Direct mail marketing can be extremely effective for businesses of all sizes and industries, but for businesses on a budget, recent increases in postage rates and printing costs can make achieving a high-end look difficult. At the same time, sending out direct mail postcards and other materials that have a high-end, luxurious look and feel can help your customers (and potential customers) more strongly associate your brand with a higher perceived value. Fortunately, if you’re looking to achieve a higher-end look on a small budget, there are plenty of ways to make it happen.
Experiment With Different Stocks and Substrates
Start by exploring your options when it comes to paper stocks and substrates; while a thicker stock will give your direct mail a more substantial and heavier feel, you may be able to save significantly by reducing your overall piece size to fit on a standard sheet size. Likewise, you might consider shopping around with different printing companies or paper services to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your preferred stock. Finding a company that regularly orders high amounts of the stock you want can help to reduce your per-piece costs.
As you consider your stock options, be careful not to sacrifice quality for cost savings. After all, even the most beautiful direct mail design can look cheap and amateur if it’s printed on poor quality paper, so allocating at least a little bit of your direct mail budget to quality stock is important.
Use a Different Finish
Another option to consider that can give your direct mail pieces the illusion of being pricier and higher-end (without costing a lot more in the process) is using certain finish options to achieve the look you desire. There are all kinds of different direct mail finishes that can really take your design to the next level. For example, adding a high gloss UV coating to your direct mail piece is a great way to create a sleek and modern look that may be appropriate and appealing to the target audience in your industry. If you’re going for a more elegant look and feel, you might instead consider a soft touch coating. A grit coating, on the other hand, can add a rougher texture to your mail piece that will feel noticeably different from other pieces of mail in your target consumers hands.
Take time to research your options when it comes to paper finishes and decide on the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Complete Finishes on the Press
Finally, if you decide to incorporate any type of finish (high gloss, UV coating, reticulating, etc.), you can save money by having these finishes completed directly on the press as opposed to sending your printed pieces out for finishing through a separate company. This is where taking the time to find direct mail services that offer everything you need (from design to printing and finishing) under one umbrella can make all the difference. By having these finishes done inline at the same time your direct mail pieces are being printed to begin with, you may be surprised at how much you can cut down on costs.
These are just a few ways to achieve incredible direct mail results without breaking your organization’s budget:
- choose stocks and substrates wisely
- opt for the right finishes
- have it all done in one pass
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!