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If you watch the news for any amount of time, it seems like higher prices and inflation are on the mind of every person. The rise in print prices is impacting the print industry due to the increasing demand for paper packaging supplies despite a slowdown in COVID. Some of the reasons for the increase in demand include understaffing problems and labor market challenges that contribute to lengthy production times for orders. In addition, supply chain issues have helped to inflate the costs of raw materials and create longer production times for orders.
Despite the rise in print costs, print marketing is still an affordable marketing channel. Advances in technology help with the tracking of ROI results from the personalization of, and engagement with, marketing materials. Let’s take a look at print marketing costs to see if higher print prices are here for the foreseeable future.
How Has Print Changed Over Time
Even with the increase in print costs, print marketing still works even though the reliance on print is not as widespread as it was in the past. For example, consumers do not turn to print as their primary source for news and information. In general, there are fewer marketing dollars spent on this strategy but there are instances where print can be added to a campaign to increase its overall effectiveness.
While print marketing is still as effective as ever, many businesses fail to take advantage of this fact because of the growth of digital marketing in recent years. Print marketing can still have a positive impact on your campaigns such as more leads and greater revenue. Print marketing is still viewed as an appealing way for companies to market to consumers with a more personal touch than a digital ad.
Rising Costs that Affect Print Marketing
Here are some of the leading factors causing rising print costs:
- Higher Paper Costs – The price of paper has jumped significantly during the last twelve months. Plus, they are predicted to climb even higher throughout the rest of 2022. It makes sense that the final price of printing will go up since the majority of printing is done on paper. If the cost of paper goes up, the cost of printing on paper will also increase.
- Higher Labor Costs – Thanks to the combination of a higher minimum wage, employee expectations of increased salaries and employee perks to keep talent, it is easy to understand how printing costs go up when labor costs increase as well. Keep in mind that this is an incremental increase that results from efficiencies built into the printing process.
- Higher Postage Costs – The increase in postage costs does not impact printing costs but it does add to the total cost of mailed printed materials such as direct mail. Starting in 2007, postage rate increases were tied to the inflation rate before rules were adopted to implement increases above inflation. The Postmaster General used this new rate authority for two postage rate increases in 2021 and there might be another rate increase in the coming year.
How to Reduce Your Print Marketing Costs
As print costs continue to increase, it is becoming less viable to maintain an in-house print department. Thankfully, larger print shops have the ability to absorb rising costs and provide enhanced print materials.
The use of enhanced and personalized print marketing includes Variable Data Printing (VDP) that gives you the ability to print unique pieces of mail containing data specific to the recipient. This unique data can include their name, address, an image or a custom URL in order to increase response rates. VDP can even be used for inserts in newspapers with different creative elements that vary by geographic regions.
In addition, QR Codes made a comeback during Covid and they help track the engagement with a marketing piece and they can also A/B test print marketing messages.
Keep in mind that print prices are impacted by inflation but these cost increases are quite minimal. Make sure that the level of service & value you are getting from your print partner makes up for any increase.
Even with increases in print costs, our print product quality is at an all-time high as we value the trust and commitment you have shown by choosing Baldwin Press.
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