Print Advertising (From a Printer's Perspective)

I’ve seen a few posts about local magazines, real estate folders, etc… basically your standard ad-driven printed publications.

I’ve spent the last 20 years in the printing industry. Here are some tips that you gentlemen may find useful:

Print marketing can help your business IF AND ONLY IF it’s done properly.

  • Demand exclusivity. You don’t want some startup magazine selling ads to 7 different companies who all do what you do. That’s pointless.

  • Listen to the pitch, but don’t sign right away. Take the media kit or the rate sheet. Look at what they’re charging. After a few days, call the sales rep. Ask him/her when the publication is going to press, and when’s the drop-dead date to place an ad.

  • A few days before the deadline, call and negotiate. Ad-driven publications generally price their ads to cover 2x cost. For example, if the printing, design, commissions, ALL costs… totals $5K, the sum total of all available ads will be around $10K. As the deadline approaches, empty space is ‘free money’ for this type publication. The early ad commitments have covered the costs. Any available ad space at this point is usually sold for ‘whatever they can get’ OR is given gratis to a substantial client in hopes they’ll see results and buy an ad in the future.

  • Have your ad/art ready. Don’t let the publication design. That normally results in extra charges and mistakes.

  • Don’t prepay. 50% down is reasonable, with the balance payable the day your rep puts the finished product in your hands. This type printed product is notorious for being sold and sold and sold and never printed.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Let me know if any questions.