Master Manufacturer: How to Do a Co-Mail Analysis
Co-mailing your publication with other titles offers great savings, but do you know how much you’re really saving? Do you know how to evaluate whether you could be saving more with another mailer/printer?
Savings promised by printers are typically what you would save by co-mailing compared to other options, such as direct entry, dynamic entry (drop-ship) or co-palletization. They are not calculating the difference between what you pay for postage now and what they propose (which would be your actual savings). So, it’s important for you to do your own analysis. And, since postage is a major cost center, it’s important to include a co-mail analysis with every print-bid project.
The following guidelines should help you better understand the process and determine your true costs and possible savings.
STEP 1. Prepare for the Analysis
When you are comparing co-mailing bids to your current method, you need to create a valid comparison by using the exact data used for a recently mailed issue:
1. Printer, mailer and U.S. Postal Service (USPS) receipts, including:
• list management;
• freight charges and fuel surcharges;
• miscellaneous administrative fees; and
• USPS 3541s.
2. A copy of the mail list used for that particular issue.
Many mail lists are updated regularly, and an updated list will not provide an accurate comparison. If you’re concerned about sending your valuable mailing list to an unknown company, a nondisclosure agreement from them will protect you.
STEP 2. Control the Process
A well-defined outline of your goals, process and schedule will help make sure prospective mailers respond with what you ask for, rather than bombarding you with “sales speak.”
STEP 3. Analyze the Proposals
Once you receive the proposals, first verify that the quantities, weights and ad percentages are the same as what you actually used. Don’t be surprised if they don’t match.