In the Trenches: Savvy Approach to Production Can Help Slash Your Bottom Line
Consider the personalization
If you’re printing a standard letter and a simple reply slip, laser printing might be a more expensive option than necessary.
However, for more versions and higher overall quantity, laser printing the letter versions becomes more appealing. Rule of thumb: With jobs of 50,000 pieces or more, and with more than two variations, laser printing is more cost efficient than printing a separate letter and ektajetting or laser printing a separate reply slip.
But don’t try to economize too much by sending the same letter/reply slip version to both prospects and donors. While the themes can be the same, always acknowledge your relationship with current and past donors and thank them for their support.
Optimize mailing for postal rates
Depending on where you’re mailing, be it national or regional, consider optimizing your mailing for the best postal rates. Try to pre-sort as much as possible, and talk with your lettershop about additional postal discounts. Where postage can make up almost half the cost of a piece, anything saved is extra money for the organization.
But wait ... there’s more.
To save additional production dollars, on-the-ball agencies will use common colors on both the front and back of components and take advantage of electronic proofing and consolidated shipping.
The bottom line is that your agency should be adept at combining the knowledge and expertise of both its production and creative teams to help cut your production costs while preserving creative integrity. With the agency on your side, you’ll save both time and money — two resources that are critical to the success of every nonprofit organization.
Tom Hurley is president of the not-for-profit division of DMW, a full-service direct-response advertising agency with offices in Wayne, PA; St. Louis, MO; and Plymouth, MA. In each issue of FundRaising Success, “In the Trenches” will provide practical techniques designed to help fundraisers make the most of every marketing dollar. Email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.