Master Manufacturer: How to Do a Co-Mail Analysis
Some miscellaneous costs come straight from the mailer, and like paper and ink usage, you pretty much have to trust the mailer’s figures; but try to verify as much as possible. When the mailer quotes a pool size, verify that pool is available on the days you actually mail. In other words, don’t let them calculate postage based on a large pool in which you will never mail. It’s difficult to ensure that there will be a co-mail match with every run, but you can improve your odds by looking for printers with maximum capacity and large mail pools.
The Importance of Pools
The pool’s size and participants have a tremendous effect on postage costs for all those in the pool. Each publication has different destinations, which may or may not dovetail into your list. In other words, if their copies are going to the same place as yours, you both benefit in presort savings. On the flip side, you may not complement each other, and you’ll reap little benefit. This cannot be controlled by you or the mailer. Mailers cannot and will not guarantee a pool size. The only guarantee comes with the FPR method, where the pool size does not matter.
As the project progresses, ask for updates, as pool sizes are in constant flux. For example, in a recent project, RR Donnelley added a million copies to its previously proposed pool. When questioned about the sudden change and “newer savings,” it stated that the pool we were targeted for actually grew by that much with the addition of three new customers. Just as easily, it could have lost those customers and the pool would be a million copies smaller.
A good tip is to ask for several pool sizes to be analyzed, thus resulting in “high” and “low” averages. This range is helpful to bean counters because they can choose what figure they want to budget.