This is the twelfth in a series of posts about the elements of a successful newsletter.
12. The Printing Options
You can run off a few copies of your newsletter on your computer's printer...or you can ask a professional printer to do it for you. Here are the main options.
There's a lot to be said for printing your own newsletter. If you have only a few copies to produce, it's usually cheaper and quicker to do it this way. And if you're going for a more homespun look, printing it yourself is consistent with that image.
Remember, however, that printer ink is expensive, so if you are printing more than just a handful of newsletters, it might be cheaper to have it done professionally. And if you are using color, make sure your printer is able to produce high enough quality color print-outs, particularly of images. Many home computer printers cannot print out on paper larger than regular letter size (8.5" x 11" or A4) so you won't be able to use larger paper and then fold it in two to make a letter size newsletter. If you're just producing a one-pager (front and back), then you won't have that problem.
The neighborhood copy shop:
This option is perfect if you're doing larger runs of black-and-white newsletters, or small runs of color. Most can print on larger paper and then fold and even saddle-stitch or staple your newsletter if you are producing multiple pages.
You might not get a great choice of paper, however, particularly if you want coated stock (stock=another word for paper).
This is the best option if you want the highest quality reproduction, a better choice of papers and the option of using coated or non-coated stock. The great thing about coated paper is that it is less likely to get scuffed in the mail. You get a choice of gloss or matt.
There are two main types of printers: digital and offset. Digital printers are great for short runs -- say under 1,000 copies -- but can get more expensive for longer runs. The opposite is true for offset -- it only becomes economical if you are printing many copies. Some digital printers now have storefronts on the internet, allowing you to get an instant quote and upload electronic files to them right away.
Printers often have relationships with letter shops/mail houses, which will do your mailings for you.
Instead of going to a printer directly, you may wish to use a print broker, who works with several printers and can help get the best price.
Take your mailing choices into account
When considering a printer, you need to take into account your mailing options. If you're going for the personal look, with a hand-addressed envelope, you may wish to do it all yourself, or ask your neighborhood copy shop to help you out. If you want a self-mailer, then a professional printer working alongside a letter shop is a better bet.
If you choose to work with Ready to Go Newsletters, we can advise you on what's best for you.
(Photo on this post by asifthebes)