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Cost Savings Series: Premiums

Michelle Johnston Michelle Johnston Senior Manager of Strategic Development

Welcome back to our new Cost Savings Blog Series!  Last week we kicked off the series with 3 tips to save money with format changes.

As with most budget items, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to your budget questions, but we are here to help you navigate ideas to help. This week, we will look at premiums and how you can make simple changes to save budget dollars!

Tip #1: Reduce the number of sheets in your notepad.

Last week, we talked about reducing the size of inserts in order to maximize the number of pieces that can print on one sheet of paper. Similarly, you can reduce the overall size of a notepad to allow more pieces to print on one sheet of paper. Or, you can simply reduce the number of sheets in the notepad altogether. How many sheets make the notepad usable? We have seen as few as 3 – 5 sheets in a notepad; however, 7 – 10 pages is typically used for smaller notepads.

  • Who can benefit: Any notepad mailing.
  • Things to remember: As with any package: test, test, test! It may be easiest to start with acquisition, as those donors have no preconceived notions about your premium offers. Anytime you send a notepad, you can test reducing the number of pages for cost savings.

Tip #2: Take Full Advantage of Your Label Forms.

Are you printing address labels/stickers for your mailing? While many organizations use the label sheet to include a reply card, you can also include letter copy, buckslip copy, premium/benefits information or even a certificate or member card. There are many of existing label formats that can be adapted to offer you flexibility in incorporating more into the label sheet. This can save you money by reducing the number of print pieces, and the number of pieces that need to be personalized.

  • Who can benefit: Anyone sending label/sticker sheets.
  • Things to remember: While the personalization of the label sheets will be in black ink, combining elements here can allow you to add 4 color images to the other components you are adding to the label sheet (that may otherwise need to be 1 or 2 color prints), and you can personalize those components for no extra cost.

Tip #3: Consider a Fast Response Premium. 

Backend premiums (those sent to donors after they send in a donation) are often higher dollar/higher perceived value gifts, and they can be a great incentive for some donors to upgrade their gift to take advantage of the offer. One way to limit your costs, is to offer the backend premiums only to the first XX people that reply. You can choose a specific number of gifts – the first 50 or 100 people to respond – which will allow you to limit how many premiums you need to buy and mail out.

  • Who can benefit: Organizations who send out high value backend premiums.
  • Things to remember: While printing fewer of each piece will save overall budget dollars (both in printing and mailing costs), the per piece price will go up. So, thoughtfully consider which donors would take most advantage of this offer and plan accordingly.

Stay tuned for next week’s cost savings tips on Ganging! If you are interested in a program audit, we would love to talk to you about how Production Solutions can help you better navigate the complexities of your budget.

About the Author

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston Senior Manager of Strategic Development

Michelle, PS’ Senior Manager of Strategic Development, has
been serving with PS since 2013. Michelle is from
Woodbridge, Virginia and she telecommutes full-time from
Leesburg, Virginia. Michelle enjoys spending time with her
husband, singing and papercrafting!
Michelle has over 10 years of experience in our industry, and
she has worked with more than 10 of PS’ clients, including the
Wildlife Land Trust, National Jewish Health, Heifer
International, The ALS Association, HelpMeSee and Special
Olympics. Michelle works on developing PS’ strategy and her
dedication to communicating authentically and investing in
success are just some of the reasons that Michelle is such a
valuable asset to her team.