Cut Costs and Keep Creative
So if you decide to cut either or both of these, test the current page catalog against a reduced page version. Try weaving promotions and copy into the catalog that drive shoppers to your Web site to see your entire assortment.
Cut Postage, Not Circ
There’s no magic wand to help solve all of today’s budgetary issues. So, let your vendors become your catalog’s fairy godmothers of sorts. If you want to mail smarter but not less, then seek help from your printer, list manager and co-op database providers. Even the USPS itself will be happy to consult with you to make sure your pieces comply to yield the maximum postal discounts.
For example, don’t hesitate to incorporate add-a-name, in which you add names to carrier routes that fall short of the 10-per-carrier-route requirement. Increase the number of deliverable addresses in your housefile by running it through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Learn about the new flats sequencing system, the automatic high-speed feeders and sorters being implemented by the USPS. Keep your list clean and compliant so it’ll sort for maximum efficiency.
Co-Mailing’s a No-Brainer
Virtually all printers offer some kind of co-mailing opportunities, which involve combining your catalog with other catalogs in either online or offline bindery to get lower postage rates. Co-mailing also allows for deeper penetration into the mail system, with which comes the added benefit of better deliverability. In the end, co-mailing can save an impressive 4 cents or 5 cents per book without forcing you to make any changes in design, size, paper or circulation.
With digital technologies largely handling page composition today, the labor-intensive, cost-heavy aspect of prepress predominantly lies in the digital retouching of photographs, such as creating clipping paths, silhouettes and shadows around product shots. If your catalog requires this work (as most do), it can be an excellent place to save a little money in your budget.