Marketing Impact Blog

Small design decisions save BIG production bucks

  •   Monday, August 06, 2018

Recently Emily, one of our team members, received a disturbing letter in the mail.

It was a generic message sent to thousands of people in the region, but when Emily opened and scanned through the letter she saw something that horrified her – and us.

Towards the bottom of the page was a line with the sender’s contact email address. It was a blue hyperlink . The rest of the letter was printed in black.

To the untrained eye this may not seem like a big deal, but here’s what’s shocking about that little blue email address: It would nearly have doubled the printing costs for the mailing.

Without realising it, the organisation that sent the letter had paid hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars more than was necessary, to get their message out.

In addition, the blue email address added no visual impact at all to the letter and…just saying…when used in print, hyperlinks can’t be clicked on!

As experts in high volume direct mail it upsets us when we see organisations unwittingly throw precious marketing dollars away like this. Unfortunately, we see it often and in almost every case these inadvertent mistakes are a result of not seeking advice early enough in the campaign planning and design process.

The way a direct mail piece is designed can have a huge impact on the cost to produce and distribute it.

When our clients talk to us early about a proposed direct mail campaign we can offer small suggestions that save big money, whilst still achieving great results. Here’s just a few recent examples:

  • The removal of a subtle background colour placed behind an address block - saved $3,000 in postage
  • A slight modification to a form that reduced the number of pages required – saved $2,000 in laser printing 
  • A 5mm shift in a logo position - saved $6,500 in postage An 18mm reduction in brochure size - saved $84,000 in print and postage. 
  • An 18mm reduction in brochure size - saved $84,000 in print and postage.

So, when it comes to direct mail, small suggestions really do save big bucks.

Here’s 4 small suggestions that will help you save too:

  • Designing for direct mail is a specialist area. Make sure you work with a designer who has, or has access to direct mail expertise 
  • Ask your production/mail house early in the design process for feedback on the impact your design might have on the cost and time frame for production and postage 
  • Be open to any alternative suggestions for layout, size and finishing 
  • Stay focused on your campaign objectives. Any suggestions to save time and money must still enable you to deliver a captivating campaign that achieves your desired result.

Collectively, our account management team save our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by focusing on innovation and efficiency. It is something we pride ourselves on and is one of the most rewarding aspects of our service.

If you have a design concept you’d like to discuss, please feel free to contact us here.


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