Pointers From the Pros: Printers Offer Their Tips for Mailing Smarter
Printers are full of useful (and free) advice for their catalog clients. Their suggestions range from doing more customizing and co-mailing to learning more about how the postal rate increases are affecting catalogers. Here are some of their top tips for catalogers:
1. Consider a trim cut to get into co-mailing. “Even a minor trim size modification may allow them to mail with other catalogers and save postal dollars,” advises Dave Blais, senior vice president of sales and administration at Quad/Graphics.
2. Make it personal. Customizing and personalizing catalogs is a growing trend, Blais notes. But more catalogers should consider it to increase response. “Some mailers started with a single page or two pages and are now doing whole sections.”
3. Clean your list at least twice a year. Don Landis, vice president of postal affairs at Arandell Corp., says there’s still money to be saved in undeliverable mail.
4. Refine prospecting. “Be conscious of prospecting,” Landis advises. “Keep going down further to zero in on someone who’s more likely to order.”
5. Use smaller books for prospecting. Instead of mailing a 32-page book to everybody, send a 16-page to some and a 48-pager to others,” recommends Bruce Jensen, vice president of the catalog and magazine group at Transcontinental Printing
6. Keep on top of production changes. “Our biggest advice is to look at your current production process and thoroughly evaluate it,” Jensen says. “What was good five years ago is probably out-of-date today.”
7. Learn more about postal rates. “I can’t scream that enough,” Landis notes. “Join an association that is working with the USPS. There are a number of them out there, and there are a lot of changes coming.”
8. Get organized; stay organized. John Patneau, executive vice president of catalog sales at Quebecor World, says catalogers can’t let their guard down when it comes to postal rate increases. Regardless of how the latest rate case turned out, “the USPS can still propose another rate increase. There’s a lot of work to be done.”