Planning a print campaign from start to finish

Published on February 1, 2022

Wanting to execute a kick ass print campaign strategy this year but not sure where to start? We’ve got your back. With this simple guide you can easily make your way through the process with a few extra tips along the way and a checklist to make sure you have all areas covered.

1. Goals and Budget

First things first. You need to start with your actual goal. The goal of your campaign will determine everything from here on out. Who your audience will be, how much you want to spend, the design of your print campaign, literally everything. So ask yourself and your team, ‘what is the main goal of your print campaign?’ 

One example may be to drive traffic to your digital presence, be it your website, social media channels, or online shop. Another example could be to promote an offer and drive people to either your online store or to increase footfall within your store. Whatever your goal, establish this first and keep it in mind throughout the whole of the process. Write it in bold and stick it on the wall! Then throughout the process you can keep referring back to it and ask yourself if the choices you make will help you achieve your goal.

Secondly you need to establish your budget. With this and your goal in mind you have a firm base point to go onto the next step of the process. Your budget probably just won’t include the printing costs of your campaign. It could also include;

-Design by a creative team (if you don’t have in-house resources)

-Mailing list/Mailing costs, if you don’t already have an audience to target.

-Distribution costs

-Is your campaign part of a display? Installation costs may occur here.

Once you’ve worked out your budget, you’re ready for the next step, and now the numbers are out the way you can get on to the fun stuff… hooray!

2. Choose your type of print

There are so many types of print marketing to choose from. Is your print campaign a direct mail campaign? You could look at simple options like leaflets or postcards. Or maybe, to ensure that you grab the attention of your audience, you could use more sophisticated products like our Z-Fold Cards or Infinity Cards. These type of products engage with your audience and are far more retainable than standard leaflets which means that your print campaign is likely to stick around much much longer in the homes of your audience… rather than going in the bin with all other standard print marketing.

How much space will you need to include all the important information in your campaign. This will also be a factor in the deciding of what format you’ll go with.

To get a good idea of which formats you think will work for your campaign, many printers give away free sample packs. We give away free sample packs and you can order yours here

3. Key messages & write content

This brings us nicely into content. Your key message needs to be at the forefront of your mind here along with your goal. What content will actually go into your campaign? Your campaign needs to have a reason to attract customers to go further on their journey with your brand, whether that be buying your products or getting them to sign up to your newsletter. 

Your content needs to be catchy, concise, clear and easily understandable. A clear call to action is important too. What do you what your audience to do at the end of reading your content? Do you want them to visit your social media channels? Do you want them to visit your website? Or do you want them to come into store with a voucher that’s attached to the print campaign?

TIP: Knowing your audience is so important here, so speak to them in their language. How old are your audience? What do they do for a living? The more you know about your target audience the easier it is for you to connect with them and write content that they can relate to. For example, are you writing to a young female audience about feminine skincare? Give them a solution to some of their common problems with your content and your products. This gives them a reason to engage with your brand.

4. Design & Layout

Depending on the format you choose for your print this will change the way you design your print marketing product. For instance you will design a standard A5 leaflet differently to the way you design a Z-Fold Card. But there are a lot of design tips that will apply to most print marketing designs and we’ve listed a few below;

  • Leave enough white space in your design. This is so your design isn’t overwhelming in the amount of content you’re presenting to your audience, and so it stays clear and visually engaging. 
  • Make sure your images are a high resolution (in fact just make sure your whole design is clear) There is nothing worse than low res quality images when we’re checking artwork at Alpha Card. It can really damage your brand by making it look ‘low quality’. So make sure any images you use are of high quality. 
  • Does your layout flow? Does the layout of your content in your design make sense in the way your audience will read and look at the content. Will the content need to be in a certain order? 
  • Check, check, check! The most important tip we could ever give you is to check your artwork as many times as possible! Check for spelling mistakes, check your resolution, check everything is where it needs to be and you’re not missing any element of your design. At Alpha Card we will always check your artwork for you before it’s printed and make a paper mock up and send you a video of the mock up in motion so you can see your card in action and how it flows! However not all printing services will offer this so it’s always better to check everything, just to be safe.

TIP: Remember to take into account how you will measure the results of your campaign (see section 6)  If you are going to measure by the use of QR codes this will need to be part of your design too, so make sure you place this strategically. 

You will able to get templates to design products like Z-Fold Cards and Infinity Cards from the company you’re interested in working with. To get yours email and we’ll be happy to send them over to you. 

5. Distribute your campaign

Now your print campaign is ready to go after the final checks of your design work, you’re ready to send it out to your audience. HOW EXCITING! So how are you going to get it distributed? 

Maybe your print campaign is an installation in which case you’ll need to look into the delivery to its destination and the installment of your campaign. However if you’re carrying out a direct mail campaign then the distribution will be a little more complicated but it’s well worth the effort! We promise you. 

Are you targeting an audience that you already have the mailing details for? Or will you be targeting a new audience by buying data from an agency? Yes! You can do that. 

TIP: We offer direct mailing services, so not only will we print your campaign but based on your recipients addresses, we’ll send the campaign out for you too. We’ll send you a sample of your final piece before we send it anywhere too! Just to make sure you’re happy with the final product. 

We’ll be releasing a blog on how to push your brand with direct mailing campaigns soon so keep an eye out for that!

6. Measure your results

Just like any other campaign it’s important to measure the success of your campaign that way you know whether this method of marketing works for your brand and if it’s worth doing in the future. Calculate your ROI, how responsive were your audience etc.

There are a few ways to measure if your print campaign has been successful and the way you’re going to measure the results should be taken into a consideration at the start of the process.

-QR codes and unique codes can lead recipients to a landing page, where they have to enter the unique code. You can then review how many times this code was redeemed and in turn how engaging your print campaign was.

-Set up a unique point of contact for your print campaign so that your customers contact a specific email address or phone number and then you can easily measure how effective your campaign was with no hassle!

  • Simply you could just monitor web traffic during the campaign too! If your web traffic seems to increase then it’s likely your print campaign has had an influence on that.

– Using a unique hashtag can help measure your online success on social media too. Offer people   an incentive to take a picture of your product using your hashtag on your print campaign! Spreading the word about your products or services are always a good idea on social media! 

Ready to get started on your next print campaign? Ready, steady… go! 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any further questions or if we can help you with your next campaign. We’re here to guide you through! 

And if you found this article helpful, then please give it a share on social media. 

Blog by Content Marketing Agency | Search Buddy – Digital Marketing Agency in Leeds