Aside of the physical printing of your invoices, there are other ancillary costs that are associated with the invoice printing process such as the toner, other consumables, paper, time taken by staff and the cost of postage. E-billing is slowly replacing the paper based bill but even if you are in the throes of making that conversion not all of your customers will be willing to comply to receiving your e-bill.
I am assuming that you are not sending an email with a .pdf bill attached that is not e-billing, that is sending a .pdf as an attachment.
Here is a quick overview on how to save money when you print and process your customer invoices.
1. Batch invoices for one company into a single envelope
It’s surprising the number of organisations that send out single invoices for each transaction rather than consolidating customers invoices into one envelope. This in itself can give you greater reductions in postage costs. Moreover, the customer wont thank you if they receive 10 envelopes when one will do.
If this is a manual process then unfortunately it will take time to ensure that your customer invoices are matched and inserted in to the envelope. You can automate the entire process by outsourcing the print and mailing process altogether. Click here to find out how.
2. Change the size of the envelope you use for posting out your documents
This seems obvious but surprisingly many companies use a standard DL size envelope and end up having to send out 3-4 envelopes to the same customer. This can cause another issue when the customer receives envelope 3 but envelopes 1 and 2 arrive later due to the inconsistent delivery of the Royal Mail.
Changing from a DL size envelope to a C5 (this is half the size of an A4 sheet of paper) will enable you to insert at least 15 A4 folded sheets comfortably. The importance here is making sure that you match the right documents for the same customer into the envelope as discussed above.
3. Postage discounts are available from the Royal Mail and via DSA (downstream access)
If you can pre-sort your mail internally and according to the mail providers criteria postage discounts could be anything from between 10% – 40% per envelope which represents a big saving on the bottom line. If you outsource the process then its possible to gain greater discounts using Downstream Access.
DSA is mail that has been collected and distributed by a competitor, but is delivered in to Royal Mail mail centres for final processing onto local delivery offices ready for delivery.
4. Invalid or incorrect addresses
A sure fire way to end up having a steady flow of undeliverable invoices is having incomplete or incorrect address details. An accounts system that is regularly maintained and administered will reduce the number of returned or undelivered envelopes. Additionally an incomplete address will not qualify for pre-sortation discounts.
Make sure that your envelopes have a return address on the flap so that the Royal Mail can forward those items that weren’t delivered back to you.
5. Encourage the uptake of an electronic bill instead of a paper version
More and more companies are making it easier for their customers to sign up for e-billing. It is one of the single most effective ways of reducing costs and administration associated with print and mailing of invoices and statements!
6.White Space Management
Often overlooked but in simply terms use your paper invoice as a vehicle to hi-light some company news, offer discounts, promote a new product or service using the white space to print targeted marketing messages to your customer is cheap advertising, after all you’re printing the invoice use up the white space and be specific.
Even if its telling your customers to find you on social media – facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+ it’s a great way to remind your customers that aside of paying your bill you also provide other services and you want to engage with them.
You might want to target a particular audience with a personalised message and as you’ve already paid for the paper, the envelope and the postage why not use the invoice and personalise it with marketing messages.
All of the above takes time, costs money and is fairly labour intensive automating the process is a consideration and the days of cost benefits associated with high volume billing runs are long gone.
Even if you send out a few hundred bills a month there are some cost advantages to be had.
If you want to discuss some or any of the above please call us and we will advise you as to the best solution to suit your budget and your business needs.