31 Tips for Offsetting Postal Rate Increases
In the aftermath of this year’s postal rate increases, publishers and vendors are coming up with fresh ideas and methodologies for cutting costs, spurred on by the postal service’s new emphasis on standardized shipping. Strategies vary based on print runs and distribution models; generally speaking, however, the USPS’s new rules tend to benefit publishers who work with printers to use co-palleting and co-mailing options, and have forced small-run publishers to seek partners or find other means to offset increasing expenses that can total in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Publishing Executive gathered 31 tips from those in the field to help you offset increased postal costs.
Tips from Bob Wiemers, Operations Director, Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
As a nonprofit, BSA is used to being thrifty, Wiemers says. He shares several ways his organization has found success dealing with the “double whammy” of paper and postal increases.
1. Cut size and weight judiciously. “If the paper crisis of the 1990s didn’t force you to do it, look at reducing trim size and paper basis weight,” he says. “But don’t rush to something drastic. Moving to a ‘Slim Jim’ format may save paper and piece weight, but you’ll spend new money on tabbing and trays. Consider all the costs.”
2. Seek out co-mail partners. “Co-mail seems to be the only fruit left unpicked by publishers and catalogers,” Wiemers points out. He recommends working with printers to find co-mail partners, as larger mail bundles allow for greater optimization of pre-sort savings.
3. Clean up the mailing list. “Approximately six percent of catalogs and magazines are undeliverable. Spend the time, and money, to clean your list,” he says.
Tips from Rita Cohen, Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Magazine Publishers of America (MPA)
Cohen spoke with Publishing Executive about challenges specific to smaller publishers.