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The Online Printing Process: 5 Tips to Get You Started

Tips for successfully ordering print online.

In your business, it’s important to keep your operational costs down. That even includes, you guessed it, printing.

Many business owners and marketers decide to make a change in favor of online printing to cut down costs, speed up the printing process, and even improve results.

But when you’re not familiar with the online print ordering process, it can seem daunting.

However, you don’t need to worry, because making the transition to online printing is much easier than you me think. In fact, many successful printers have switched to an online platform or started out with an online platform to make it easier for their customers. Plus:

  • Online printing costs less
  • There’s a wider selection of products and flexibility to get the exact products you need
  • There are way more services available to enhance your marketing campaigns
  • It takes less time to order your printed materials
  • Turnaround times are much quicker
  • Reordering frequently used products can be done with a click of a button

If transitioning to an online printer seems challenging, or if you’ve made the switch but need some guidance, below are some helpful tips to ensure your online print ordering process is a breeze.

5 Tips for Successfully Ordering Print Online

1. Become Familiar with Your Online Printer’s Options

Free Resource: Paper Sample Book 

If you’ve found an online printer that you’re interested in, it’s important to become familiar with their specific product options.

Many online printers have tools specifically for new customers so they can begin ordering their materials with confidence.

Whether you’re narrowing down your options or have a specific printer in mind ask them about their free resources like a free paper sample booklet and a direct mail sample pack that they can send to you so you can see and feel their paper selections and become familiar with their product options.

2. Have Your Product Information Handy to Get an Online Price Quote

Once you’ve decided to move forward with an online printer and have taken them up on their free resources, it’s time to outline the details on the type of print product you would like to order. First determine what product you need. Are you interested in ordering postcards, catalogs, brochures, business cards, banners, or posters?

After you have chosen your desired product, consider your product specifications like:

  • The size of your specific printed product
  • The quantity you will need
  • The type of paper stock
  • The coating options
  • Will it include front and back printing or just front side?
  • If it’s a catalog or booklet, consider the binding options and page count
  • If it’s a brochure, consider what type of fold you would like
  • Will you be mailing your materials as part of a direct mail campaign?
  • How soon do you need your printed product?

If you’re not sure what you want, that’s ok. Your online printer should have standard options built into their product configurators to help you narrow down your options.

Or feel free to contact them for help figuring out the best options for your printing goals and budget. Their team of experts will be able to help you easily choose the right options for you.

3. Consider the Delivery Options Before You Get Started

Will you need your online print order shipped to you or shipped to multiple addresses or are you local to your online printer and would like to pick up your order to save on shipping costs? Or are you looking to upload or create a mailing list to mail your direct mail materials to an audience?

Supply chain challenges affecting turnaround times.

And how quickly do you need your print project to be completed and delivered?

While online printing is typically far less expensive, you need to account for shipping costs. If your print order needs to be shipped or mailed, we recommend planning ahead so you can save on shipping and mailing costs.

Ultimately, the more you plan ahead and the more flexible you are with turnaround and delivery demands, the more you’ll be able to save.

If your online print order isn’t a rush job, you will pay significantly less. The key to lowering costs is planning ahead and allowing yourself (and your online printer) enough time to get your print order completed without having to rush it out.

It’s also important to remember that when you’re placing an order and choosing your desired turnaround time, this time refers to the time it takes to produce your print order. For example, if you were to place an order for catalogs and chose a 4-6 day turnaround, you would receive a proof of your catalog and once you approve that proof the production time (or turnaround time) would then begin. The production time would take 4-6 business days and then would ship out.

4. Know the Printing Options Available to You

If you know exactly what you need for your online print order, great—you have a head start and can skip to the next step!

But if you don’t then just like knowing the product options your online printer offers, like paper selections, coating options, and products, you also need to be aware of all their printing options and other services.

Some services are specific to the product you need. For example, depending on what product and specifications you need for your order will automatically determine if you need digital or offset printing services. 

On the other hand, your online printer offers many other services and options like variable data printing, where each individual printed piece has a different image or name printed on to it, or you may need a custom product like a perfect bound catalog or booklet with spiral binding. Or, if you’re looking to launch a direct mail campaign, you need to be aware of all direct mailing solutions offered by your online printer including EDDM, Proximity Mailing, Propensity Mailing and more so you can make the right choice for your direct mail marketing goals.

If you’re unsure or become overwhelmed with the options available to you, don’t worry! Their customer service team can help guide you through the entire process to ensure you get exactly what you need.

5. Get Multiple Price Quotes Before You Place Your Order

With online printing, it’s easy to get price quotes for variations of your order, so take advantage!

Check the pricing for different quantities, sizes, coatings, and paper stocks to see what works best for your budget.

Most online printer’s websites will instantly show new pricing information for every detail you adjust. And all you need to do is choose your selections in the product configurator and view the total cost to get an idea.

You can even reach out to your online printer’s team of experts to get multiple quotes for custom printed products.

It’s Time to Begin the Online Print Ordering Process!

After you have finalized your decisions and have worked out the perfect product and pricing, it’s time to place your order!

Just like placing an order for any other online company, all you need to do is choose your product and product specifications, add your product to your cart, and then begin the checkout process.

For a full list of details on how to place an online print order at Conquest Graphics, head over to our online print ordering process page to get a step-by-step guide.

Still Unsure About Online Printing?

The online printing process is easy but if you’re still uncomfortable, don’t worry it can take some time to get used to. Plus, if you run into any trouble your online printer's customer service team is available at any time by email, phone, or live chat and they can help you place your order or even shop for you!

left-customer-service

Or if you’re interested in the benefits of online printing but are just unsure about the online process and atmosphere, here are some ways to authenticate your online printer's legitimacy:

Give them a call: Online printers are still printers and value the traditionalism of not only traditional mediums like print and direct mail, but they also value having a team of real-life experts that customers can contact. And the expertise and professionalism of the person picking up the phone is a good indicator of how the company interacts with customers.

Ask them some basic product questions: By asking an online printer some basic product questions, you can see how helpful they will be as well as determine if they are true print experts.

Check their social channels: Are they both active and interactive on their social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram? Phony, unreputable online printers rarely utilize social media management.

Check their reviews: What are their ratings and what are their customers saying about them. Often this is the best way to indicate whether you should go with one online printer or the other.

Google search their address: Do you see a real office building? Good! They are real and have an actual location where they produce your projects.

Check out their “About Us” page: How long has the online printer been around? Do they have multiple locations, or do they seem reliable and dedicated? “About us” pages are sometimes ignored but they can really help you get an idea of who a company is!

For those who are new to printing and for business owners who have worked with the same local printer for years, the transition can seem overwhelming. But once you get started, you’ll find that online printing is the best option for your printing needs.

If you have any questions about ordering your print marketing materials online, don’t hesitate to take advantage of our team of experts who you can reach by chatting in through the live chat popup in the bottom right hand corner of your screen, or you can reach them via email at customerserivce@ConquestGraphics.com, or by calling them at 800-707-9903. They will be happy to walk you through the online print ordering process.

Contact Conquest Graphics at 800-707-9903 to get started with your printing today.

For more help getting started, click the button below for a step-by-step guide on how to place an online print order today.

Your Online Printing Step-By-Step Guide!

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