Yes, it is that time of year again when you should be thinking ahead on how to plan for your marketing strategy in the New Year. Economists are saying that 2013 will be worse than this year so how do you establish your niche and vault ahead of your competition? You can do so by printing calendars a promotional tool that keeps your message at a low cost in front of your customer’s eyes throughout the year. Every month your message is seen not just by your customer but by everyone who comes into that person’s office.
In addition, every month you can have a new message, new product or service or both which serves as a reminder to your customer of the benefits of doing business with you, buying your product, utilizing your service, buying your book or reading your magazine.
Calendar printing is one of the most cost effective ways that you can spend your hard earned marketing dollars promoting your business throughout the year. Calendars, when done well, can enhance the attractiveness of an office and display your product or services at their best.
There are many styles of calendars from the old fashioned desk calendar on a ringed base, to the modern and more cost effective ones on an easel back. Wall calendars come in a variety of sizes, from 8.5 x 11”, 9 x 12”, 11 x 17” or larger. The larger you get though you may limit your bindery types to the more costly spiral or less appealing top staple rather than the usual saddle stitching.
The average page counts of a self cover calendar are 28, or if separate cover 24 plus cover. This is so in order to allow for a calendar grid on the top or bottom page, usually bottom and an image page on the other so that when fully open as a “spread”, you see the image and the calendar grid.
If your calendar printing venture is created as a self cover, the recommended stock is 100# gloss book so that it can be supported on a nail or tack and not rip. If a separate cover, then the minimum for the cover would be the same 100# gloss book for self cover calendar printing and no less than 80# for the inside as you would want paper that can last throughout the year for your calendar.
Grids are easy to come by or to create. If you are graphically challenged you can create one in Excel. If not, then you can create a calendar grid in Illustrator. For those who simply do not want to bother, they are easily downloaded from many free sites on the internet. If you are not sure of the quality or DPI, dots per inch, of the calendar grid you are downloading than the safest thing is to download a calendar grid without screens and all solid line art. You also would be best served if you can find one that is not an image file but in software you can further work in or convert to software that you can, in order to add your own touches and information under many of the dates on the calendar.
For images, you can use images of your own products, services, family, pets, books you’ve authored and snippets there from or from articles you have published. There are many images you can download for no or little coast but they will not serve you as well as personalized images of that which you are looking to promote. In any case you will want to be sure that your images are 300 DPI, dots per inch and if unsure, you will want to be using images that are several MB or larger and CMYK when you add to your print file and not RGB as many are on the internet. If still not sure, blow up to 400 percent and that view is a good approximation of how they will print. If the images you have chosen for printing calendars are fuzzy, or bit mapped (pointed square pixels are visible) than the image is of low quality and should not be used for your calendar printing.
Copy, many times ignored is important if you want to convey a strong message about your product or service. Write compelling copy, first thanking the user for being a valued customer all year long and then moving on describing the benefits of your product and/or doing business with you. In any case never talk about what you offer as the customer only wants to hear about the benefits to him or herself. Use testimonials if you can garner some from your customers as that is a great way of attracting new ones.
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