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August 26, 2020

Reduce Your Direct Mail Costs with Gang-Run Printing

SW Blog_Gang-Run Printing


The most common question we get asked is, how can I reduce my direct mail cost?


Since postage is often a fixed cost when developing a campaign, how can you create efficiencies to save money?


Each week we will be sharing industry tips that you can use when planning the direct mail campaigns that will save you money. 

What is Gang-Run Printing?

Gang-run printing is the print process of combining multiple components for a single campaign, or various campaigns onto a single press sheet to reduce print costs and paper waste.


Each time a new print project enters production, the following charges are incurred: prep, material, and labor charges—including press plates, equipment setups (ex. make-readies), staffing, etc. Gang-run printing batches print components together, utilizing a single press sheet. This process eliminates additional setups, unnecessary plates, labor, and paper.


What is required to use this print method?

Requirements will vary based on the specifics of a project, press, and sheet size used. As a general rule, the components must meet the following criteria to qualify for gang-run printing:


• Timing: All components must be ready to print simultaneously.

• Paper: Since the components get produced using one press sheet, they must print using the same paper.

• Colors: Typically, ganged components must use the same color process. For example, all pieces must print as a 4-color process or use the same Pantones. There can be some flexibility to this, depending on the color requirements and press capabilities.

• Quantities: There are times that a campaign can still benefit from gang-run printing, even if the quantities vary by component. However, most of the time, the print quantities should be equal or close to achieve the highest savings amount. 



Gang-running can be cost-effective for printing a single campaign; however, running multiple campaigns can save even more. 


For example, let’s say that you have two 8.5x11 letter forms printing 5,000 quantity each. The graphics vary by type, but they will both use the same paper, color specifications, and volumes and be ready to print simultaneously. By combining these two forms, you could expect a 33% cost savings versus producing the two types separately.


If you would like to discuss ways to create efficiencies with your direct mail campaigns or are interested in a quote, contact us today.


Looking for more ways to maximize your direct mail ROI?

Download our free Direct Mail Production Checklist to identify steps that can save time, energy and resources on your next campaign.


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