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How using a print management company can help reduce the costs when it comes to brochure printing

How using a print management company can help reduce the costs when it comes to brochure printing

You could be forgiven for thinking that the days of direct mail printing are long gone.

Doesn’t everyone head online these days? Whilst that may be the case for finding and processing information quickly, research has shown that more information is retained from physical mailings than from digital campaigns. If you’re experiencing a less than ideal response from your digital mailouts, it’s time to think about getting in the services of a print management company, and discovering that sometimes spending money can represent a huge cost saving.

Here are a few reasons why brochure printing could save a charity money:

• A physical brochure in a potential donor’s hand is more likely to capture the attention than an email that they’re likely to skim read and discard. For a charity on a budget, this can be the difference between a successful fundraising campaign and an unsuccessful one.

• Digital campaigns aren’t the only area where a hard copy wins out; magazine and newspaper advertising is mentally bookmarked for ‘later’ at best, and ignored at worst. Plus, prime publication ‘real estate’, as it were, is costly. Far more costly than large volume printing.

• Trade papers can also be crowded with everyone targeting the same market. Even if your message is the most compelling, it’s easy to get lost in the noise.

• A brochure focuses on you and you alone, and you have a wider scope to add and offer value to your potential contacts accordingly. The right visuals together with the right text make any call to action hard to resist.

Printing services are more cost-effective in terms of getting your message out to where it has the most impact, and also offer you a chance to interact with your potential audience in a distinctive way.

• Brochures and catalogues are more likely to invite a second (or third, or fourth…) read through than a marketing email.

Those aren’t the only reasons why getting printing quotes for catalogue printing from a professional printing services company can turn your fundraising campaigns around. It can often be easier to clarify the exact aim of a physical brochure or catalogue than the more ephemeral and temporary nature of a digital campaign or click-through banner. The target audience tends to be broader too; there’s an easier “why and who” with print material, as you’re not necessarily reliant on that title or opening sentence for your hook. It’s more of an ‘about you’ than the ‘about them’ of digital communication, and therefore you’re in a unique position to sell your brand as well as your current mission.

Judging a Brochure by its Cover

Your hook, however, is now the entire outside surface, so this really is the one occasion where you do want your target audience to judge a book by its cover. This is the perfect opportunity to brand your campaign and reassess your vision – big message to get out there? New ways of working and fields of fundraising? There’s no cheaper and more cost-effective way to get it out there than a large-quantity print run of a brochure that reaffirms who you are, and what you do (and why you do it!).

In terms of branding, a professional printing service will make sure that the end product is in keeping with your look and feel; branding isn’t just about a consistent logo, typeface, and layout. It has as much to do with a ‘voice’ when you’re talking to your target audience (although that’s the field of a good and consistent team of copywriters!), which should seamlessly integrate digital and printed media. A top-level printing service will be sensitive to ensuring that continues with each print run of new material.

Colour and clarity

In terms of colour, though, less can most definitely be more. One of the major plus points of a brochure print run over and above a digital campaign is that you aren’t pushed to cram a brochure full of text to deliver your message – too much text, rather than hooking your reader in, can actually put them off and guarantee your brochure heads straight for the recycling bin! Think about the value of white space, and make sure that your images are relevant, high quality, and above all, interesting to your reader. Black text on a white background wins out over decisions that might seem artistic and attractive, but are actually really difficult to read.

Whilst you might be tempted to put the brochure together internally, getting a professional printing service in is essential. Not only will they bring the weight of experience to bear on design, they will be able to advise on print runs, future-proofing of material so that you get the maximum longevity and value out of a single design (or a single design with a few amendments for future developments). Trusted existing donors or fundraising partners are also useful in terms of giving advice. Asking for feedback on what your audience actually wants to see can be very revealing.

Professional brochure printing services will also be able to offer a full proofreading and editing service if necessary; however much of a pedant you might be, there’s nothing like another set of eyes to check for mistakes or inaccuracies.


Even in a digital age, brochure printing is not surplus to requirements – supporting and supplementing email and digital banner campaigns is far better than dropping offline methods completely. The physical, tactile nature of a brochure means that more information is retained, and with a little future-proofing, a bulk run of brochures can be a real marketing investment – think of it in “airport bookshop” terms; people pick up something to read and pass along. You could even end up with a greater reach than you anticipated.

A fundraising campaign budget can usefully incorporate a provision for an offline campaign, and for a brochure print run with a professional company. Call one today for a printing quote, and see what your options are.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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