Postal rates increases are nothing new. Marketers have faced annual postal rate increases since 2001 (and before that, every few years since the early 1900s). However the most recent increase, which went into effect January 26, 2014, is the highest we’ve seen in a while. Postage rates on first-class letters increased by 3 cents, and almost every class of mail increased 6% to help the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Of course, while the price hike was positioned to increase revenue for the USPS, it might have the opposite effect – lower revenue. This is due to price elasticity, which applies to many products: when the price goes up, the users will buy less, resulting in lower overall revenue. While the impact of the recent rate hike depends on your mail volume and frequency, there are ways to overcome it. With the rise of direct mail costs, here are a few ways you can leverage your online and offline data and streamline processes to offset costs. Saturate carrier routes. This is an easy way to leverage postage discounts. You can use Epsilon’s TotalSource Plus (TSP) to supply add-a-name pools, if needed. The USPS offers greater discounts when certain requirements are met. If a mailing meets the requirements for standard mail and the criteria below, it can qualify for lower pricing.