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View Full Version : I found a cheap printing service


David Gretzmier
09-11-2008, 02:10 AM
gotprint.net is one of the least expensive printing services I have found for postcards, flyers,doorhangers and business cards. They offer mailing and addressing, but thier main gig is cheap printing. You can get full color both sides 4x6 postcards for about 2.3 cents apiece if you buy 10,000 ( or 230 bucks) 6x9's, the ones I like, and are the same price to mail and address as 4x6, are 7.2 cents each for 10000. UV coated, color both sides, 14pt paper. good stuff.

Chris J
09-11-2008, 06:59 AM
David, do you mean that the 7.2 cents each is for processing? I find it hard to believe that you can mail a 6x9 card for that because the postage can't be negotiated. The cheapest way I've found to pay postage is mailing by carrier route, and then the postage is still around .17-.18 cents each. If you mail to specific addresses with a list, the postage will be around .27 each. Something sounds fishy about this company if they are telling you this.
I'd like to find out more about this, so if you get additional info before I do please post the info. Thanks!

Pro-Scapes
09-11-2008, 08:03 AM
i think the 7 cents was for printing only. Thats cheaper than I am paying right now. Might have to order 10000

Lite4
09-11-2008, 09:38 AM
Gotprint does all of my printing now. They did a great job for me and their prices can't be beat.

David Gretzmier
09-11-2008, 01:04 PM
The prices I quoted above is Printing only. I will definetly be trying them out.

they offer mail services, and some direct marketing packages, one of which I can't believe is true- for 4,000 bucks, they will design, print, label, and mail ( which I assume means this includes postage) 4 sets of 10,000 4x6 full color postcards. not 4000 for each mailing, mind you, 4000 total. It just can't be done. postage alone for 40,000 pieces would be 7-8 grand. On the same page, they offer a single printing,labeling,mailing of 10,000 for 1,000 bucks, so maybe, but HOW?

Mike M
09-11-2008, 02:51 PM
Dave, what kind of mailing list services do they offer? I am using quantummail because I can use google maps to select actual streets, which is interfaced with one of the services called easifarm.

I'm sure I am paying more per card, but I am only sending out 1 card. Kidding. That would be a mailing campaign for under a buck. Actually, quantum's rate is good for anything over 20!

I just did a mailing to just over 2 thousand addresses, but in tightly grouped neighborhoods. Just over "fitty" cents each, color one side, jumbo sized card.

David Gretzmier
09-11-2008, 11:21 PM
I called them today and got a bit better info on the "marketing" packages they offer. the price is for the total number of pieces. so when they say 10,000 quantity and 4 consecutive mailings, or 2 mailings, they mean divide the quantity by the number of mailings. so the 10,000 pieces is 2500 mailings, times 4, and it includes targeted customers and all printing/labeling, etc. I got a quote today on 2 mailings of 2500 each, super jumbo cards ( 6 x 11 ), includes full color both sides, design, info usa demographics and home value, postage, printing, labeling. etc. 2500 bucks and change, so 50 cents a card as well, but quite a bit larger ( think a sheet of paper minus 2 1/2 inches on the side ) so in my opinion more impact. if direct mail generates a .1% response, that looks like 25-50 bids, That'd be great.

bmwsmity
09-12-2008, 09:23 AM
Dave, what kind of mailing list services do they offer? I am using quantummail because I can use google maps to select actual streets, which is interfaced with one of the services called easifarm.

I'm sure I am paying more per card, but I am only sending out 1 card. Kidding. That would be a mailing campaign for under a buck. Actually, quantum's rate is good for anything over 20!

I just did a mailing to just over 2 thousand addresses, but in tightly grouped neighborhoods. Just over "fitty" cents each, color one side, jumbo sized card.

I'd be interested in what kind of response you get from this... I've never done a large mailing...only 200 at a time... just don't have the budget for it yet.

I've done a total of maybe 1000-1500 mailers over time, with many going to the same addresses 3-4 times, and I've got probably 10k worth of work from it.

I created all the marketing materials myself, so my total cost was around .50 ea. with first class postage (I used envelopes).

One of the jobs I sold was a client I doorhung and sent a mailer to a YEAR prior....so I guess you can't really figure your response rate until much further down the road.. frequency is key.

