When Short-Run Printing Makes Sense

May 27, 2014

One great way to increase your print marketing return on investment is to print as many postcards, brochures and other marketing materials as you’ll use in a single run. That’s because the greater your print volume, the less your price-per-piece. The savings can be dramatic, especially for large runs. However, there are times when short-run printing makes more sense. The following lists occasions when short-run printing not only makes sense, but is the best option for print marketing.

1.  Test runs

If you want to maximize your direct-mail marketing return on investment, it’s a good idea to test multiple versions of your postcards, sales letters and other mailers to identify which yields the greatest response rate before you commit to a larger campaign. Short-run printing allows you to print a few hundred copies of each version for testing purposes; once you pick a winner, you can move to printing larger runs. ...Experiments... Flickr - Photo Sharing! - Google Chrome_2014-05-12_08-48-00-Optimized

Photo credit Peter Megyeri via Flickr Creative Commons license

2.  Limited promotions

Similarly, if you’re promoting a product, service, or event to a small geographic area or a small demographic segment, short-run printing could prove to be the most economical way to print postcards, posters and flyers needed to make your promotion effective.

3.  Continual changes

Some companies continually change their core marketing materials, such as adding new specials to sales sheets and holiday deals to brochures. If your marketing materials are subject to frequent changes, short-run printing is the best solution for making continual changes economically. Change Flickr - Photo Sharing! - Google Chrome_2014-05-12_08-48-47-Optimized

Photo credit Sophia Louise via Flickr Creative Commons license

4.  Custom printing

If you design custom, personalized pieces for your clients – such as art prints or letterhead samples, for example – then short-run printing is the best way to print just a few pieces at a time and for a limited market. Some clients only need a few printed pieces, which makes short-run printing the most affordable option.

5.  Limited budget

Finally, if your business doesn’t have the budget to purchase all the letterhead, envelopes, brochures, business cards and other marketing materials it needs for the year all at once, short-run printing provides an affordable alternative that will help keep you in business so you can earn greater profits. This is (a) low budget artwork Flickr - Photo Sharing! - Google Chrome_2014-05-12_08-49-41-Optimized

Photo credit Duncan Hull via Flickr Creative Commons license

Short-run printing has been a game-changer for small businesses who at one time could not afford to print with the “big boys” of their industries; now, however, the playing field has been leveled because even the smallest companies can launch high-quality, profitable marketing campaigns via short-run printing.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.