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Press&Publishing » Tips & Facts, Best Practice | 20.10.2015

Cut your magazine mailing costs by reducing the weight of your publication

Regardless of whether you publish a magazine with thousands of subscribers across the world or one that appeals to a small niche audience, it's always a good idea to keep your mailing costs as low as possible. After all, reducing your magazine mailing costs doesn't just mean a small increase in profit; it also enables you to pass on some of the savings to your customers by reducing the price of the magazine. This, in turn, can help you expand your readership. But how can you reduce your mailing costs?

If you're already using a cost-effective mailing house and have worked out the best possible deal for sending your publication, it can be hard to see where else you can make savings. But there is one simple trick for slashing mailing costs that many publishers overlook: the price of mailing a publication depends on its weight and its thickness. Therefore, reducing the weight or thickness of your magazine will help you lower the expense of sending each issue to your subscribers. What you may not realise is that this doesn't have to mean cutting content from your magazine. Instead, you can simply change the paper specification you use.

The thickness (or bulk) of paper is measured in microns. If you start using a paper that's just a few tens of microns thinner than the specification you use at present, you can drastically reduce the overall thickness of your publication without cutting a single paragraph of content.

However, you might be worried that a thinner paper will make your magazine look cheaper. The use of thinner paper specifications in pulp magazines and novels has created a hard-to-shake negative association between thin paper and lower-quality content. So you might prefer to select a paper specification of the same thickness as the kind you presently use but with a reduced weight. Not all lower-weight papers are also thinner. In many cases, the weight of the paper is reduced simply by lowering its density. This will help ensure that your publication feels the same to readers while actually making it markedly lighter, thereby reducing your mailing costs.

To find an alternative paper specification that will be cheaper to mail, all you have to do is talk to the account handler at your printing provider and ask them to suggest different types of paper you can use. Once you've examined your options and selected an appropriate paper specification, you can dramatically cut your magazine distribution costs almost immediately!