6 Tips to Beat Rising Paper and Postage Costs

For many associations, the value of print publications is undeniable. It’s also undeniable that magazines are facing an uphill battle with rising costs of paper and postage. So how can associations save this primary member benefit, which is an important revenue source and a crucial medium for thought leadership and education?

Strategic associations are meeting this challenge with flexibility and creativity. During the recent AM&P webinar “Printageddon—How to Keep Your Print Business Profitable in 2022,” association editors, publishers and printing professionals shared ideas for offsetting print and postage costs. Here are several ideas from the webinar to save on printing expenses and survive this tumultuous time.

  1. Consider different paper.

    Thanks to ongoing paper shortages, this may be a requirement rather than a choice, but switching to a different weight, a matte finish instead of glossy or uncoated paper instead of coated can help temper your paper costs. Also, try to skip any extras that eat up money, like polybags, belly bands or inserts.

  2. Budget for more paper increases.

    Paper costs are expected to increase until mid-2022, so prepare now. Experts recommend budgeting for a 6% to 10% increase quarterly.

  3. Choose an alternative mailing option.

    There are plenty of ways to reduce your postage costs. Now is the time to explore offerings like co-mailing and drop shipping. And removing those extras like polybagging and inserts also helps keep your postage costs down and enables your publication to flow through the mail more easily.

  4. Nurture your printer relationship.

    With paper and staffing shortages, printers are dealing with their own struggles. Remember to notify them immediately of any changes to your print order. Keeping communication a priority can also help your printer identify cost-saving opportunities for you.

  5. Reduce frequency or page count.

    Could your six-times-a-year publication go out quarterly? Could you reduce the number of pages? Both of these options can help your bottom line. And remember: Neither of these changes has to be permanent. When prices level off, you can return to your typical schedule and page count.

  6. Repurpose content.

    Words are expensive. Is there a way to take a magazine article and repurpose it for a newsletter or blog post? While it may not directly reduce printing costs, it can help relieve your overall content marketing budget.


Think your print publication isn’t worth the rising costs? Answer these questions before going all digital.