Are You Doing Everything You Can to Combat Rising Postage Costs?
While every publisher in America must know that postage costs are on the rise, many cost-saving measures that can benefit both individual players and the industry as a whole remain underutilized, industry groups say.
"Both [Magazine Publishers of America (MPA)] and [American Business Media (ABM)] are exhorting their members to do more co-mailing and drop-shipping," says David R. Straus, postal counsel for ABM. "ABM produced a DVD for members to show why this is important."
The issue goes beyond simply helping publishers with their bottom line.
While efforts by the ABM and MPA to educate members have been largely successful, these groups represent only about 13 percent of the 20,000 periodical titles in the country, according to Straus, and, while members produce a large percentage of the total volume of periodicals being mailed, "it doesn't take much to throw a monkey wrench into the process," he says. Mistakes such as bundles not securely bound, improper presorting and incorrect labeling drive up costs for the periodicals class as a whole, making it susceptible to higher annual rate increases.
Under the current regulatory system, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is charged with making sure that every class of mail covers costs directly attributed to its processing and delivery. Depending on how that figure is determined, periodicals publishers could be hit with a delivery-rate increase higher than the annual increase tied to the Consumer Price Index.
"There are publishers who are not members of either MPA or ABM who probably are not as aware of co-mailing and co-palletization," says Rita Cohen, senior vice president of governmental affairs at MPA. "We've asked the postal service if we could partner with them [to get the word out], because we think they would have the best infrastructure to reach that community" through mediums such as webinars and DVDs. "We need to broaden the audience for the message," she says.