Co-Op Printing, Is It Worth It?
CO-OP printing, at first, seems to be a worthwhile plan. Just imagine, get your printing for prices ranging from ZERO to maybe $16.00 per thousand 8 1/2 x 11s. Your ads on one side... someone else's on the other side.
If you're just mailing a page or two, it may be true BUT, if you're really a mail-order mailer, and not just playing the mail-order game, you have probably started a maximize your customer mailings by sending as much as possible in the envelopes you send out.
You can mail about 4 1/2 8.5 x 11 sheets for the 1 ounce rate and over 18 sheets for the bulk mailing rate. For argument sake, lets say you mail out 4 sheets when you're sending 1st class 8 sheets when you're send bulk rate (as it becomes difficult to easily stuff your envelopes when more than 8 or 9 sheets are used unless you have a folding machine to make clean crisp folds). ALSO, the more common prices for 1-side co-op printing run between $6 and $16 per 1,000... making $11.00 per thousand an average pricing. The prices I note from the better mailorder printers for a 2-side 8.5 x 11 run between $20 and $39 per thousand making $29.50 per thousand an average price for 2-side printed sheets. Any of a kind of mailing list rents for 3 cents per name and up... however, I calculate it without a purchased mailing list.
Breakdown of 1st Class Mailing
Co-op way with 4 pages of material and 4 pages of someone else's (4 sheets both sides @ $11.00/1,000)
Postage per envelope .29 Mailing list/name .03 Cost of envelope & Misc. .02 Cost of 4 co-op pages .044 (0.011 per page co-op) _____ Total price per piece .384
Since you are mailing 4 pages of your material, it costs you .384/4 = .096 per page to deliver to your customer.
If you do your own mailing list by hand it cost .354/4 = .0885 per page delivered.
The full priced way with 8 pages of material ALL YOURS ( 4 sheets both sides).
Postage per envelope .29 Mailing list/name .03 Cost of envelope & Misc. .02 Cost of 4 sheets at .118 0.0295 per sheet full pr) ______ Total per piece .458
Since you are mailing 8 pages of your material, it costs you .458/8 = .05725 per page to deliver to your customer
If you do your own mailing list by hand it costs .428/8 = .0535 per page delivered.
Taking my "blurb" from the ads that co-op might not be worth it even if free. The first class mailing of 4 sheets of your material with ZERO cost for the printing would be .34/4 pages or .085 page delivered vs. .458/8 pages = .05725 page if paying for both side printing. A savings of almost 3 cents per page by using both side printing instead of free co-op printing.
Breakdown of Bulk Rate Mailing
Co-op way with 8 pages of material and 8 pages of someone else's (8 sheets both sides @ $11.00/1,000)
Postage per envelope .198 Mailing list/name .03 Cost of envelope & Misc. .02 Cost of 8 co-op pages .088 (.011/ page co-op ____ Total per Piece .366
Since you are mailing 8 pages of your material, it costs .366/8 = .041 per page to deliver to your customer.
If you do your own mailing list by hand it costs .306/8 = .03825 per page delivered.
The full priced way with 16 pages of material ALL YOURS (8 sheets both sides)
Postage per envelope .198 Mailing list/name .03 Cost of envelope & Misc. .02 Cost of 8 sheets (at .236 0.0295 / sheet full pr.) ____ Total per Piece .484
Since you are mailing 16 pages of your material, it costs .484/16 = .03025 per page to deliver to your customer.
Using my blurb again...if co-op cost your ZERO the bulk mailing of 8 pages of your material would cost .248/8 = .031 per page delivered. Yes, this is getting close and is just a trifle more expensive than the .03025 per page using 8 pages both sides. BUT, it more or less makes a point.
So we have shown that on first class mailings co-op isn't worth it even if free. On a 8 page bulk mailing we have shown that co-op is just slightly more expensive, EVEN IF FREE.
To be completely straightforward with you, on larger sized mailing pieces of 9 sheets of more co-op @ free has a slight price advantage over doubled sided printing. BUT you normally can't get free co-op printing! In the real world and normal world, it's still cheaper to mail both sides at regular prices.
Also, when using co-op printing, you have little if any control over the ads on back. They might possibly be really cruddy ads that you would hate to send out or perhaps in direct competition with your own.
If you've been in mail order for more than a month...chances are you've been ripped off by one or more ad sheet printers. This report won't make you a mail-order genius but might keep you from loosing your shirt prematurely.
When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge from preparing your own circulars and from co-publishing magazines and ad sheets of others, you may want to become a publisher.
There have been entire volumes written on mail order selling. For printed information, the best way to learn HOW & WHERE to advertise is to go to your newsstand and check through all the magazines carrying large numbers of classified and space ads.
Have you placed your display ad in a national magazine with over 20 million readers, then waited for the orders to pour in? But the days go by and there is little or no responses?
Regardless of what you're trying to sell, you really can't sell it without "talking" with your prospective buyer. An in attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send out is when and how you talk to your prospect.
This method of getting free printing is currently being used by several different mail dealers. It works! Here's the plan: Run an ad similar to this in any mail order magazine:
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
What is a Big Mail? If you are a total beginner to the mail order world, you will have no idea what the term means. Before I knew better, I used to think a Big Mail was just a big envelope containing some type of free samples.
Here are some interesting results of a study conducted on readerships of magazine ads. Most of the stats are from Starch INRA Hopper, Inc and other studies.
Most business beginners think Direct Mail means purchasing a mailing list and mailing an advertising flyer to a bunch of folks they know absolutely nothing about. This IS NOT what Direct Mail marketing is.