Save on Overseas Mailing Cost (334 words)
By Lisa Yorgey
Domestic mailers aren't suffering rising postal costs alone; the cost of international mailing also has risen. However, reducing catalog quantities and mailing frequencies aren't the only ways to curtail expenditures, says John Michell, president of Clifton, NJ-based Johnson and Hayward, an international mail services firm. Following are some of his tips on how U.S. catalogers mailing overseas can cut costs.
• Use polywrap instead of an envelope to enclose your catalog. This will reduce the weight of a mail piece.
• Mail two catalogs at the same time. This cost-cutting measure certainly will work if you have two related books, such as a clothing catalog and a home accessories catalog. You still pay postage based on weight, but mailing compatible books at the same time can reduce some of your lettershop costs such as having to address and enclose the piece two separate times.
• Use a postcard requalification mailing sent via a First-class service so you get notification of undeliverable addresses, which can help clean your file. Be sure address changes and corrections that come back are updated in your master database. Although this is standard procedure for domestic list management, it doesn't always occur with foreign address records, which results in postage dollars going to waste on nondeliverable items.
• Keep your list clean. Periodically use an international service bureau for address correction and verification on house files of foreign names and addresses.
• Evaluate the most cost-effective options for distribution. For example, based on quantity, destination and weight, catalog mailers can implement various presort and minor design changes to use a direct-entry option. Some mailers find that by taking advantage of in-country mail and postal presort discounts, they can reduce postage costs and even some mail assembly/preparation costs.
• Reduce your catalog page count. This option has a downside, and it is not always an effective solution. When you reduce the page count, you're also reducing the number of items available to sell, thereby reducing your mailing's profitability.