Ganging Considerations for Political Direct Mail
Often, people get excited about their campaign and want to not only order palm cards but also do several pieces of mail, maybe mailing some different segments in their targeting universe with a couple different messages. But then they get the budget for their wish list and think, “Man, I forgot about postage and shipping. But can’t I save if I gang them all together?” Yes, you can. Ganging is something to consider when launching your mail plan.
People often hear about ganging, but do not necessarily understand the full scope of what is required to meet the cost savings desired. Here are a few things to consider:
Because your pieces are printing together, it is helpful to have similar quantities. Printers actually charge by sheet count, not necessarily pieces. The sheet can fit more than one piece (printers refer to how many images they can get up on a sheet) – so the easiest gang would be pieces with the same quantity, but if you are a few thousand pieces off you may still save money.
- Number of pieces
Besides quantity, the number of unique pieces is important in printing gangs. Different printers have different presses and use various size press sheets. Typically, the best gang scenario is two or four pieces of similar size and quantities running on press together. Four pieces of 8.5 x 11 flats for a list quantity of 20,000 each – this would definitely save money.
- Similar size and paper
To be able to gang jobs together, you need to be able to print them on the same paper sheet. So, they need to be on the same type of paper and they need to be sizes that fit correctly on the sheet. For example, you could not gang an 11 x 17 one-fold self-mailer on text paper with a door hanger on cover stock. Also, ganging odd-sized pieces together does not always work either. Similar quantities, similarly sized pieces, and the same paper stock yield the best savings for printing gangs.
- Approval dates
Another important element to reaching your cost savings goal with gang printing is approval dates. If you are ganging four mail pieces together and they are mailing out 1 month apart, you need to approve and pay for all the pieces at the same time. This is the only way for them to all print together. This may seem like common sense, but often, this isn’t fully realized until the approval deadline comes for the first piece to mail in time and you still have not looked at the other three pieces yet.
There are lots of considerations that go into gang printing and it’s potential cost savings. Discuss these upfront with your production department and printers for best results.
Political Direct Mail