Mailing and distribution may seem a bit snoozy. But they get a lot more exciting when you consider how much they affect your bottom line. Postage is one of the top two costs for any publication or direct mail piece. With higher volumes, even a 1% savings is huge!
That said, virtually every marketer and publisher can save on their mailings. Ongoing changes to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) and USPS rates, along with increasing competition among shippers (e.g., FedEx, UPS, DHL), can translate into new cost-efficiencies — with a few small moves.
Here are those with the most payoff:
Changing Weight — Revamp what you mail. While changing the size of a magazine or catalog can alienate readers and advertisers — or affect your brand image — a slight change in paper stock can go unnoticed. But that’s not to say you should skimp on substrates. The USPS’s January 2017 flat parcel change lets you mail another full ounce at the same rate. This means your magazine could beef up its stock to create a premium image; add more advertising pages; or offer blow-ins, tip-ons, inserts, foil stamping treatments, and special cover wraps that can yield new excitement and revenue.
Changing Production Processes — Rethinking how you produce a piece can also add value. For example, if you do a similar promotion frequently, quote it both digital and offset and take note of your quantity breaks. (They may have changed with recent digital press advancements.) Or, consider doing a larger run with a base design, then imprinting it later digitally. Marketers often save significant money with this approach, while enabling personalization to boost results.
For magazines, a change from producing a print magazine to a digital one may be another way to save costs. But, it also tends to lose subscribers. Consider a transition to hybrid, producing both digital and print versions. Proven publishing partners such as Creel have solutions for content management, advertiser support and optimization, and distribution across both platforms. Or branch out. If you’re now exclusively digital, print can bring in new revenues while expanding reach — a lesson learned by formerly all-online CNET, as well as 200+-page magazines POLITICO, PORTER, and many others.
Changing Logistics — Finally, the way you mail can affect your costs. Small publishers and agencies often believe that their lower quantities restrict them to standard periodical or first-class rates. But by working with a printing company that specializes in higher volumes, you can tap into some great new savings. This can include destination entry to NDC, SCF, and DDU postal facilities; co-palletization; selective saddle stitch inkjet addressing; and co-mailing (which can shave as much as 20% off your postage bill). Your possibilities will depend on your project and database.
Mailing and distribution are cumbersome, and regulations are complex. These considerations can get you off to a good start. But your best bet is to partner with a company that offers you all of these cost-saving opportunities in-house, like the Creel Companies. With nearly 70 years’ experience serving publishers and marketers, we have the widest array of mobile, digital, printing, and distribution technologies to increase the ROI of any print or publishing program.
Contact us today to discuss your opportunities. Call 1.866.494.6155 or click below.