Print Marketing … on a budget

It is that time of the year when our letter box is full of church marketing.  A number of churches in my area have dropped off invitations to the Christmas events.  Some churches have invitations to carols, nativity plays and of course their Christmas services.  Some of the invitations are glossy professionally printed cards whilst others make some amateur home printing mistakes.  In this post I want to share with you some tips I have learnt about doing print marketing on a budget; meaning you are printing hundred of postcards in your office.

One thing I learnt about professional printing is that they can do anything you want … for a price.  Perhaps you don’t have the money to send the flyer to a printer so you are going to print your flyers “in house”.  Maybe you have a photocopier, maybe a colour printer or maybe you have a black and white printer.  What ever your situation you are limited by the printer you have and the time to cut up hundreds of items.  But there are some tricks to get around your printer to disguise that they were printed in your office.  I suggest two types of print marketing, posters and postcards.

  1. The Postcard – this will be your base print marketing because you can put it in the hand or mailbox of everyone you want to invite.  The easiest way to do this “in house” is to print four cards to an A4 page.  This is just a matter of repeating the same card four times on the one page.  Here are a few tips –
    1. Never do a border – if you print a border on your card then you will spend hours trying to get your margins the same on all four images once they are printed.  If you remove the border then it is easier to cut up the four cards without it looking off center.
    2. More detail than a poster – on a postcard you should include more details so that the person will keep the card.  If it is too basic they will throw it in the bin and jump on your website.  You want them to keep the card.
  2. The Poster – you want to saturate your church with posters of your events and an A4 poster can be affective.  If there is room it can be more striking to place four posters together on a notice board.  The poster should do two things:
    1. Draw in someone’s attention – the poster should turn heads not blend in.  Find an image that will draw people in.
    2. Send them to a website for more details – some posters can be too overloaded with information.  A poster shouldn’t be a larger version of your postcard.  Never include the price on the poster as you want them to check out all the details on your Facebook page or website.

Here are just a few other thoughts that will help you when you have no budget and have to print in-house:

  1. White edge – most of us printer that can’t print to the edge; it leaves a white border of 3-4mm.  So design your poster or postcard with this in mind.  You can design your card to look like a Polaroid as this has a white border.  You can also fade the edge of your image to white.  Black backgrounds don’t look good with a white border so avoid these if you don’t want to cut each item.
  2. Graphics – you can use a lot of good images off Microsoft clipart, type in backgrounds to see a range of images to build your poster on.  Go for their new items such as vectors or photos.
  3. Fonts – a good font can make all the difference.  You can download hundreds of fonts for free from many websites.  Try about 20-30 fonts before you print, one font might take it from an average design to a great design.
  4. News print – some churches have used the news print style to cover up for the basic printer they are using.  The retro, rustic or newsprint styles all look better on cheaper printers than trying to do the high gloss corporate look in the office.
  5. Work with the imperfections of your printer.  If your printed always misses a spot then don’t make that spot where the key information is.

Whilst it might be a little late for Christmas, you have some tips to improve your news years marketing. When you are launching your programs for 2012 you have some design tips to help you.

Perhaps you have made some mistakes in the past and have learnt some trick that others would love to learn from.  Please consider sharing them with us by leaving a comment

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