David Gretzmier
09-12-2008, 09:37 AM
I also have done small mailings using quantum mail and google maps, nailing down the nice streets. It is a great tool after you have done a job in a neighborhood to hit them twice and use a photo of the home you lit for the cover. The really nice homes seem to be grouped, so this type of targeted mailing makes sense. I will use the gotprint.net folks for a more mass aproach for the nicer homes that seem to be hidden. Unfortunately this usually means you get the farms that are worth alot landwise but won't do lighting, the wealthy but small homes, and other folks who filled in the wrong blanks on income and homevalue on magazine subcriptions just to see what happens.

never done this? go ahead and do it and watch your mailbox fill. fill out a free magazine subscription info card, or an online free survey, and once you've done it twice, you're in like flyn. mark the home value of 1 million plus box, and the income of 250k plus, and you will never want for mail.

The problem is others do this, and it wastes your direct mail dollars. others that belong on the list also work really hard to get off those lists, and you miss them. Quantum mail by street always get's all the homes on the street. but mass mailing probably wastes 15% of what it mails.

Mike M
09-12-2008, 09:38 AM
[QUOTE=bmwsmity;2510785]I'd be interested in what kind of response you get from this... I've never done a large mailing...only 200 at a time... just don't have the budget for it yet.

The first run I did was only about 1,600 addresses, of that, I closed my first three jobs, and I got a referral from one of those.

Quantummail let's you do as low as 20, at the same rate. It's a little tricky and slow to navigate, and it does not work with Mac, and the post office sometimes smudges the cards. At this point, I still use them because I target specific streets and they make it easy for that, plus I don't do large numbers for individual cards yet. My last order was just over 2,000.

I am also going with RSVP for October, which is 25,000 at a cost of 1,750.00. That will be mailing #3 with them.

I'll post my results. The quantum cards should be in mailboxes any day now.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-12-2008, 04:53 PM
Have any of you guys processed or bought a mailing list from an association or similar source and then done a mailing to the members? I would think that might be a good way to send out mailings to an interested audience.

Have a great day.

Chris J
09-13-2008, 12:05 AM
Back to the topic: Have any of you guys processed or bought a mailing list from an association or similar source and then done a mailing to the members? I would think that might be a good way to send out mailings to an interested audience.

Have a great day.

You mean like a Builders Association. political group or specialized trade (doctors/lawyers)? I have. I'd tell you the results, but I don't want you to have to look up when your so used to looking down your nose at others.

David Gretzmier
09-13-2008, 02:08 AM
I have not targeted a certain group, but I do target specific neighborhoods I have done work in or are home values that are near the top neighborhoods.

Chris J
09-13-2008, 08:59 AM
Check your PM David.

Mike M
09-15-2008, 06:33 PM
Okay.

When Quantummail says jumbo cards, they mean it. These are nice and big, nice bleeding, great photo color and resolution. FYI, I did not go with uv coat this time, and I did not get smudges. Nice work. This was just over 50 cents each, including postage and list, for about 2100 addresses or so. I recommend them for anyone with smaller circulation and tighter budgets.

I am also going with "RSVP", for October. These are 1750 cards for 25,000 addresses, but the demographic includes people like myself who cannot afford lighting. 7 cents each. Mailed! The only downside is they are inside a pack with other cards. But it's done much more upscale and easier on the eyes than the valuepak.

Chris J
09-15-2008, 08:00 PM
I used RSVP in the past Mike. It's a good medium for getting your name out there (exposure). I received enough work off of it to justify the bill, but a lot of this has to do with simply keeping your name in the public eye. If people see your name enough, they'll remember it when it comes time for them to move forward. However, it's always a good idea to keep your name in front of them, somehow, so that you are the ad in their face when they are ready.

Chris J
09-15-2008, 08:02 PM
I'm going to check out the site sometime tonight, but I have a question about gotprint.net: How do they get your pics for creating the card? I would think that I would lose a lot of quality in the photo if I scan it and email it to them (a copy of a copy). Is this the way it works with them. Is there a better way to get a quality image for the final product?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 08:25 PM
Ok Mike, don't take this the wrong way... I just want to engage in a discussion, no matter what others might say. Some questions for you:

1: What do you do at home when you receive a 'Valupak' or other such bundled group of offers?

2: What do you do at home when you receive other forms of direct mail marketing items?(commonly referred to as Junk Mail)

3: What do you think most upscale homeowners do with such information?

4: Is an initial response rate in the single digits considered a successful campaign?

I ask these questions to try to get you to think outside of the box a bit. There are others ways that you can spend your very precious marketing dollars. Ways that directly impact your target audience. Remarkable ways that not many others have ever employed.

