Editor’s Take: On the Great Postal Disaster of 2007
With the much dreaded postal rate increase taking effect this month, hopefully by now most catalogers have made at least some of the adjustments needed to continue to grow — or at least survive. As we’re in the heart of the industry’s conference season, many have been feasting on scores of postal cost-cutting tips coming from presentations, special emergency sessions and the media.
For our part, after breaking the news on our Web site (www.CatalogSuccess.com) about the Postal Regulatory Commission’s punishing catalog rate increase that was more or less hidden in its rate recommendation to the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors, we doled out several tips articles right off the bat on our site and in our two e-newsletters, Idea Factory and The Corner View. For a quick and easy way to access our coverage, go to www.CatalogSuccess.com/search/category/postal.bsp. Or if you don’t feel like jotting that down, find our Communities department on our homepage, then click on Postal.
Now comes the aftermath. How’s this industry going to thrive when its dominant cost center is going through the roof? Certainly your printers, list reps, consultants, industry associations and media partners like us have laid it all out for you by now. Here’s a brief summary:
■ reduce your paper weight;
■ cut your catalog’s trim-size;
■ rely more heavily on the Web and e-mail;
■ overhaul your address hygiene practices;
■ seek out more co-mailing opportunities;
■ try add-a-name; and
■ re-evaluate your contact strategy.
But whatever you do, don’t reduce circulation, or you’re doomed for failure.
There are plenty of other strategies, and I strongly urge you to keep in close contact with any and all experts you know for further advice. The process of finding a more affordable way to grow is ongoing.
Pros & Cons