Despite the shift of so much marketing to online, some supporters may not be following you on social media or have never visited your website. Also, recent surveys have found that most people still trust a physical document more than an email or a web page. So, it still makes sense for charities to use print mailouts in their campaigns.
Clearly, though, you need to get value for money from your print marketing. This is so for any organisation. Printing and postage can be very expensive – particularly if the contents are not well received by your audience. It’s vital to plan and design your printed materials for maximum effect.
But, even with great design, how can you keep your print and mailing costs to a minimum? Here are our top tips for dealing with long documents like reports and brochures.
Size and layout
Great design isn’t just about making something attractive to the eye. It’s important to keep to standard sizes: a4 or a5. Keep document page counts in multiples of 4. Also, it’s generally cheaper to print booklets in portrait rather than landscape.
Pantone colours will give you the exact colour you’re looking for, whereas CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) can result in slight variances. Pantone sounds great, but it’s more expensive. For most organisations CMYK colours will work just fine. Just remember to make sure all the pieces in your mailing are consistent in your organisation’s branding. Everything should all work together ‘as a set’.
Thinner paper is lighter for postage and cheaper to buy. Print companies buy paper by the tonne. But thin isn’t always best. Heavier paper may exude quality and increase feelings of trust. On the other hand, charities don’t want supporters to judge that a report is ‘luxurious’ – a waste of money. It is always worth talking to the printer about their house stock (think of it like a house wine that is more readily available and is generally a cheaper option).
Web printing is more cost effective than sheetfed. Web printing is quicker for large print runs and removes the need for folding and cutting to size. So, it’s vital to design your report in a way that makes it suitable for web printing, and to choose a print company with the right equipment. Just because a printer is cheap for your letterheads, doesn’t mean they will be as cost-effective for a magazine, because they will likely be printing on different machines.
You can benefit from bulk mail postage rates if you are mailing to hundreds of recipients. These rates are cheaper than stamps or franking. It pays to have access to the correct information, so you can design the optimal specification for your package.
Unless you have in-house print expertise, it makes sense to ask a specialist like Ginger & Tall to audit your mailshot plans. We will check the design of your brochure – or design it from scratch – including the choice of size, layout, colour, paper, and postage. We will also obtain quotes from printers who, we know, are suited to your project.
We’ve worked with many charities on a wide variety of print and mailing projects. If you are planning to print a report or brochure – or any other campaign or fundraising material – we’d love to help. Whether or not you have worked with us before, we are always happy to give our opinion on your print project so you can have confidence you are getting maximum impact for the best price.