How to waste a lot of money on a brochure mailout (and how not to)

You’ve raced time and fought inertia to finish the design of a brochure and get it printed – so we understand that you just want to get it straight into market.

But distribution is your biggest cost, so it can pay to take a deep breath and consider your options.

A common scenario is having two printed materials in sequence – with one going to print a few weeks after the other.

Should you ship the first one straight away or wait and ship them both together?

If you can afford the time, then it is almost always better to wait and here’s why:

Imagine you’ve got two printed materials:

  • A Big Course Guide – weighing 250 grams.
  • A Really Cool Flyer – weighing 25 grams.

And you’ve got 400 agents around the world who want them plus a distribution company that you think has given you great freight rates that look like this: 

Weight (Kgs)Every Country
0.5$25.00
1.0$28.00
1.5$31.00
2.0$34.00
2.5$38.00
3.0$41.00

If you decide to send the course guide and flyer separately then the costs will be as follows:

10 x Big Course Guide to each of 400 Agents

  • 10 * 0.25kgs = 2.5kgs per shipment
  • 2.5kgs costs $38 per shipment
  • Total Cost is 400 * $38 = $15,200

10 x Really Cool Flyer to each of 400 Agents

  • 10 * 0.025 = 0.5kgs per shipment (couriers always round up)
  • 0.5kgs costs $25 per shipment
  • Total Cost is 400 * $25 = $10,000

So the total cost of sending them separately is $25,200.

But what if you send them together?

10 x Big Course Guide + 10 x Really Cool Flyer to 400 Agents

  • 10 * 0.25kgs + 10 * 0.025 = 3kgs per shipment (couriers always round up)
  • 3kgs costs $41 per shipment
  • Total Cost is 400 * $41 = $16,400

That’s a saving of $8,800 or 35%.

But if you think of it in terms of what it now costs to send the Really Cool Flyer – in fact the cost of sending that has dropped from $10,000 to just $1,200 or a saving of 88%.

And maybe that frees up some budget to produce and send a Super Awesome Flyer as well? (And still save money).

The moral of this story is that no matter how low your distribution company’s rates – these cannot compensate for decisions like the above, which are the real drivers of budget blow outs.

So ask them for help planning your distribution and if they don’t seem willing or able, then you’re welcome to contact us for help!

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