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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!

You have almost certainly seen that print influences you

Most of us will have received some sort of printed communication over the past few weeks. There’s a very high likelihood that we will have a better memory of this piece of print than of many of the e-mail communications we will have received. Even taking a piece of print to the recycling bin means that someone sees it and remembers who it is from.

Numerous studies show that the average person has a far higher recollection of a printed item than a digital communication. People are also more likely to engage with a printed communication and act on it.

But why is this? Naturally, some of this is down to the sheer amount of digital communication that we receive. But the studies that have been carried out show that print also wins when comparing a single communication. There are actually some very real reasons why print wins. In this blog, Where The Trade Buys reveals the science about why print is so much more effective. Let’s start with how we all take on board information.

Print is a sensory experience

We can touch print, and even smell it. That makes a big difference. When we touch we use an extra sense. A study commissioned by Martin Lindstrom shows that when we use an extra sense, our engagement increases by around 30%.

For digital, it’s different. But we can’t touch or smell digital. E rely just on looking at a screen. It doesn’t feel that we are interacting with a communication in the same way. And that brings us on to the next scientific reason for why print is more effective.

We read print differently to digital

Typically we act differently when we read print compared to when we read a screen. Studies published the Review of Educational Research and the DMA show that we tend to concentrate more and read everything when we read a piece of print. If you watch someone reading, you can see their eyes moving along each line.

It is rare to see this same eye movement if reading is on a screen. When we read on-screen our eye tends to jump around more. We jump from subhead to subhead. We look for keywords. We don’t necessarily read in paragraph order. As a result, we understand and remember less. Print also has one other advantage.

Print engages for longer

Print tends to hang around. According to the DMA, a typical piece of print is kept between 17 and 38 days in a consumer household. During that time it is likely to be seen by a number of people. They will often see the piece several times. It reinforces the initial engagement.

In contrast, much of our e-mail is deleted before we have even read it. We receive too much to be able to engage with everything. There is a much smaller chance that the recipient will engage with e-mail. Even if they do, the engagement time will be far shorter and much less meaningful.

If you want your communications to make an impact, use print!

It is not as expensive as you might think to use print. Check out our instant pricing calculator to find out how little a printed marketing campaign might cost. And, if you think that digital is cheaper than print, then you should talk to us.

Do your customers value your design skills highly enough?

Sometimes, no matter how good a designer you are, it seems as if clients do not value what you do. They take your designs for granted. And they do not pay you nearly enough.

This is because many customers need more than just a designer. They want someone who can sort problems out for them and make their lives easier.

The most valued designers manage whole projects for their clients

Customers often don’t just want some graphic design carried out for them. They want someone to create a website for them or to manage their entire brochure. If they receive a design, the customer has to do something with it. They want a finished product.

With website design this can get a little complicated. You may need to team up with a website builder. But when it comes to print projects, a designer can manage them all by themselves.

Here are three reasons why graphic designers should sell print as well as design

The first one is all about customer retention. A printing company may well decide to encourage your client to use their design services rather than yours. Customers often find the one-stop shop service convenient. So it is far better that you offer this yourself rather than risking having your clients poached from you.

Secondly, your clients are actually likely to place more design work with you. They are often too busy to brief you and find a printer and manage the print production as well. Sometimes it is so much work that they will decide not to go ahead with a project. It is much easier if all they have to do is pick up the phone and have a quick conversation with their designer. They prefer to have the whole project managed for them. This makes design and print projects more likely to go ahead.

Finally, adding print services to your portfolio increases your revenues. You don’t just only profit from managing the print for the jobs that you design. Deliver good jobs and your client may rely on you for other profitable printing work as well.

Isn’t print complicated?

At NM Print we have designed our services around making things as easy as possible for print resellers. Here are some of the services we offer our customers:

- Low pricing, thanks to our highly automated systems and the fact that we manage most of our work online.

- Product-based pricing means that you don’t have to worry about how to create a print specification: it is all done for you

- Instant pricing from our online pricing calculator, meaning you can give your clients immediate responses rather than waiting for a print estimate

- A range of informative blogs and video tutorials to help you understand print more, appreciate what is possible and inspire you with new ideas for your clients

- A live customer services team available on the phone or on live chat

- An artwork fixing service so that we can help you ensure that your job prints perfectly if you are not used to designing for print

- White label delivery so that your customer never knows who you are using for print and tries to contact them directly

In addition, our website is online 24/7. You can find a price or place an order whenever you want. We fit in with your working hours.

Add print to your services now!

You won’t just increase your revenues and profit: your customers will value you more.

How can you promote your company or products all year-round?

A calendar is a great way to ensure that you are always in the minds of your prospects and customers. Every time they look at their wall they will have a reminder of you.

Businesses that use calendars actually promote a stronger relationship with their audience. This is because of the constant reminder on their wall: they cannot help but be aware of you. This means that you are more likely to receive enquiries and orders from them. A calendar helps you achieve your business objectives.

Organisations that ignore calendars are going to have work a lot harder to remain front of mind for their audience. People are less likely to engage with a company they do not remember.

In order to achieve the best results from your calendars, it is important to create good content. It is important to create a calendar that is unique to you, rather than relying on standard content. Using an off the shelf calendar with your details overprinted rarely creates the right impact. Here are seven ways to theme your calendar:

1. Use a calendar as a product catalogue

Use each month to show off one of your products or services. Recipients have a much better chance of understanding your full offering.

2. Inspire with shots of great jobs

If you have produced jobs for customers that you are proud of, you should shout about it! Show recipients what you can do for them. (Just make sure you get permission from your customers to share what you have produced for them.)

3. Demonstrate the type of creativity you have

If you are a creative business then you have a huge opportunity with a calendar. You can design your own artwork for it. It should show off what you are capable of. You might even have designs that customers can buy.

4. Document what happened over the last year

What happened to your company last year? If you attended events, won awards or had big changes at your organisation then a calendar is a good chance to celebrate this.

5. Promote what is happening next year

What should your customers be aware of for the following twelve months? Are there events that you will be attending? Are there industry events that they should be reminded of? Will you have a range of new product launches? A calendar is a good way to make sure that everyone is up to speed on what is happening.

6. Use a calendar to meet the team

A calendar is also a chance to be personal. Why not use each month to focus on an individual? You can include a portrait and some background information as well. This can help customers feel much more connected with your organisation.

7. Celebrate your locality

If you have a particular association with where you are based, then it may be appropriate to share this with your recipients. Maybe you are all local businesses and everyone will appreciate local scenes.

Isn’t it hard to design your own calendar?

With our template designer , the design is a simple task. We already have a number of outline designs that you can choose from. All you have to do is change the wording to suit you and drag and drop your illustrations.

If you really want your calendar to stand out, consider going large! Make your calendar A3 size. That’s double the size of the A4 calendars that most people create.

Remember this one golden rule about calendars

It is vital to print and deliver your calendar early. The calendars that are received first are the ones that stand the best chance of being chosen to be hung in pride of place. So try out our template designs today and make sure you order your calendar very soon.

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