Five Choices to Make for Paper in Direct Mail
2. For Buckslips, Brochures and Bookalogs, Keep Up the Quality
In the effort to lower the paper cost throughout the package, there are some components worth preserving to show off a brand, publication or organization properly, as well as create the right impression (visual- and touch-based) for the prospect.
Meta Brophy, director of publishing operations at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports in Yonkers, N.Y., gives a few examples. “We still use 50-lb offset for full-color components to show our publications off to best advantage, which a whiter, higher-end stock does. If appropriate, we may print buckslips or flyers on uncoated high bulk, whereas brochures are generally printed on 50-lb coated paper.” Meanwhile, she says that high-end stocks are used for magalogs, bookalogs, slim-jim covers and order cards.
However, Consumers Union hasn’t simply stood pat, as it has tested out of the 60-lb coated to a great extent for its brochures and continues to test new creative on lighter-weight papers from the beginning of each campaign.
3. Elsewhere in the Package, Go Lower in Stock and Grade
So while the outer and such key components as the brochure or buckslip warrant high-quality paper, the rest of the package can be downgraded without suffering too much in quality or hurting response rates. “Frankly, I’m not sure if it matters anywhere else in the package,” states Brooks, who only uses higher-end paper throughout a package for higher-end donors.
Brophy concurs, reporting that Consumers Union has made a concerted effort to move to lighter basis weights across the board. “We have successfully moved nearly all lift notes and many text-only letters in our component packages onto high-yield groundwood instead of virgin offset. We have tested this stock on a variety of different components, and this is where the change supports a strong response rate,” she relates.