Sampling requires preplaning to avoid 10%
Tuesday, 06 December 2005 14:37
To continue the discussion of mailing sample copies from last month’s Bulletin, I want to emphasize the part “Excess Noncommingled Mailing,” that also applies to copies mailed to nonsubscribers outside county.

Yes, two separate restrictions exist for publications that mail more than 10 percent of their total volume as nonsubscriber copies within a calendar year. Total volume includes both in county and outside county copies, plus foreign copies if applicable.

1) No in county nonsubscriber copies are allowed after the total volume 10 percent limit is exceeded.

2) Any nonsubscriber copies mailed after the 10 percent total volume limit must be part of a larger mailing that contains subscriber copies (at least two to qualify for Periodicals rates.) Mailings that consist solely of noncommingled, nonsubscriber copies must be charged Express Mail, First-Class Mail or Standard Mail rates.

Accordingly, if you are making an extrapolation (guessing) at the 10 percent limit and you exceed the 10 percent limit in a noncommingled mailing you may be subject to a higher postage for the copies exceeding the 10 percent limit.

Therefore, I recommend always including a couple of subscribers when mailings might exceed the 10 percent limit; this avoids paying one of the higher postage rates if the 10 percent was exceeded.

Next question, “how do I get mailing addresses when city delivery applies?” If you do not have good postal software by now you probably will need to buy a mailing list from a reputable software company.

Most software companies will provide you with the addresses and box number to allow your mailing to qualify for saturation walk sequence rates.

If you do not have postal software, search the Web for postal software; shopping for the best value will be a challenge, especially if you have a Mac platform. My recommendation would be go to the TPA list server and ask for help from other publishers.

Other Tidbits

Why do you want to do a sample mailing? Who needs to receive the sample copies and how much will it cost to have extra copies printed and labeled? 

Plan ahead; have the advertising representatives contact businesses to promote the issue. A few additional pages of advertising would certainly defray the extra cost associated with the sample copy mailing. 

Many publishers prefer to sample a certain route for a couple of weeks (new subdivision); however, others prefer to do a county-wide sampling. I see more advantages in the smaller sampling than the county-wide sampling.

Periodical Circulation Standards

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 707.6.1.2g, states that publications primarily designed for free circulation and/or circulation at nominal rates may not qualify for the general publications (newspaper). 

For this standard, the distribution of all copies of a publication is considered, whether circulated in the mail or otherwise. Publications are considered primarily designed for free circulation and/or circulation at nominal rates when more than 50 percent of all copies circulated are:

Provided free of charge to the ultimate recipients;

Paid for at nominal rates by the ultimate recipients;

Addressed with an alternative form of address; or

Intended by the publisher to be circulated for free and/or at nominal rates.