How To: Create Basic Marketing Materials
by: Jen Udan | ChooseWhat.com
Printed marketing materials are a highly effective way to promote your business to customers, clients, business partners and potential investors.
Marketing materials are printed materials that business owners use to promote their companies and services. We have identified four main types of marketing materials:
Paper Marketing Materials
Examples: brochures, flyers, postcards, business cards, menus, sales sheets, etc.
Promotional Marketing Materials
Examples: t-shirts, mugs, calendars, pens, gift certificates, event tickets, keychains, etc.
Examples: letterhead, greeting cards, invitations, envelopes, address labels, rubber stamps, etc.
Signs & Banners
Examples: banners, lawn signs, posters, bumper stickers, window decals, etc.
Every business owner or entrepreneur should use marketing materials to:
- Inform customers about your business
- Actively get more customers in your local area
- Put together a marketing package for potential investors
- Promote an upcoming event or product/store launch
- Promote your business at conferences, conventions or job fairs
- Create positive customer service experiences and build customer/client relationships
Before you create marketing materials, you should:
Assemble the information you want to appear on your marketing materials.
Online Printing Services
We recommend using online printing services to print your marketing materials because this option is fast, inexpensive and convenient. Online printing services give you online tools that help you design your materials yourself on your computer and offer a variety of options and upgrades. After you’ve designed your materials, the service will print and ship your order to the address you specify.
Online printing services offer additional cost savings to their already low base prices through seasonal discounts, promotions and coupon codes.
The only disadvantage of this option is shipping. You'll have to pay shipping fees, and standard turnaround time for a print order is 1-2 weeks. If you need your cards in 24 hours or in 1-2 days, you’ll have to pay extra.
See our Online Printing Services Comparison and Reviews page to compare services and order your marketing materials.
Copy & Print Shops
Copy and print shops are best for those who want to receive face-to-face customer service and pick up their order in-store. Copy and print shops are typically part of large chains, like FedEx Office (formerly Kinko’s) and Staples. You can walk into any copy shop and give them a design or "proof" (they usually ask for a PDF file) that they will print for you on card stock. Many of the large chain shops also offer a design center where you can design your marketing materials from scratch using their design software.
Printing your marketing materials at these shops tends to be more expensive than it would be with online printing services. However, you won't have to pay for shipping and will be able to pick up your materials in the store within 1-2 days.
A disadvantage of using these shops is the limited options for paper, card stock, and finish. However, they usually have all of the basic materials you would want.
Top Copy & Print Shops:
Specialty Print Shops
Specialty print shops are best for those who want high quality, custom designs/prints and one-on-one assistance. Specialty print shops have special printing equipment and offer a variety of services, such as offset printing, digital printing, wide-format printing, and display graphics.
You can walk into any specialty print shop and give them a design or "proof" (they usually ask for a PDF file) that they will print for you on card stock. Some places have in-house graphic designers who can design custom marketing materials
This option is the most expensive option detailed in this article. Printing marketing materials at these shops costs double what it would with online printing services or copy and print shops. But, you'll typically get a wide range of print and paper options, as well as high quality prints. You'll be able to avoid shipping charges by picking up your materials in the store after they're printed.
Where to Find Specialty Print Shops:
Search Google for specialty print shops in your area.
- Decide which types of marketing materials you need immediately and which can be purchased later when the need arises. You may want to order some marketing materials now and others later to cut down costs. Start by ordering business cards. To compare the costs of ordering business cards only, check out our Business Cards Comparison.
- Consider ordering some marketing materials online and others at your local print shop. You can usually get competitive pricing when ordering marketing materials from online printing services, but you may want to go to a local print shop for specialty paper or print options.
- When ordering from an online printing service, you can save money by ordering multiple marketing materials in a single order. Online printing services typically offer discounts on bulk orders or orders that cost over a certain amount. Take advantage of these discounts by ordering all of the marketing materials you need from just one company.