Have you read Purple Cow by Seth Godin yet? I highly recommend it.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 08:31 PM
Chris, the best way to transfer the image to the service bureau would be to email the original digital image as a .tiff file. If not a .tiff then a .jpg would suffice in most cases.

Certainly if you are scanning a physical print into a digital file, you could loose definition and image quality.

Most quality service bureaus will provide you with their FTP site in which you can directly upload your digital content, no matter how large the files are.

Hope this helps.

Mike M
09-15-2008, 09:32 PM
Ok Mike, don't take this the wrong way... I just want to engage in a discussion, no matter what others might say. Some questions for you:

1: What do you do at home when you receive a 'Valupak' or other such bundled group of offers?

Throw it out before opening it. But the rsvp is cool, like a pack of baseball cards. Beckons to have the gold band pulled to uncover the cellophane wrapper. All cards same size, professional images, upscale products/services. Then I hold the one or two that got to me, and dump the rest.

2: What do you do at home when you receive other forms of direct mail marketing items?(commonly referred to as Junk Mail)

Straight to the garbage before opening.

3: What do you think most upscale homeowners do with such information?

Well, the rsvp deck contains upscale service providers in a market where there are tons of upscale transplants looking for upscale niche contractors.

4: Is an initial response rate in the single digits considered a successful campaign?

Campaign is a big word. I'm not running for president. At 7 cents an address in a coastal resort county, it's worth a shot at any rate.

I ask these questions to try to get you to think outside of the box a bit. There are others ways that you can spend your very precious marketing dollars. Ways that directly impact your target audience. Remarkable ways that not many others have ever employed.

Have you read Purple Cow by Seth Godin yet? I highly recommend it.

I told you I read it, James... You recommended the book to me. It was a great read, and I thanked you personally for the recommendation. The fact that I drove to a Barnes and Noble, bought it, took it home and read it, should be a very good compliment to you.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 09:50 PM
Ok Mike... I'm glad you read it and hope that you took something from it too. Sorry I did not recall you telling me this... I am pretty busy around here at times and not all of the content of lawnsite gets permanently filed in my long term.

Have a great day.

David Gretzmier
09-15-2008, 10:23 PM
I have had pretty good luck with postcards the past year or so. it is not the only advertising I do, but In Christmas lights I have had an excellent response, and yes, a response in the single digit range is great for me. If you spend 1200 bucks to print/address/mail 3000 jumbo cards to the top 1% of home value, and you get a 1% response, that is 30 calls about lighting. I have not had a call about landscape lights in 2 weeks, so I would love to have the phone ring.

If you are the right demographic, Getting a full color before and after picture in your mail can be the next idea for folks who spend multiple thousands of dollars a week on TV's, stereo's. art, landscaping, whatever strikes thier fancy. If they have a dark home, the card will linger in thier hands. Driving through the really nice neighborhoods, less than 1 out of 20 homes have any decent lighting. and probably only a few in a neighborhood of 300 homes have good or excellent lighting. Most folks are not going to use the yellow pages unless they already want it. truck graphics, postcards, and other in your face advertising is a good way to create demand for your product.

Other less expensive but hit an miss ways to create demand are attending charity/social functions. many times for 35, 50 dollar donations you can go to a dinner, and being where the wealthy people are, and having business cards and flyers in your suit jacket for the inevitable question: what do you do? "I provide beautiful landscape and Christmas lighting to make homes look awesome." The response is pretty universal- wow, got a card? my new cards are a foldover-tent style card, with the card on front and 3 color pictures inside and on back. These are not too high, once designed they cost 60 bucks for 1000 on gotprint.com. flyers are just one 8 1/2 x 11 z-fold page with more photo's and info for the really intersted folks. if you get 2500, they are 10 cents each or 250 bucks. again, I like the before and after effect to show our work.

