Cost-cutting Tips You Can Take to the Bank
Much has been said and written about the stunning postage increase that took effect earlier this year. With new rates running upwards of 40 percent-plus greater than the previous ones for some Standard mail (catalog) categories, this may be the toughest challenge I’ve seen this industry encounter in all my years covering the business.
Fortunately for all of us, we have sharp minds like our lead columnist Stephen R. Lett and his vice president at Lett Direct, Sandy Wolstencroft. Steve and Sandy took it upon themselves to break down virtually all the ways you can implement change in your catalog mailing strategy to adapt to the new rates — but without having to cut circulation. I strongly encourage you to read this feature, take notes, clip out parts, whatever it takes. It could save your business.
— Paul Miller, Editor-in-Chief
This analysis will show you how the new postage rate increase impacts the incremental break-even point. Cutting circulation isn’t the solution to increased costs. Instead, consider the following.
Talk with your printer about co-mailing (or commingling). There are two big advantages:
① Postal savings. This is due to better presort levels and possibly better drop-ship discounts. More mail will qualify at the carrier route level.
② Better deliverability. More carrier route or five-digit pallets will result, enabling the catalogs to penetrate the postal system deeper, which could generate additional savings by going to more sectional center facilities (SCFs). This will increase production flow through the postal system.
Eliminate the Bind-in Order Form/Envelope
If you use a separate bind-in order form with envelope, consider printing the order form on a page in the catalog. As fewer orders actually are received by mail, many catalogers have eliminated the bind-in order form and envelope as a way to save money.