5 Ways to Trim Paper Costs

Want to save money on paper? Here are 5 ways you don’t want to miss.

  1. Don’t go rogue.

When it comes to paper, you’ve got experts at your disposal — us! Before starting your print project, talk to us about what you are trying to accomplish. Let us help you select the right sheet that will run best on our presses, optimize your job costs, and maybe even save you money.

  1. Consider close-outs.

Have a long-run job and want to save a few dollars? Ask us to look for paper closeouts. Yes, just like shoes and clothing, paper goes on clearance. There isn’t anything wrong with it. Just like last year’s fashions, paper gets refreshed and updated, too. That can save you big money, especially on those longer run jobs.

  1. Adjust the trim size.

By optimizing the job on the press sheet, you can often achieve significant cost savings. Instead of running the job on a 8 ½ x 11 sheet, for example, perhaps you could tweak the trim size to get two-up on a larger sheet. That’s another reason to talk to us early on in the process.

  1. Reduce the brightness.

In general, the brighter the sheet, the more it costs. For some jobs, that brightness is critical and should not be sacrificed. But for others, you might be able to go to a #2 or #3 sheet without affecting the appearance of the final output. Don’t pay for brightness you don’t need.

  1. Use our house sheet.

For some jobs, only a specific stock will do. For others, our house sheet will meet your job demands perfectly — and reduce your costs at the same time. We do the bulk buying so you don’t have to.

Want to save money on your next printing job? Let us walk you through the options.


The Reply Card: Art or Afterthought?

The sales letter, lift letter, and brochure tucked inside your direct mail package all share one purpose – to compel the reader to complete and return the reply card. While most cards may never be returned, every card that is returned represents an interested prospect. The value far outweighs the cost of printing and insertion. When you look at it this way, you begin to view this thin, rectangular piece not as an afterthought, but as an integral component of your direct mail strategy.

Creating an effective reply card is an art. Within the defined space of a few inches, you must capture interest and summarize your selling proposition while leaving room for the respondent’s contact information, your return address, and postage. Graphics should be subtle to avoid confusing or distracting the reader. Coated cardstock won’t work because the respondent needs to write on the piece.

Well-conceived reply cards have several things in common:

  • They get straight to the point about what is being offered and what the reader needs to do.
  • Checkboxes are included with a positive call to action and often an incentive as well: “YES! I accept your free trial offer!”
  • Additional avenues for responding are featured prominently, such as a toll-free telephone number, QR Code, and links to social media.
  • An expiration date is included to create a sense of urgency.

Studies have shown that response rates can be greatly increased when response devices are personalized. In this age of identity theft, however, you must be sensitive to the amount of information that is traveling through the mail on a postcard. If your business requires personal data like date of birth or a credit card number, be sure to include a reply envelope. Whatever approach you take, make sure your piece meets U.S. Postal Service standards for cost-effective processing.

A reply card is arguably the most important piece inside your direct mail package. Rethink the role this seemingly simple piece plays in your overall direct mail plan.