You always want to make every dollar in your marketing budget count, and it’s that much more critical when your budget is feeling the effects of an unsure economy. But there is hope! There are many things you can do to minimize your printing and direct mail costs and make each project as cost-effective as possible. Review this checklist each time you begin a print or direct mail project.
1. QUANTITY DISCOUNTS – Planning ahead is key! Take advantage of quantity discounts when printing. Look ahead at your marketing calendar and print more than one project at a time. All the printed pieces don’t have to be the same. As long as there are commonalities in paper or ink, you can save by combining jobs. It may take a little extra time in planning, but the cost-savings will far outweigh the time spent. And just think – every mailing will be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
2. MAIL SCHEDULING/PROCESSING – In addition to print quantity discounts, there are additional savings to attain by processing all your jobs, or at least several at a time, at the same time. This approach really lends itself to mailings that go to the same list each time, or when one list is staggered over several different drop dates.
3. PAPER OPTIONS – Paper cost is a significant portion of every print project. Paper quality requirements vary from job to job. An annual report will most likely be printed on a better quality sheet than a self-mailer might. With practically endless paper options, ask your Sales Representative to recommend the most cost-effective paper for each project.
4. DIGITAL vs. OFFSET – Digital printing can be a cost-effective alternative to offset printing in smaller quantities. With no lengthy turnarounds and limited setup costs, digital printing may be an effective alternative for some projects. Digital printing also offers the flexibility of fully customized pieces using Variable Data Printing technology. Ask your Sales Representative to price jobs as both digital and offset.
5. SIZING (printing set-up & mail size) – Paper comes in various standard sizes. It is important to look at the size of your finished piece and how it will fit on the press sheet. Minor adjustments to the dimensions of a piece can significantly reduce paper waste. The size of your direct mail pieces also determines postage parameters and greatly impacts the postage you pay on each piece. This is also something to review before designing and printing pieces for mailing.
Rest assured, our Sales Staff already takes all of these items into consideration when pricing your print and direct mail projects. We make it our responsibility to evaluate your project based on these various items to make sure that your projects gets completed in the most cost-effective manner while still meeting your marketing objectives.