Printed marketing materials will likely never become a thing of the past, no matter how far advanced we get with technology. With that in mind, it should be taken very seriously as part of any branding or marketing plan, print marketing says so much more about a business than the marketing message printed on it. Think about the last “tacky” marketing piece you received and how much credibility you gave that business based on the quality of the marketing piece. You likely didn’t give much validity to the marketing message if you couldn’t get passed the “tackiness” of the marketing piece.
Here’s three things to make sure you keep in mind before putting out your next marketing piece.
1. Do it yourself print marketing and design looks like you “did it yourself” and it looks unprofessional. Marketing materials printed on an ink-jet printer, look exactly like they were printed at home…on an ink-jet! They are an indication of a business owner who is not serious about their business enough to make a small investment in professionally printing color flyers, postcards, brochures, business cards, etc. Make the small investment in having your printed marketing materials professionally designed and printed, you’d be surprised how cost effective it is in this day and age.
2. The templates in MS Publisher and other programs like it are acceptable for picnics, kids parties, garage sales, school activities, fundraisers and bakes sales…NOT SERIOUS BUSINESS marketing. It’s unprofessional, it’s damaging to your branding/image/reputation and it screams “I created this myself in Publisher”. People want to do business with successful businesses they know other people have done business with and will be around for longer than the next few months. The cost of having a graphics designer create your marketing materials is minimal, especially when you have some idea of what you want and can offer some direction. A good graphics designer is worth their weight in gold and gold prices are up…up…up!
3. Paper quality matters…big time! The first thing most people do when handed a business card, is “feel” the quality of it. Many people run their fingers along the edges of postcards and business cards to see if they are perforated. People absolutely notice if your color brochure is printed on cheap copy paper, is see through and doesn’t include a “bleed” (printing with a “bleed” goes all the way to the edge of the sheet, vs. the white edge you get when you print at home). Color brochures should be printed on nice glossy paper (80-100lb), with a full bleed as should sales flyers. Postcards and business cards should be printed on nothing less than a 14pt. card stock and should have a UV coating.
Perforated business cards/postcards scream tacky and someone has to say it. The most unfortunate part for those who are trying to cut costs by using Avery print at home type business cards and postcards is that they are paying SOOOOO much more than the cost of having the job printed on a printing press. Printing companies print for so much less than you can at home due to volume of printing they do. When you add up the cost of ink, your time to create something and the cost of your Avery paper, it cost so much more than having it done professionally.
There are ways to cut costs, but your print marketing should be handled professionally, anything less is potentially a waste of marketing because it’s does more harm that good to your image and your branding. As the owner of a printing company, trust me when I tell you I have seem some really BAD marketing that could have been easily fixed with a few tweaks and suggestions from a professional graphics designer. Don’t make the same mistakes, they are costly, not cost saving.