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August 13, 2019

How to Choose a Print Partner (and Keep Them Honest)

SW_How to Choose a Print Vendor


When it comes to your business, choosing a print partner that you trust is one of the most important decisions you can make.


There are a variety of things to consider when working with a new (or existing) print partner. In this week’s post, we’ll go over just a few to keep in mind.


Are they fast/efficient without sacrificing accuracy?

In a previous post, we covered eight simple ways to save money on your print costs by doing the following:


      • Gang Running (sending multiple jobs at one time)

      • Pre-printed Shells

      • Digital vs. Offset printing

      • On-Demand Printing

      • Intelligent Inserting

      • Integrated Reporting

      • Database Cleanliness


Consult with your partner before submitting your files. From your database to your final artwork, they can advise you on the best, and most cost-efficient, way to produce your mail campaign.


Your partner should have several suggestions on ways they can help you meet your deadlines and goals. Depending on your needs, they should be able to work with you to ensure that your campaigns are 100% accurate, and have processes in place to ensure efficiency and easy-reporting.


At Streamworks, we use 2D barcoding technology to ensure that your information is accurate, checked, and triple-checked before it even leaves the building.


Are you happy with the quality of their work?

As we mentioned earlier, you should be happy with the quality of work you receive from your partner as it reflects your companies’ standards. They should be able to listen to your needs and advise you on the best way to achieve those goals, even if that means they direct you to an outside source.


At Streamworks, we employ a team of direct mail experts that can assist you with everything from design, to ensuring your template meets USPS postal standards. 


Ask them about ROI and ways they can help you improve your response rate, without charging you an arm and a leg to do so.


Do they offer a full range of services? 

Sometimes you’ll find the partner you are working with only offers one type of service and has to outsource the rest to keep your business. It is crucial to get a scope of the full range of services your partner provides to ensure consistency with your final product.


At Streamworks, we offer:


• Intelligent Inserting

• Lettershop Services

• List Acquisition

• Database Management

• Mail Tracking

• Creative Design

• Online Proofing

• On-Demand Print Portal

• Shipping Solutions


It’s always a good idea to find out the breadth of services your partner offers, even if you may not need all of them right now.


Do they offer cost-saving solutions? 

Is your partner more of a yes man, or do they ask questions and offer suggestions on your printing needs?


Sometimes one way of doing things ends up being cost-prohibitive or isn’t possible with how you originally envisioned it. Make sure you’re working with a partner who cares about the quality of work they produce, and who wants to ensure you’re happy with your final product.


At Streamworks, most of our programs can be processed in 3-10 business days depending on the complexity of the piece. All of our equipment is on-site with redundancy for overflow, not to mention the USPS is located on-site for fast turn around and delivery.


Another way we help our clients is with Launch Room – a line of design templates crafted by our team of experienced direct mail in-house designers. Launch Room is for clients who want to try something new, and who are looking for proven engagement with their direct mail campaigns.


Not everyone is an expert when it comes to printing, and your partner shouldn’t expect you to be one either. It’s their job to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck, and are happy with the final product and quality of your experience.


Looking for a new print partner? Put us to the test! Request a quote and sign up for our monthly Launch Room newsletter to have fresh ideas delivered straight to your inbox.

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