AMiable Solution #461: Pick the Perfect Paper
For any organization—for-profit or non-profit—looks mean everything. Every decision you make about the marketing materials you put into the world makes a statement about your organization’s values, priorities, and attitude.
Recipients don’t have to have marketing or printing experience to know when they’ve received a quality piece versus an economy piece versus an “extra” piece. They know when a company has paid a premium for a special die-cut mailer, a thick and glossy paper, or specially textured stock.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. As is the case with most things marketing, it depends.
It depends on your organization’s image. If you’re selling Aston Martin cars, Rolex watches, or exotic vacations, you probably don’t need to worry about going overboard with your marketing. Products and services with high price tags almost have to have equally lavish marketing promotionals to support the idea of high quality, luxury, and exclusivity.
If, however, you’re marketing more moderately-priced products or fundraising for a cause—let’s say to support breast cancer research—then you want to create printed pieces that catch your target market’s eyes but that portrays your organization as respectable, responsible, and professional. Paying for “extras” here might mislead your buyers or lead your prospective donors to wonder how much of their contributions are actually supporting the cause and how much is funding your marketing.
Determining your paper stock also depends on your product’s price tag. Again, if you’re selling Aston Martins, you can afford to splurge on the heavy, custom, high-gloss stock. But if you’re selling pizzas, something a little less durable and flashy is probably in order.
Finally, consider your audience. Do they have certain expectations? If you promote yourself as an environmentally friendly organization, your customers will look for you to print on recycled paper. Do you expect your recipients to write on your promotion? Images print sharper and in more detail with coated stocks, but uncoated stocks are easier to write on.
So, yes, specialty stocks and thick paper may be exactly right for your marketing, as long as it makes sense. If not, more traditional, standard-weight stocks and coatings may be more appropriate. Not sure? Talk to your printer and mailer. Your representatives have the experience, insight, and knowledge to help you make the right choice.