If you are reading this and you have unlimited marketing dollars at your disposal, this content is not for you. If you just so happen to have a budget that you’re working with, or if you’re like “what budget?” you’re in the right place. Also if you have a small contact list for marketing, this is where you need to be. We have a list of 3 resources that we use to elevate our marketing game, and we want to share those with you.
Working With A Local Printer
We think working with online printers are great. For mass quantity items (business cards, letterhead, etc) where you don’t have to get too particular about paper stock and aren’t up against an impossible, online printers offer good customer service and reasonable pricing. But, sometimes you don’t need 500 of an item printed, or even 100! Maybe you just have 50 cards you want printed to send out to a small mailing list. Maybe you have a custom sized piece that doesn’t fit into an online printer’s setup. This is where it’s important to establish a relationship with a local printer; someone who can meet with you in person if needed, and someone you can trust to get the job done.
When we do our new year mailer to our clients, we work with a local printer. When we do any seasonal promotion card, we work with our local printer. We do this because in most cases, we just need a small run. With local printers you also get the perk of seeing a hard copy proof of your piece for approval, and having one point person (your account rep) where you can direct all your questions and get updates. When looking for a local printer, we tend to look for these qualities (because they are important to us): Can they work on projects that are low quantity? Are they involved or giving back to the local community? Are they nice people? Local printers have played an instrumental role in our marketing efforts for years.
Find Suppliers That Allow Low Runs
Let’s say you want to get some tshirts printed with your branding on them, or you want to do some custom packaging for your product but you don’t want to break the bank. You may not need a run of 1000 boxes or 100 tshirts. Maybe you need 10 tshirts and 50 boxes. No problem. First for tee shirts, do your research and see if there’s a local shop that can do a low quantity run. Sometimes you will find shops that can take smaller orders for you. If you find you’re not meeting the minimum ordering quantity in doing this route, we love that CustomInk has some of their most popular tshirts available for low minimum orders.
If you’re looking to get custom packaging (like boxes for example), we have found Packlane to be an excellent resource for custom printed, low quantity packing boxes. They have standard sizes and custom sizes, and will give you a cost-per-box estimate as you’re putting in your metrics. We used Packlane to announce our new brand two years ago, and members of our mailing list were so excited when they received those boxes in the mail.
Is custom packaging not a part of your budget? That’s okay. We’ve also used JAM Paper to get envelopes in all sizes that match our brand colors. And, in lieu of a custom box, we’ve gotten great stickers from StickerMule and Moo that we’ve designed to wrap around our packages and envelopes, to look like a well thought out and unique take on how we put something together (instead of a giveaway that we’re on a budget).
Sending a Token to an Awesome Client
Let’s say that a client had a recent success, or that you’ve completed the end of a project (or a milestone) together. We are very easy to harp on our mistakes or things that aren’t going right, but we don’t put any thought into celebrating our victories. We’re a service-based company and we try to keep tabs on what’s happening in our client’s worlds. On a low level, it’s an opportunity to give them a much deserved shout out on social media. But, you can also do a couple more things to let them know you’re paying attention. For no cost, you can send an email to congratulate them on their win. You can also uplevel this by sending a handwritten congratulatory note in the mail. It’s really easy to get a short run of branded stationary or postcards run. Check with your local printer or seek out an online source instead. If it’s a big win, utilize some of the box and delivery services out there (like our favorites: Token, BoxFox, and UrbanStems) to send a gift with a handwritten note. In a world where we are bombarded by emails, pop up advertisements, and ads that follow you around from website to website, sometimes the best way to make it through the clutter is to get personal.