After the Hike: Mailing Strategies
We’ve reduced weight in the past with success. We’re not going to reduce weight any more due to our testing of less weight and poorer performance/response rates. We’re already on the lowest grade paper (#5).
Q: Will you use any of the following options: using different paper, cutting page count, decreasing circulation?
A: No. We prepared the 2002 budget with the assumption of a rate increase.
We also were able to get a significant reduction in paper costs and advertising production for 2002. And we anticipate additional paper-cost reductions. These will offset the increases in the second half of 2002, as we’re benefiting in the first half of 2002 already.
Q: Will you change your method of delivery for products?
A: Regarding postal rates for outgoing packages, we’re considering switching to any and all carriers from USPS.
This rate change affects us in a big way as most of our outgoing packages are less than 5 pounds and go coast to coast. With the new rates being “zone-sensitive” under 5 pounds, we’re going to see higher-than-usual increases in rates.
Q: How does your versioning affect your ability to decrease postal costs?
A: As part of our merge/purge, our mail is sorted to give us the most efficient postal rate. The printer mingles the mail with other mailers’ to ensure we get the best price and delivery.
Q: Has RFM (recency, frequency monetary) value or CRM (customer relationship management) become more important in deciding to whom to mail?
A: In the near future, we’ll be able to improve our ability to eliminate non-productive names and perhaps deliver a smaller-size book to targeted customers.
Q: Will you prospect differently? To fewer names and/or different profiles?
A: The postal rate increase will not affect our prospecting strategy.
Q: What are your top three recommendations to catalogers for cutting postal costs?
A: First, work on your paper costs to reduce postal costs.