Two-Minute Interview With Betsey Fortlouis, ASPCA
FS: What are some tried-and-true ways you’ve found to cut costs for direct-mail production?
BF: We always try to gang print on certain components to cut down costs, and our production director always bids out mailings.
FS: What are some tips you can share to avoid making mistakes that cost time and money?
BF: Open communication is the best solution. If there is a problem with postage, art, you name it — make sure all parties are aware. It’s easier to work together to find a solution.
FS: What are some ways you’ve found to have a vibrant direct-mail program in which you test new ideas often but minimize time and costs?
BF: We recently tested a bookmark in an acquisition package. The bookmark was originally used in a renewal series but we had extra inventory. It was a nice way to use up inventory and perhaps bump our response rates up.
FS: What advice can you give organizations in terms of getting the best postage rates?
BF: Think about the types of packages you are mailing and who the audience is. There are certain packages that we must mail First Class while others can go bulk/nonprofit rate. In terms of postage, it’s the biggest cost associated with direct mail, and an organization’s budget should always factor that in.
Betsey Fortlouis can be reached via www.aspca.org