When searching for a partner to produce, manage, and distribute your print materials, look for these five essential capabilities to maximize your ROI.
Print to Demand
There are major benefits to working with a print service provider who has invested in today’s incredibly sophisticated print technology, particularly when it comes to digital printing. Traditional offset presses are cost-effective for large print runs, but digital printing allows us to print the exact quantity needed for distribution — and to print more as soon as more is needed. There is virtually no difference in quality between the work produced by an offset press and the digital presses that are available today, and there is much to be gained.
A print-to-demand approach (also known as print-on-demand or POD) reduces inventory space requirements and the extra costs associated with keeping that inventory. It also creates far less waste and reduces scrap costs.
When you are able to print content to actual consumer demand, it gives you the ability to produce more accurate, relevant content. Gone are the days of scrapping outdated inventory over a minor edit; simply upload a new print-ready file and place a new order. Revisions are stored in the system for easy management, which also makes it easy to order and distribute customized pieces that are more personal and thus more effective.
Get (Really) Personal
Another reason to evaluate printing partners based on the equipment they’re using is that digital printing allows for the use of variable data, which means you can truly personalize each piece you print. Whether you’re printing collateral, educational materials, or promotional pieces, speaking directly to the individual can make a huge difference; for instance, personalizing direct mail has been shown to increase response rates by 300%.
To get the best return on your personalized pieces, go beyond simply using the recipient’s first name; today’s technology allows for the personalization of content, imagery, maps, and landing pages based on information like the individual’s location, demographics, or behavioral history. No matter what type of audience data you have, chances are you can tailor the message based on it.
Print Where Your Customers Are
If your customers are all over the world, you need a global print partner. This means not only someone who has a presence everywhere you have customers, but also someone who can handle the challenges associated with global distribution, from language and cultural barriers to international tax and customs issues.
By printing where your customers are, you can drastically reduce your shipping costs. Plus, working with a printer who has a local footprint makes it even easier to geographically customize your content in a relevant way.
Judge Your Print by its Cover
When it comes to print collateral, looks do matter. Customers are more likely to respond positively to a well-designed piece printed on quality paper using finishing techniques that bring the imagery and content to life. These aesthetic choices affect the customer experience your print creates, and you want that experience to be consistent with your organization’s brand. The right print partner can help you choose the highest-impact details to focus on in order to maximize your message, within your budget.
Use Online Print and Fulfillment Ordering
For global businesses, 24/7 access to print ordering is a must-have, saving you time and money. But online print ordering also gives you the benefit of transparent content management, the ability to complete and upload your own revisions, and the added security of version management — all in your own hands, on your schedule.
Even better than being able to order a print run at any time of day or night is being able to extend that ability to your own customers. The Elanders Online Ordering Solution can be branded to your company and allows your customers to place and pay for their own orders at their leisure. With Elanders handling e-commerce and order fulfillment, you’re free to spend your valuable time on your next big idea.
There’s a difference between working with a printer and working with a print partner. Take a look at our recent case studies to learn how Elanders collaborates with clients to develop solutions that add value throughout the entire production chain.