Well, it finally happened. In April, for the first time since 1919, the U.S. Postal Service rolled back postage rates. This historic action had to do with some kind of “exigent surcharge” that got removed.

Frankly, no one likes exigent surcharges anyway, especially when removing them saves you about 4.3 percent, and we’re glad to see them go. They were bothersome to all kinds of mailings, including letters, large envelopes and postcards. So now with these changes, First-Class stamps move to $0.47 from $0.49, First-Class metered mail from $0.485 to $0.465 and postcards are now $0.34 instead of $0.35.

A couple of pennies of savings may seem like small change, but it surely adds up – particularly when you recoup this investment many times over through successful Direct Mail campaigns. And this news is a good reminder of the importance of employing an integrated print and digital strategy (one that about 76% of small businesses say works best for them).

First – Direct Mail. Not only have reports of its death been highly exaggerated, it’s got a pretty clean bill of health. That’s because it’s got a lot of good things going for it, including customer preference. According to MarketingSherpa research, 54% of U.S. consumers prefer to receive regular updates and promotions in the mail. In fact, you can consider it the “most preferred,” in that no other method has a higher percentage.

Make it personal – Direct Mail allows for personalization, which customers recognize as taking a little bit more effort than personalized email. This quality is not just limited to letters in envelopes; postcards can also be personalized.

Get seen – The inbox is a noisy, busy place, and it’s hard to get noticed among all the activity. But you can’t help but get seen when your piece arrives in a physical mailbox. That’s especially true for postcards. You need a strong teaser on an envelope to get a letter opened. But stats show that 80% of households that receive direct response postcards actually read those postcards. That’s probably because they can’t help but doing so since all they have to do is take them out of the mailbox – and the message gets seen.

Send a Strong Message – You know that consumers are receptive to your mailing, so make sure you’re ready for your mailing to make a difference. Create engaging content that prompts an action. And don’t forget to tell them what action you want them to take. Your call-to-action should be clear and easy to do. Also, if you send them to a landing page, use one that’s easy to remember and easy to type – not a long-winded URL that looks like it’s six pages deep on your site map. Try something like: ABCCo.com/FreeGift.

Incorporate interactivity – Add your URLs and your social media addresses to your printed piece. But in case no one has time to type that into a browser, use QR codes to link directly to landing pages and social media profiles.

Other print options – Don’t forget door hangers and yard signs. When you’re servicing a neighbor, stop by the other homes and leave a friendly hello on the doorknob. Your name is in a “can’t miss” position. And put out a yard sign (with permission) so that others can see you’re the trusted contractor for someone they know (or live near). Remember, print is not just for paper and cardstock. It’s also used for magnets, stickers, coasters or other items left behind as thoughtful gestures after an installation, staying in the home long after you’ve gone.