The holidays are just around the corner, and with them comes an influx of print needs from cards to gift certificates, brochures to event invites. The holiday season is a time when many people find the onslaught of promotional emails to be absolutely overwhelming, and businesses should be aware that printed promotional products and materials are an expression of your brand. They will remain an essential component of the success of your marketing plan, even in today’s era of digital marketing. When everything is digital, the personal and physical object stands out.
What Should I Consider Printing?
There are many creative print options to take advantage of during the frenzy of the holidays to boost your brand’s visibility:
Holiday cards are the perfect way to say “thank you” to your loyal clients or customers or to show appreciation to someone you’ve done business with over the past year. It sends a clear signal that you’re looking forward to continuing with the relationship you’ve established. Moreover, sending a holiday card gives you the perfect opportunity to offer special holiday deals that would be of great interest to loyal customers.
Wallet-friendly loyalty cards are cost-effective items that can be sent out with a holiday card to customers who make purchases regularly as it can drive even more repeat business.
If you operate retail locations, hand out discount coupon cards as people come into your storefront to encourage them to try new products and make future purchases.
Promotional flyers and brochures can highlight a selected list of products or services you want to recommend to your audience, helping them choose gifts for friends, family and even themselves!
Gift certificates should be at the ready for customers to buy leading up to the holidays. Encourage gift card sales by offering a bonus, for example, a $5 gift card with the purchase of one for $30 or a $10 gift card if you buy one for $50.
The need for printed event invitations and posters increases during the holidays, and it’s an excellent opportunity to show your creative side.
Put the finishing touches on client gifts with your own printed gift tags.
Think outside the box. For example, give customers a company-branded “letter to Santa” stationery and an envelope already addressed so their children can write Santa a letter.
If you’re outsourcing these items to a print shop, you likely already have them designed and at the printers to accommodate their long production times this time of year.
But isn’t that frustrating? You had to think about holiday promotions long before the holidays, and now the designs are at the printers, you can’t make any changes. Plus, when you think about how much your holiday print promotions are going to cost, it’s enough to make you want to skip straight to January and forget all about the holiday season. Holiday print promotions are, however, part and parcel of brand marketing, and while they can be costly, they are a worthy investment.
Bringing Your Printing In-House
Outsourcing your print needs is not the only solution, and many small businesses often overlook the fact that bringing their printing in-house is a viable option. While a high-quality multifunction printer or wide-format printer is undoubtedly an investment, when you review what you spend annually on outsourcing printing needs, it might make sense.
There are significant benefits to printing your holiday promotional materials in-house, the most common being:
1. Saving Time
You don’t have to have the design locked down and finalized months in advance. If you’re printing your material yourself, you can wait until the very last minute to print, allowing for additional tweaks and changes.
2. Saving Money
Eventually, it will cost far less to print in-house than to outsource. For most businesses, there is a tipping point where it becomes more affordable in the long run to purchase a top-quality printer. You eliminate the expense of outsourcing print jobs to an external vendor who will charge you far more than it would cost you to print yourself. With high enough print volumes, the initial outlay to purchase the machine will quickly be absorbed.
Of course, as with any investment, some disadvantages that should be considered:
1. Upfront Investment
Buying a printer to meet your print needs is likely going to be a significant upfront investment, and some businesses simply do not have this kind of extra money in their budget.
2. Additional Costs
There are also ongoing costs to consider, such as maintenance and repair costs, and of course replacement ink and toners.
3. Employee Time
When you outsource your print material to a vendor, it’s returned to you ready to use. However, if you choose to take your printing in-house, you may need additional staff to undertake the printing, trimming, and sometimes even folding for items like brochures, etc.
Ultimately, each business is different, and while in-house printing will make financial sense to one, continuing to outsource is the better choice for another.
If you’re considering investing in a top-quality printer, and the numbers make sense, now, just before the print demands of the holidays arrive, it might be the right time to take the leap.
The Best Small-Business Printers for your Holiday Print Needs
HP offers a great range of LaserJet printers for small businesses, and we have reviewed 5 of the top printers in this blog post. One of our favourites for printing top quality graphics is the HP LaserJet Pro 500 Colour MFP M570dn. The print quality is high enough for promotional marketing materials on a broad range of media and in a variety of sizes.
Need to Go Bigger?
Sometimes even the best MFP isn’t able to meet your print needs. If you’re regularly printing posters or signs, consider a wide-format printer for your office. Wide-format printers—those that can print on material 18 inches or wider—can print on a wide range of materials, not just paper and card. Wide-format printers also print in stunning quality, no matter the size of the print. We take a deeper dive into wide-format printers and whether they are right for your business’s print needs in these blog posts for Océ and Canon.
On a Budget? Consider Do-It-Yourself Printing AND Design
While some businesses will outsource their holiday marketing printing and design, it’s an expense that is often out of the budget of small businesses, especially if they are about to invest in a top-quality printer for the office. However, there is good news! With a little help from some affordable online tools, you can design your own holiday materials even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body!
Whether you’re looking for something traditional or trendy is more your style,
tools such as Crello, Canva and Adobe Spark will have a template for you. Most online tools like these offer holiday templates for thank you cards, loyalty cards, gift tags and more, featuring the latest design trends as well as classic designs that will let your business’s brand shine.
This holiday card design, for example, used a Canva template and was created in less than 2 minutes.
The holiday season is one of the noisiest times of the year—consumers are inundated with marketing and branding messages. As a business owner, you have to get creative to ensure that your brand can be seen and heard, and will stand out from the crowd. Printed promotional material can do just that.
Want to learn what would even be the best fit for your business? innov8's free office assessment will detail your current printer, scanner, and copier usage and make recommendations for updates that will save you money in hard costs and lost productivity.
Happy Holidays!- Team innov8