Co-Mailing – What is it and How it Benefits You

Co-mailing Defined:

“Co-mingling or mailing is the process of combining different catalog titles into one mail stream in order to generate more carrier route discount mail.”

Why do companies co-mail their catalog with other catalogs? The simple answer is to save money. To co-mail, there are certain requirements that must be met which I will discuss in this article. Even with the fee paid to the printer for the co-mailing service, the net postage savings can be significant.

The process occurs during the binding/ink-jetting phase of catalog production. During the binding/ink-jetting stage the printer combines multiple catalog titles into one mail stream. This causes more of the mail to qualify for the carrier route rate.

What are the Requirements to Co-mail?

  • Not every cataloger is able to co-mail their catalog with another company. There are certain requirements for the mailer which are as follows:
  • The catalogs need to fall within a certain trim size range with the other partners.
  • There can be limitations on catalogs being too thin or too thick.
  • Both must have the same distribution pattern, i.e., the same in-home dates or mail dates (which some catalogers want for fulfillment purposes since this method tends to level out the order flow).
  • Printer must do the ink jet formatting and list sortation since their machinery will do the coding etc. This work cannot be done by your service bureau.

How are Savings Generated?

During the binding/ink-jetting stage the printer combines multiple catalog titles into one mail stream.  This reduces the cost for all mailers in the mail pool. While printers may approach their charges differently, the result in terms of potential savings will be similar.

What are the Advantages of Co-mailing?

  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 5-digit pallets will result enabling the catalogs to penetrate the postal system deeper (which could generate additional savings by going to more SCF’s). This will increase production flow through the postal system.

Ask your printer if they can identify any co-mailing opportunities for you. And, when approached by your printer to co-mail with another company, be sure to ask the right questions. Don’t just look at the potential savings. Co-mailing with another reputable cataloger is a good thing to do. Just be certain you evaluate the true potential savings. If you can find the right partner, this can make a great deal of sense. And, if your printer can provide satisfactory answers to your questions, go for it. The savings from co-mailing can add up!