We have a magazine here in southern Ontario called ‘Daytripping’. I imagine there are similar publications elsewhere. It’s published every 2 months and can be picked up free at all its advertisers as well as tourist booths and so on. All the ads are for individual stores – no chains. It’s just about the only publication I know of which people get so that they can read the ads – and go ‘daytripping’.
When I started advertising in it, a smaller than a business card ad was $80. I got about 2 or 3 new customers a month which made it mildly profitable. But if some of them came back or told others about the store, then there would be a cumulative effect and the ad would be worth much more to me.
Then I started to think that a single ad with several stores listed would cost us each less and should benefit all of us. We now have 13 stores and take half a page (tabloid size – 11”x17” pages). It’s much easier for people to look through the paper for our half page ad than it was, previously, looking for several small scattered ads.
The results have been good, the cost is down to $46 each every two months. It takes a bit of work to put it all together, maintain it and collect for and pay the bill, but I think it’s worth it.
I’ve been away from printing and such for quite a while, but I think most of what follows should still be relevant.
If you are printing flyers or bookmarks, coloured stock is, in most cases, more noticeable than white and costs very little extra. Printers often have small lots of paper that isn’t enough for any single job. Ask them about it, and if they will give you a price break if you’re flexible on the paper. You might want to specify no dark colours or whether neons are what you want.
Printers often get jobs that require trimming the stock, sometimes cutting 4 or 5 inches off one edge of every sheet. It only takes a few minutes to add a bookmark to the plate and a few minutes afterwards to cut them out. There is no other cost to the printer. If someone pays him for them, it’s almost pure profit. You could even go full colour, it would just take a few more minutes to set up the plate. If they’re fully computerized, it would be even quicker. However you go, there’s an initial setup cost which probably won’t vary much, and if you want colours, that initial cost is repeated for each colour.
So he can give you a much better price. On your end, you’re going to get them when he happens to print them. Maybe all at once, maybe over time if you go through a lot of them. You’ll have to be fairly loose on the paper – you want an appropriate weight of card, and you could specify white or pastel, but if you get too specific, you might wait a long time. Decide a maximum number you would want over a year. Reorder early – it might be a while before an appropriate print job comes up.