additional fees and costs associated with Business Reply Mail, this may not be the most cost-effective option for your organization. Basic math skills and understanding the costs and fees associated with Business Reply Mail are all you need to intelligently decide whether Business Reply Mail is the best solution for your organization.

Listed below are the USPS BRM 1-ounce letter rates effective 8/29/21:

Basic BRM Recommended for those expecting fewer than 914 replies annually
Fees: $265.00 annual permit fee
Postage: $0.58 + $0.92 per piece
High-Volume BRM Recommended for those expecting more than 914 replies annually
Fee: $265.00 annual permit fee and $800.00 annual maintenance fee
Postage: $0.58 + $0.11 per piece
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Basic QBRM (Qualified BRM)

– Recommended for those expecting 575 replies or more annually with automation compatible envelopes
Fee: $800.00 annual maintenance fee

High-Volume QBRM (Qualified BRM) – Recommended for those expecting 40350 replies or more annually with automation compatible envelopes
Fee: $800.00 annual maintenance fee and $2675 quarterly fee
Postage: $0.561 + $0.016 per piece

Reference: USPS Price List – https://pe.usps.com/resources/PriceChange/August%202021%20-%20Notice123.pdf

*By knowing the average volume of mail piece sent out and the average percentage of replies received back, you can determine the cost for postage and fees*

BRM Cost Calculator Examples:

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USPS BRM Regulations/Restrictions

For mail to qualify as Business Reply Mail, several steps must be taken beforehand:

In Conclusion

Before jumping into something new, it is always important to weigh your options. How will this impact the productivity of your organization?

Will creating a simple, easy and free process create responding through mail easier and will this boost response time and volume from your customers? Will you be able to reach customers that typically won’t respond otherwise? Is the cost of Business Reply Mail too high or will you end up spending more money on postage without BRM?

Though some of these questions may be difficult to answer, having the knowledge behind what makes BRM so effective for other organizations can be enough to decide. It is also important to keep in mind that some scenarios are more complicated than others and may require seeking consultation from mailing experts.

Your local USPS Mailing Requirements is also a valuable resource and are always willing to assist with your next steps or addressing questions with your specific business needs.