Want Less Work, Better Quality and Lower Costs?
• Is your equipment in-line?
• What percentage of your customers participate?
• How much of my mail will be drop-shipped?
• Will you be using third parties?
• How is my timing affected?
• How will my bottom line be affected?
Not all mailed copies qualify for co-mailing, and offline functions, such as polybagging, may also disqualify copies. Check with your printer on the requirements and limitations for their co-mailing service. One requirement with co-mailers is the use of their list-management services.
"We just recently co-mailed our magazine with a 1.5 million quantity, and we saved a little over $8,000 dollars on our mailing cost," says Chapman. "The savings are there, and the reason most postal savings are overlooked is because it can seem like a very complicated process because so few people truly understand how it works. Look at all distribution options: co-mailing, co-binding, drop-shipping, etc. Know what options are available to you as a periodical rate mail piece vs. a catalog or directory. Not all options are created equally."
Be aware, however, of exactly what a printer means when claiming that you will save $X by co-mailing. Usually, this does not mean that is the savings over your current method; instead, it is the difference between co-mailing and single-entry (which is the worst-case scenario).
It is up to you to compare a printer's proposed co-mailing costs to your own and determine the true difference. Be sure all costs are included: postage, drop-ship freight, administrative fees and list-management services.
Conduct a 'post mortem' meeting on your publication. If you can't do this for every issue, try to do so quarterly. Involve everyone who touched the magazine, and discuss what went right and what needs improvement in future issues.
Look at the process that took place to put the issue together, and go through the printed publication itself. Look for recurring concerns that can be addressed. But don't forget to acknowledge what went right. This is a great time to give praise.