USPS Suggests Publishers Take A Hike
Hainault also sees fulfillment joining the online fray.
“We’ll have to push for more cover wraps and using the magazine itself to piggyback on the postage being paid,” he says.
A Forecast For The Forecast
While there’s still a little time until the 2007 forecast, there’s no question that the circulation budget strategy has to change. Hainault says he’ll be adding 3 percent to 5 percent to his forecast budget of last year.
Adenau will also be planning for a boost.
“I’ll have no choice but to plug in a few more percentage points when it comes to postal next year,” she says. “But I’m also going to be ready for other possibilities. One would be manipulating the postal license. I’d ask myself whether the paper and cover stock can be downgraded without sending away readership. Also, you have to look at reducing copies on the comp list and for the audience that doesn’t need to have the magazine. You’d look for alternative ways to keep advertisers and also check out verified distribution, looking at the public place alternative.”
Adenau also points out that there are efficiency improvements that have always been available that circulation directors don’t fully implement.
“We can do a better job of mining through carrier routes … going beyond ZIP-code plus four and doing the work to get to the true carrier route level. Drop-shipping instead of multiple entry points could also save permit fees.”
Hainault says by teaming up with other publishers through technology to comail will have deeper penetration into certain postal areas by getting ZIP code discounts.
“If we bundle together sequentially on what’s going to the same areas, the post office runs more efficiently than disparate mailings,” he says. “You can also consider the hygiene of the addresses. The cleaner your files are, then the less it costs the post office for tracking people who have moved. You save the post office the address-forwarding charge for their operation costs, and it saves you too.”