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Co-op Mailing (short for co-operative) means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It’s kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared (same) marketbase.

Co-op dealing is very beneficial (and usually safe) for everyone involved. One example of co-op dealing in mail order is to send your 8 1/2×11″ camera- ready circular to a co-op printer and they’ll print your ad on one side, their ad on the back side and ship them back to you for a low cost of around $10 per 1,000. You get your printing almost free and the other dealer gets his or her flyers mailed on the back of yours free.

But what do you do with them when they are mailed back to you? If you’re new to mail order it’s doubtful you have a mailing list to distribute them to. Plus, postage costs alone would run you about $290.00 first-class. At this rate it would have been cheaper to send the camera-ready to a tabloid or adsheet publisher rather than by a co-op. But don’t despair.

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on January 6, 2004 in Ideas.

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