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I Are you expected to do more with your marketing budget this year? NM Print present five practical methods to buy print more efficiently...

t’s a common issue for many companies. There is always a drive to reduce spend and costs. Naturally, one of the things that comes under pressure at these times is the print budget. We want to help you make the most of limited resources. So here are five ways that you can reduce your print spend without having to stop printing the same number of items.

1. Use a local print company

Admittedly we are biased here as we are a local printer. But using a local print service really does make sense. For a start, local companies do not use an expensive sales team so their overheads are much, much lower. In addition they have invested in software systems to carry out as much as possible automatically. This means that they really can produce work more efficiently and offer lower prices than other printing companies.

Some people prefer to talk to a real person. At NM Print we completely understand this. That’s why our customer services team is always available on the phone and on live chat during normal office hours.

However, whatever type of company you choose to use, there are a number of other strategies that will help you keep your print prices low...

2. Choose an economic specification

Often people over-specify their print. Do you need your leaflet to be on the best quality paper? For instance, choosing a heavy 200gsm silk rather than a much lighter 120gsm uncoated can add nearly 50% to the cost of printing a leaflet.

This is where using a local printer can also help. At NM Print we have a fast quote system so that you can see the difference in price between different options quickly. You don’t have to wait for all the different options that you might need. Here’s another way to keep your print prices low:

3. Order multiple jobs at the same time

If you can order more than one version of the same item at the same time, the unit cost always reduces. If you are ordering greetings cards you can reduce the unit price by up to 25% by ordering four different designs at the same time rather than separately. It really pays to do a little planning and try and batch similar jobs together. There’s another way that planning ahead can help as well:

4. Manage your stock

The unit price of a product always reduces if you order more items. So have a think about what you are likely to need over the coming weeks and months. For instance, you will find it much more economical to order leaflets or business cards at the same time for the next couple of events, rather than making two separate orders. Here’s one last way that planning can help:

5. Plan ahead

We are used to helping people out with rush jobs. For many of our products, we despatch the same day as long as you upload pdfs correctly by the deadline (usually around the middle of the day). However, we have to make an extra charge for this: it is less efficient for us to print when we have less notice and the delivery charges are higher. On the other hand, we can plan more efficiently and obtain lower delivery charges if we have more time. So, where possible, try and order ahead. You will find that we offer reduced prices if you give us longer to produce a job.

What is the cost if you don’t use these strategies?

Print is still a vital marketing tool for many companies. If you reduce the amount of print then you will very likely reduce the number of sales that you make. In the US Retailers J. Jill and Nordstrom both cut sales forecasts after reducing their direct mail activity. Co-President Erik B. Nordstrom said that the cause in their drop in sales was directly related to them using less print. The same could happen to you.

Make sure you buy your print efficiently and make the most of your budgets!

Next time someone is talking up a digital marketing campaign, make sure you run the print numbers first. You may be missing out on an extremely cost-effective marketing channel!

There wasn’t much on the front of the flyer. It simply said: “Get Your Heartbeat Above 150 – Legally”. Intrigued by the memorable message, Nick turned to the other side of the flyer where he found details of how to join a Gym.

This was a very cleverly thought out marketing campaign

The flyers were being distributed outside a busy station where there was plenty of footfall. There was a branch of the Gym nearby. And, being January, there would be plenty of passers-by with New Year resolutions who would be interested in joining a gym.

With a clever and witty headline, this was a flyer with a message that was likely to be read by many potential clients. At the same time, the costs would not be high.

It was not a high-budget prospect

At this point, we would like to emphasise that NM Print played no part in the creation of this campaign. We don’t produce any print for the Gym (although, if any Gym is reading this, we would love to talk to you!) All the figures in the rest of this article are estimated from our in-depth knowledge of print and pay per click.

That said, it was easy for us to estimate the rough cost of the campaign. Let’s assume that the campaign ran for three days. For NM Print to produce 15,000 of these flyers would be just £387. To this, we should add costs of £250 for the design. And also £260 for two people to hand out the flyers for three hours a day (they only need to be present at lunchtimes). So that’s a total campaign cost of around £837.

What sort of results should the Gym expect?

A conservative ROI on this sort of campaign would be 2%. In other words, the Gym should expect to gain 300 customers, each spending £500/year. That’s a total revenue of £150,000, with an acquisition cost for each customer of just £2.79.

How does the flyer campaign compare to pay per click?

The cost for a click in this space is estimated at 64p/click. In other words, to gain 15,000 clicks would have cost £9,600. To be fair, we should assume a different conversion rate from PPC. If we were extremely generous we might make an assumption that PPC would have a 6% conversion rate, three times better than the flyers. So to get the same results would cost £3,200. That’s nearly four times more than the flyer campaign.

People who ignore print are ignoring an extremely cost-effective marketing channel

We should also remember that it is really easy to use. Using a service such as NM Print means that you can place a print order in just a couple of minutes. NM Print even offers design templates for those customers who do not use a designer.

So next time someone is talking up a digital marketing campaign, make sure you run the print numbers as well. And next time someone hands you a flyer be careful: you could end up spending money on a new gym membership!

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