Chris J
09-15-2008, 11:15 PM
James, I sincerely appreciate the knowledge about the pics. Now, time to slam you again:
With most businesses, marketing and advertising are synonymous with one another. Have you ever seen a commercial or received an ad for Mercedes Benz? Of course you have, but why do they do this? They are obviously a merchant that caters to the wealthy? Additionally, when you first got started in this business did the entire continent of Canada automatically know that you went into business? If you didn't do any kind of advertising in the beginning, then I'm sure your company had a slow start.
For me, on the other hand, my business did over 100k in my very first 8 months in business. Not too shabby for a guy who knew absolutely nothing about lighting back then, and it has grown substantially in the 8 years following. How did that happen? Post cards! In the beginning, that is all I did with the exception of the home and patio show. It got my name out there, and the ROI far exceeded the expense. Nowadays, I could coast, and get by on word of mouth ad, but I choose to be more than that. Around here it's a dog eat dog business and the clients are much more conservative. I guess it's a Southern thing, but folks don't respond well to the "I'm the man and I'm the most expensive around." Instead, they will usually turn their nose up at you and get a few more estimates to confirm their belief that it shouldn't cost that much.
The point I'm trying to make is this: Some of these guys are trying to get started and they first have to generate some revenue to get the ball rolling. The methods you speak of are great, but are more for the established companies and would simply take too long to generate a sufficient amount of biz for a new-comer. Again, all great companies advertise. Have you watched the Super Bowl in the past few years? Good thing Budweiser sticks to "word of mouth" only, huh? Your suggestions are good, but they don't fit every situation.
Thanks again for the suggestion on the pics.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 11:33 PM
Gee thanks for the slam Chris. And by the way... I certainly don't use any approach that comes close to: "I'm the man and I'm the most expensive around."

I also don't do a lot of traditional advertising. I used to, but after reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin I had a complete turn in direction when it came to marketing and promotion. I cannot thank that guy (and the dear friend who gave the book to me) enough. The ideas contained within totally changed my concept of what effective marketing is... and those same ideas do not just apply to established businesses.

Obviously advertising does work, in a wide variety of formats. I just think that there are other 'alternative' and more effective ways for small businesses with limited budgets to get their word out. For my part, when I stopped with the traditional print media marketing and changed things up using "remarkable" techniques, my business ballooned with over 100% growth that year alone.

There are a lot of ways to spend your marketing dollars... some are just more untraditional then others, and can even be more effective.

Have a great day.

Chris J
09-15-2008, 11:43 PM
I believe you, but I would like to know what your results would have been if you started out with that concept. The key here is that you were already somewhat established when you reverted to the other method. You already had the ball rolling. IMO, there is no better way to effectively generate quick business than through the use of direct mail. Done correctly, and you can portray yourself to be anything you wish to be. It's also by far the quickest means to a substaintial income, which would then afford you with the means to perform charity installs, network associations, and business building techniques like installing free systems on high profile country clubs and organizational benefits.
This is just my opinion, but it has served me well.

Chris J
09-18-2008, 09:18 PM
Can somebody help me please? I'm perfectly stupid when comes to computer stuff, and I've been trying to design a card at this gotprint.net website. I can't seem to use their templates. Everytime I try to download one, all that appears is a small x with a box around it at the top left of my screen. The girl at gotprint told me I need to download winzip, but that cost a few bucks and I don't know if she even knows what she's talking about. She didn't sound very confident. I don't even know if I already may have the winzip file; how can I tell? Any help?
Thanks,

Farbio
09-19-2008, 01:19 AM
Integra Works Lighting. Can you give us an example of one type of unconventional advertising you use? I am not asking for your entire marketing plan. Just an idea or two. You have sparked my curiosity.

Chris J
09-19-2008, 06:40 PM
He's on vacation, but he's gonna tell you things like: Instead of spending the money on post cards, use that money to illuminate a high profile complex, country club or entrance way for free. This will give you more positive exposure, and will be a great opportunity of networking with the top 2% of the local population.
I agree this is a good method of getting your name around certain circles.

David Gretzmier
09-19-2008, 08:28 PM
I'm gonna go by barnes and noble and check out the purple cow this evening and see if it works for my business. I know that james also tries to write articles for newspapers, do press releases, etc. essentially using the media for public relations stuff establishes you as the expert in the field. We do stuff like that for local TV on Christmas lights in November and December, but not for landscape lighting.

Mike M
09-19-2008, 08:39 PM
Dave,

The Purple Cow is a fun read, but the primary point has more to do with the inherent qualities of your product/service. If you are really innovative, interesting, exciting, unique, etc., word will spread.

David Gretzmier
09-19-2008, 08:44 PM
I think I am many of those things, and word has spread about the Christmas lights. I am there. but Landscape lighting is very not. It needs to triple or quadruple what I did last year, and the only way I can see to do that is heavy postcarding. I'm looking for ways in addition to that that maybe leverages my Christmas light success.