Back in the 90’s it was a cumbersome process trying to get a Publications Mail agreement. Then one day – BOOM – virtually anything could be a “pub” (Publications Mail). The word of the day was, “If it looks like a pub, smells like a pub, it is a pub”. It was so intense that we even had a piece of Addressed Admail deemed as Publications Mail at the Canada Post RVU (Receipt Verification Unit). Although we got this reversed, it was really quite a surprise. But what this was telling us was even more intriguing. And, it’s still a bit of an unknown today. I will explain.
Consider that the price for Oversize Addressed Admail is $0.62 at 50 grams and at 200 grams it is $1.115. However, the average price for Publications Mail (at the DCF level) is $0.63 at 50 grams and is still $0.63 at 200 grams. At 100 grams, Publications Mail sits tight at $0.63, but the Oversize Addressed Admail will be $0.785 and at 150 grams $0.95.
Before continuing though there a couple of key things you need to know about Publications Mail. First you basically need to maintain a minimum average ratio of 31% objective editorial to 69% advertising. Now, that’s pretty easy. Second you are supposed to mail at least two times per year. Not such a bad deal when you consider it. But hey, if it works for you, you may want to mail even more frequently.
As if the foregoing wasn’t good enough, you can also include advertising inserts with your newsletter when mailing it as Publications Mail. This could include salesy postcards or flyers. You simply include these items as part of your advertising percentage. Heck, while you are at it, you could even throw in links to some nice pURL-based microsites to expand content and further engage readers.
Just like your blog can help to showcase your industry expertise, so can your newsletters. To really drive results, you simply write objective articles and then place your related ads in proximity. Now you are not only the go to experts, you are also the go to business, if someone wants to purchase the product or service. Putting your newsletter in poly, along with your inserts ensures it is visible when it arrives. Just put a nice enticing article, that has lots of benefits for your readers, on the front cover of your newsletter and the package is likely to get opened.
Sometimes when I tell this story, I feel like the lady in the IKEA commercial yelling “Start the car! Start the car!” Surprisingly though, there are not that many people taking advantage of this. However, I recommend it and see it as smart marketing at a great price. Start the car. . .
Dave Ward is President of Highland Marketing and a proponent of intelligent direct marketing, which combines the practical elements of using the right mix of direct marketing services and Canada Post products together with options that serve to heighten engagement and improve overall ROI. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.hiland.com