After the Hike: Mailing Strategies
Second, evaluate the weight of your paper; test lighter paper but do not sacrifice response rate for paper costs.
Third, take a more active role in postal DMA [Direct Marketing Association] forums and communicate your concerns to the commission. In light of this increase, I’m sure there will be ample opportunity to express opinions.
Alan Paggao, campaign manager for PCMall, MacMall and Ecost catalogs
Q: How are you gearing up to save money on your mailings once postal rates rise this year?
A: I’m requesting efficiencies from the paper mills.
Q: Have you considered reducing the weight of your catalog, and if so, how will you do that?
A: Paper prices are going down but not on a continuum. We’ve tested almost every stock. We try to remain as thin as possible. We’ve changed different paper stocks on our outside signatures of the catalogs.
We put our top-selling SKUs on the heavier stock, and inside use a different stock to lower the base weight. This way we can send out a 92-page book at the same weight as a 68-page book.
We’ve tried different coated papers and have had good success with coated SCA to SCA-plus. If you have a very color-sensitive product I wouldn’t recommend it. We’re not that color-sensitive and are more worried about decreasing base weight.
We’re going out to prospects on lower-grade stock, and we put only our top-selling items in those catalogs. We’ve capitalized on our drive to the Web with smaller-page books that get rid of the fat.
For us the catalog is a reminder and many customers reference it.
Q: Are you using any technology to help streamline your mailing operations? And if so, what are you using?
A: About five years ago we revamped our production to capitalize on pool freights and to take advantage of postal pre-sorts. We have multiple titles, so we rehashed schedules to optimize efficient co-mailing savings. The advantage is you can go over the postal piece rate minimum. We save about 2 to 3 cents a book; that’s $6,000 a mailing and that adds up.