My girlfriend Inna was kind enough to make this post available for a re-blog. They have a wonderful reputation within our social media circles. You may want to check out their website if you are looking for a great on-line print, design & marketing service.
Judging by lots of comments on Barbara Todaro’s featured post on direct mail, a lot of you at the very least are toying with the idea of this back to basics prospecting method. Barbara has been doing this for many years, and is consistently generating results, and the statistics quoted in her post are enviable. Of course, the dedication and commitment of capital to those monthly mailings is something to contend with as well.
The biggest stumbling block nowadays with this sort of marketing is the expense associated with it, whether factual or perceived. I’d like to give you some pointers on how you can save a few bucks where it counts, and dispel some rather common misconceptions. For those who get through to the end of this post, and I’ll do my best to keep it short, I’ll throw in a HaMediaShop.com discount on printing (Barbara’s’ Idea).
Actual costs of printing:
We routinely get emails from agents asking us to quote them a print job on ‘non-snobby’ paper, with maybe just black on the back side and or a two color process instead of four color. The reasoning is that it has to be cheaper than shiny glossy stock with full color printing.
The reality is that when printing commercially, it is MORE expensive to print on matte paper or to print two-color than to print on shiny glossy 14pt stock, at least with us. The reason for this is quite simple – there is more demand for 14pt stock, and the coating is done at the same time as printing, so it doesn’t cost the press much extra to do it. The matte stock is purchased in smaller quantities, hence it sells for more money. So, if you want to save money, offset printing on 14pt UV coated stock will be your best bet.
Digital vs. Offset:
Most local print shops use a digital process to produce printed materials. It’s akin to you running your postcards on your office printer, albeit at higher quality. For small quantities, digital is the only way to go, as offset requires a 250 piece minimum. Price per piece with digital will ALWAYS be higher than with offset, as your costs don’t really go down much with the increase in quantity. The upside – you can get really small runs produced quickly. The downside, the costs are higher than offset, and the quality is not as good, nor are these pieces weather-resistant.
Offset process requires the manufacturing of a plate (which is now done directly from a computer file), and because of that, the bulk of your expense goes toward making of that initial imprint, hence the minimum quantity requirement. But you save quite a bit per piece from then on, and the quality is a LOT better. There is no running inks with good quality offset prints, the colors are always exact, and everything is crisp and readable, down to the smallest fonts used for disclaimers.
Lastly, for now, as I mentioned in a comment on Barbara’s post, the bulk of the expense associated with direct mail is the postage itself. The common assumption is that one has to purchase lists and mail first class or if you have a bulk permit, pre-sorted standard, where you do, indeed, save a few bucks. There are other options available in most places in the Country where you can target the same farms and neighborhoods for half the postage rate of a standard postcard. Few take advantage of it. Watch for my next post on saturation mail, as this has gotten longer than I intended. If your needs are of a more immediate nature, just email me. No cost for advise, I promise.:-)
Just as an example of what you should be spending on your direct mail: you can target a farm of 2,500 with full color glossy postcards for roughly $500.00 for printing and mailing costs.
Now, for those of you with patience of Job – your discount code for 15% off all postcards, any size or configuration, printed at hamediashop is: singingintherain
This code is good through Friday, July 9th.
There is also a special on design on our FaceBook page, but you’ll have to become a fan to get that.:-)
Thanks for listening, and thank you to Barbara for inspiring this postJ
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