When you start figuring all the costs for doing a mailing, they do add up:
- Designing and copywriting
- Printing and folding
- Purchasing lists
- Stuffing and addressing
- Sorting by ZIP code
- And let’s not forget the postage…
So why should you pay all these costs yourself when often you’re promoting a manufacturer’s products? Similar to co-op advertising, which was discussed in Chapter 4, direct mailers can use the same concept. Your suppliers and manufacturers may offer to assist you or pay for some of your mailings. Many larger companies have in-house art departments that may be able to design your complete mailing piece or brochure for you at no cost. They have all the art and photos available for their products. After all, you’re trying to sell more of their products, so why shouldn’t they
help you? They may also have a mailing service they use regularly that you can use at a discount. And see whether your suppliers have a regular printer that you can use at a better cost than you could get on your own.
However, your suppliers aren’t going to do anything to help you unless you do one thing—ask! Remember, you are their customer, and they should want to keep you happy and increase the amount they sell to you. If your mailings provide a big chunk of your sales, then they also contribute to your suppliers’ sales. Explain this to them if they don’t get it right away. You’ll need to talk to someone in their marketing department or a sales manager, rather than your sales rep or customer service. If you’re a valued customer, they should do something for you, but don’t forget to ask.