Measuring the Impact of Mail Pooling and Co-Mailing on Catalog Postage Costs, Part 1 of 2
In the first of this two-part series on helping catalogers realize maximum postal discounts, I’ll examine the various techniques you can use to save in postage — including co-binding, co-mailing and mail pools.
Last year’s postal rate increase of almost 10 cents/piece left catalogers scrambling to offset the impact to their bottom lines. For many, printing has become an area to trim costs. Printers can deliver postal savings when mailing from their plants. Increased attention is focused on mail pool and co-mail programs. Postal savings can be realized in three unique ways:
1. Weekly destination-entry, drop-ship mail pools. Catalogers bind and address the books themselves. Then their mail is combined on trucks shipping to bulk mail centers (BMCs) and sectional center facilities (SCFs) to realize destination-entry postal discounts.
2. Co-bind pools handle the mailing of streams for multiple customers. Combine them into one; then all the participants are bound and addressed on the same binding line.
3. Co-mail pools where catalogs for each participant are bound at the printer but not addressed. Mail files for all participants are combined into one large file, and the catalogs are then placed on offline co-mail machines to be addressed and mailed in a single mailstream.
Weekly destination-entry mail pools have been used for a long time. This is when printers combine all their bulk mail in a week and truck it to BMCs and SCFs around the country. Mailers realize substantial savings, ranging from 4 cents to 7 cents per book in net postal savings, after paying the printers’ freight and administrative costs.
When searching for a new printer by comparing a potential printer with your existing printer, ask yourself two questions:
* How big is your weekly mail pool? and
* How much will I save in destination-entry discounts?