What Purpose Does a USPS Postage Meter Serve?

Don’t let the rise of email fool you into thinking snail mail is dead. The United States Postal Service (USPS) delivered more than 142 billion pieces of mail in 2019 alone.

Despite competition from private shipping companies, USPS is still the preferred choice among millions of consumers and small business owners.

In fact, USPS customers don’t have to go to the post office to buy stamps anymore. You can install a USPS postage meter right in your office to keep business operations on track!

Time and convenience are just two benefits of USPS meters. Discover even more cost savings and possibilities with postage machines.

What Is a USPS Postage Meter?

Before delving into the benefits, let’s start with the basics. What is a USPS postage meter exactly?

A postage meter is a machine that prints and applies USPS postage to envelopes and packages. You can either print your postage separately or apply postage directly onto your items. Basic features include sealer blades, envelope reservoirs, feeds, and label printers.

You can’t buy your own postage meter or buy one directly from USPS. USPS postage meters may only be leased or rented from authorized vendors. There are hundreds of meter vendors, so remember to get a quote first!

Types of Postage Meters

USPS postage meters come in different models to accommodate small to heavy mail loads.

An office with a few staff members would need the smallest, least expensive model for light mailing needs. If you run a pack and ship business, you would benefit from a heavy-load postage meter with multiple features, like computer interfaces.

Save Money on Postage

Many postage meters already come with scales, but you can purchase them separately. Meters with scales are more convenient because they calculate postage, as well. If you’re only mailing envelopes and not packages, you could save money on a simpler meter.

When you lease a postage meter, you enjoy cheaper mailing rates, as well. However, you need a mail permit before you can enjoy lower rates. Apply with PS Form 3615 at the post office or let your meter vendor handle it.

Grow Your Business

Discounted postage prices are one benefit of postage meters. Meters are an asset for growing startups and businesses. As you scale, you need a postage solution that keeps up with growing mail volume.

Home businesses also benefit from postage meters. Home-based entrepreneurs can apply for mail permits like any other small business. This is an excellent idea for home-based handmade goods.

Many industries benefit from leasing postage meters; retail, pack and ship stores, marketing, nonprofits, schools, and insurance are just a few. You could also install a postage meter to provide a mailing and shipping service at your gift shop!

Quicker Delivery

Metered mail is often faster than regular mail.

For starters, you avoid long lines at the local post office or shipping center. Your meter postage already includes the pre-paid postage amount, so you can drop it right off or hand it over to your local mail carrier.

If you send a lot of mail, stuff your envelopes first and run them through the postage meter to save time. You can also lease postage meters with sealers to avoid licking envelopes.

How to Make Money with Postage Meters

Adding a postage meter to a tourist gift shop is one way to drive more business and draw in foot traffic. The option of mailing out a postcard can make all the difference with tourists.

Local grocery stores, gas station convenience stores, motels and hotels, university campus shops, and greeting card shops all benefit from postage meters.

They’re absolutely essential for pack and ship businesses. Even if you’re not an authorized USPS shipper, you can still offer mailing services with a postage meter; however, you’ll make even more money as an authorized shipping carrier.

Beef Up Your Direct Mail Marketing

Postage meters are also a branding asset. Direct mail is still a viable (and successful) marketing tactic, especially for real estate agencies, car dealerships, healthcare, and schools.

Many postage meters let you customize your postage graphic to include websites, slogans, or taglines. That’s why postage meters are valuable at any stage of the marketing journey, whether you’re running a brand awareness campaign or shipping out giveaways.

Many meter models come with advanced reporting features, too. Reporting provides extra insight into your meter’s total transactions, postage expenses, and peak usage times.

Why is postage meter reporting so critical for marketing?

Reporting helps you determine your return-on-investment (ROI) on postage meters. If your meter performs better than expected, you may want to rent another one during peak seasons.

Tips for Renting or Leasing Postage Meters

Remember, you can’t get a postage meter through your local post office. Instead, compare several postage meter vendors to find the right solution for your small business.

Make sure your vendor has a large inventory of USPS postage meters. You may need to upgrade quickly due to unexpected growth and demand, but gather several quotes first to nail down the right machine.

Get a meter that accommodates your mail volume. Moderate to high-volume meters should handle envelope stacks to heavy packages. Talk to a meter expert about your business goals to hone in on the best model.

Did you set a budget first?

If money is tight, you may want to start with a rental before committing to a longer lease. Postage meter rentals are surprisingly cheap, which is great news for budding startups.

Is a Postage Meter Right for You?

Are you still running to the post office to get stamps? Save your business (and profits) the trouble. Consider the pros and cons of installing a USPS postage meter today.

Postage meters are valuable business tools. Are you giving your business everything it needs to thrive? Follow the blog to discover the latest tips for entrepreneurs.