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Postage Meters Can Save Your Business Time and Money

ByBennett Conlin,
business.com writer
|
Jul 29, 2019
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> Business Basics
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Postage meters are an inexpensive way to make direct mail more convenient.

Postage meters are an inexpensive way to make direct mail more convenient.

  • Postage meters help businesses save time and money by printing postage directly onto letters and parcels.
  • Pitney Bowes and NeoPost offer some of the top postage meter solutions in the industry.
  • Most postage meters today are digital meters, and some have detailed touchscreens.
  • Digital meters connect to the postal service and find the correct postage rates.

For small businesses, convenience matters. When it comes to direct mail, convenience isn't always the easiest to come by. Whether you're mailing a letter to an important customer or sending hundreds of direct mail marketing campaigns, it's time-consuming to go to the post office and work through all the minor items needed to send a piece of mail.

That's where direct mail solutions can help. If your business relies on direct mail frequently, it's worth considering purchasing a postage meter.

Editor's note: Looking for information on postage meters for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to connect with vendors that can help.

 

What is a postage meter?

According to the U.S. Postal Service, "postal meters are postage printing machines or systems leased by authorized for use in your home or office. Meters print postage directly onto your mail pieces or on to meter tape, which you affix to your mail."

The USPS goes on to explain that postage meters can only be used if you obtain a permit to do so in the city of mailing. This process isn't that hard, but it is important.

In simplest terms, a postage meter prints postage onto your mail. Many meters print company logos onto mail and other tasks of that nature. This is beneficial. Instead of buying stamps or stickers of your logo, the postage meter prints a strip of ink as postage.  

How does a postage meter work?

Most postage meters today are digital. A digital postage meter normally includes a touchscreen and some sort of scale. Put your letter or parcel on the postage scale, and it tells you how much postage costs. Put your envelope into the manual or automatic feeder and wait for your mail to get its postage added. For parcels, many meters print the postage onto a sticker that you then affix to the box.

It's a simple process that doesn't require much effort and goes smoothly. It doesn't take long to learn, and nearly every small business employee should be able to quickly learn how to use their postage meter.

Why get a postage meter?

Postage meters save time and money. Your business won't have to visit the post office for postage stamps, and the machine ensures postage is accurate. This ensures reliability and convenience.

It's also helpful to be able to work around your business's schedule. Small business owners may find themselves working at 10 p.m. on a Friday night and want to prepare mail. They can't run to the post office to buy postage, but their postage meter works whenever it's needed. That's an added convenience.

Using a postage meter might result in massive savings in time or money, but you can save valuable amounts of both. The meter adds convenience to the life of a small business owner, which can often be tough to come by.

What are the best postage meters?

A few companies jump out when looking at the best postage meters available. Neopost and Pitney Bowes are two of the biggest companies in the direct mail industry. They offer quality options for postage meters that might be worth considering.

Pitney Bowes mailstation 2

The mailstation 2 is designed specifically for small businesses and home offices. The machine is small, offers tracking features and is reliable. The machine only weighs 8.7 pounds, and the scale is an additional two pounds. At just over 10 pounds, the machine is easy to move around and put in different places throughout the office if needed. It fits easily on a desk as well.

This Pitney Bowes model comes with a free USPS basic subscription for online connection. This ensures that the postage printed is accurate according to postal service guidelines. Following postal service guidelines can be one of the trickiest parts of utilizing direct mail, and this postage meter eliminates that concern quickly.

It comes with USPS carrier access, but can be upgraded to include FedEx and UPS. There's also the option to upgrade to a 5-pound scale. The machine costs $19.99 per month after a 60-day free trial.

NeoPost IS-280

This postage meter is an ideal option for small businesses. The IS-280 is similar to the mailstation 2 from Pitney Bowes, as both cater to small businesses. The IS-280 also features a 2-pound scale with the ability to obtain a 5-pound scale if desired.

Visuals act as a nice feature of this postage meter. There are about 100 stock images the postage meter can print onto your mail. This introduces an element of creativity to the direct mailing process.

In terms of speed, the IS-280 holds its own. It processes 18 pieces of mail per minute. That's not lightning fast, but it's plenty fast enough for small businesses using direct mail sparingly. The machine is best used for things like letters and tiny packages.

Other companies to consider

ARC Document Solutions

ARC has been providing print services and document management solutions since 1988, specializing in construction. It offers a managed print services calculator to help you keep a handle on printing and shipping costs.

Avery Dennison

Established in 1935, Avery Dennison creates products that include pressure-sensitive materials, bonding solutions, RFID solutions, postage meter labels and much more. Their labels are specifically designed to work well with Pitney Bowes machines.

Temando

Founded in 2009 with retailers' shipping needs in mind, Temando hopes to help you lower costs, increase sales and grow your business. It offers shipping help internationally.

Do I need a postage meter?

NeoPost and Pitney Bowes both offer a few tremendous postage meter solutions for small businesses, but that doesn't mean your business definitely needs a postage meter. During the decision-making process, take a count of how frequently your business uses direct mail. Can your business benefit from using a postage meter, or will it be an unnecessary purchase?

For businesses that use direct mail a few times a month, buying a postage meter can be a good way to save time and money. The direct connection to postal service rates is beneficial and helps make the postage process more convenient. On the other hand, if you don't use direct mail more than once every few months, a postage meter seems like an unnecessary purchase.

Make the buying decision based on your business's needs. Every business differs, and there are numerous postage solutions for different types of businesses. Find the solution that makes sense for you. 

Bennett Conlin
Bennett Conlin
See Bennett Conlin's Profile
Bennett is a B2B editorial assistant based in New York City. He graduated from James Madison University in 2018 with a degree in business management. During his time in Harrisonburg he worked extensively with The Breeze, JMU’s student-run newspaper. Bennett also worked at the Shenandoah Valley SBDC, where he helped small businesses with a variety of needs ranging from social media marketing to business plan writing.
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