Reduce Catalog Costs
Another successful strategy: Create a core catalog for a season, and swap out a group of pages on the outside of the book to keep the catalog looking fresh. For instance, changing an eight-page signature can make the first four and the last four pages in the catalog look new, a powerful and cost-effective remail strategy.
Other ideas for common printing include order forms (especially if you use the traditional bound-in order form), and other items such as sizing guides and customer service and shipping information.
6. Cut pages. While cutting pages is certainly an option, it's not one I'd immediately recommend. I'm an advocate of adding pages. If you can cut costs in other areas and then funnel those savings back into additional pages, you actually could increase your response rates and average order size. More products equals more options for your customers to buy. Ask your merchandising team to find solid, time-tested products that have great sales appeal.
7. Quote it out. Do vendor reviews. This isn't an easy process for me, as I tend to build strong alliances and partnerships with the vendors I choose. But it's a necessary part of business, even with long-standing vendors.
Rules to remember: When quoting out printing and mailing vendors, compare apples to apples, that is, the same paper, trim size, ink-on-page coverage, number of pages, versions, circulation and drops. Quote out all aspects of the print job. I'll even go so far as to have printers participating devise a spreadsheet with all of the secondary items such as binding, inserting and other items that will come up, so there are no surprises later.
The spreadsheet the printer prepares should include postage (and discounts for destination entry and trucking to BMCs and SCFs as defined above). Have your service bureau send a final mail tape to the printers you're reviewing, and let them estimate the postage from that. Once you have a comprehensive spreadsheet from each print vendor, you can make your comparisons.