The U.S. Postal Service raised postage rates today. Upon hearing this news, I immediately thought of two things: One, on rare occasions when I do send letters, they will now be covered in at least three stamps (my remaining 42 cent-ers and two one-cent ones) that I have crammed unattractively together in the upper-right hand corner of the envelope; and two, there's even more of a reason for meeting planners to be using email communication for their events.
Mailing a letter now costs 44 cents for the first ounce, or about five sheets of paper. Postcards cost 28 cents while large envelopes cost 88 cents for the first ounce. International postcards and letters are 75 cents to Canada, 79 cents to Mexico, and 98 cents elsewhere.
Sure, it seems like merely pennies when you think about it individually, but these numbers really add up when you start to host events that number in the hundreds, thousands and so on. Add to this the fact that you won't just be sending invitations, but also event reminders, follow-up information, save-the-dates (for weddings), etc., and the cost of paper mail becomes astronomical—all on something that won't even be used or remembered after the event has ended!
Don't get me wrong—I understand the sentiment that goes with writing and sending a letter by mail, and how it can mean a lot when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family. For that, I can deal with the extra postage charge for my occasional mail. But when it comes to your meetings, direct mail just doesn't make sense—not for your budget and not for the environment.