The printing of your sales letter is an area where a simple mistake can be costly in terms of added postage and decreased consumer response. Fortunately, if you use a professional printer and follow a few guidelines, you can eliminate most problems before they occur.
Here are some tips and techniques to help you get through the process of having your masterpiece duplicated.
- Before you take your letter to the printer, have it proofread by several different people. Make sure there are no grammatical errors, misspelled words, or logic bombs.
- Before you take your letter to the printer, make sure you have included a phone number so people can order the product. And make sure the phone number is correct!
- Before getting the letter and envelope printed, weigh a sample, using the same paper it will be printed on. Just a fraction of an ounce can double the cost of your postage. On a large mailing this can prove disastrous.
- In most cases, a four page letter is printed on a single 11x17-inch sheet of paper. Eight pages is printed on two 11x17 pages.
- If printing a letter on 11x17 (folded), balance your letter so it fills the first three pages fairly evenly, with any extra white space on the last page.
- When selling very expensive items, consider printing on just the front side of single sheets of paper. This raises printing and postage costs, but gives a much more personalized and image-conscious touch.
- When looking for a printer, get at least three different price quotes. some printers work cheaper during periods when their presses would normally stand idle.
- When getting price quotes for printing, be sure to get quotes for folding the letter and stuffing it into the envelope. In many cases, folding and stuffing can be more expensive than printing.
- In printing, remember you’ll get the greatest discounts on volume. The price per piece for a 5,000 unit printing will be significantly lower than the price per piece on a 1,000 unit printing.
- When you ask for print quotes, also ask to see examples of similar jobs the printer has done. Make sure these jobs reflect the kind of quality you want.
- Before turning your order over to a printer, be sure the printer can produce the letter within your time frame.
- When creating masters on your laser printer to give to your printer, use premium quality laser paper (white brightness 90-91).
- Before printing masters on your laser printer, clean your printer, and use a fresh toner cartridge.
- For best quality, print your masters at 600 to 1200 DPI quality. Anything less than this will look amateurish.
- When working with your printer, be sure to show him how you want your letter folded. Usually you’ll want the headline to be the first thing the customer sees.
- If you’re including multiple items in your letter package, fold them so they don’t drop on the floor, or remain in the envelope when the letter is removed.
- When selecting envelope quality, choose a envelope paper thick enough so the print of the letter can’t be read through the envelope.
- When choosing paper quality, chose paper thick enough so that print does not bleed through from the front to the back of a page.
- Before accepting the finished job from your printer, be sure to visually inspect the work. Make sure the pages of the letter are printed in the correct sequence, the quality of the ink and paper are acceptable, and the fold is correct.
- If a problem occurs in printing ... reprint. It is cheaper in the long run to reprint a sales letter than it is to mail one with errors.
Source: 301 Direct Mail Tips, Techniques & Secrets