Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another great way to get your direct mail letters printed...

Most new real estate investors opt to print their direct mail marketing letters on their own printers and then put the mailings together themselves… and this is a perfect way to get this task done when your on a tight budget and have the time to do it.  But there is a better and more cost effective way to get this done…

The printers that we often have in our offices or at home tend to have a tendency to just drink the ink cartridges, and those suckers aren’t cheap!  In fact, you can almost buy the printer for less than the price of the actual ink refills.  And don’t let them fool you… that’s where the printer manufacturers are making their money.  That’s why the “starter” ink cartridge that you get with the printer when you buy it has just enough ink in it to get you half way through one mailing, and always… I mean always runs out when you desperately need to print something the most.

I’ve found that it’s much easier, and just as cost effective to have your letters printed by Kinko’s or Office Depot.  And what’s really cool about using those services is that you can go to their websites and upload your letter file, and they will print your letters and either deliver them to you, or you can pick them up at your local store within hours.  This is what I like the most.  I cannot stand hanging out next to the printer loading it with paper and clearing printer jams! What a bad use of our time!

So, the first thing that you’re probably thinking is… will they mail merge my letters for me? Well, no they won’t do that… but here is a great alternative.  You can use a PDF printer to print your mailing to as if you were going to print them yourself.  This will create an individual page in the PDF file for each letter page in your mailing with the contact info merged in there.

For example, if you are using RealProspect to merge your mailings, then you just print your letter template to your PDF printer and a PDF file will be created containing all the merged letters.  So if you have 50 prospects in your mailing, you will get a PDF file with 50 pages in it and each page will be a merged letter.

Then you can send that PDF file to the printer and they can print the merged letters for you. 

You can get a PDF printer for practically nothing… in fact here is one that I think you can download for free:

A PDF printer is a software program that installs itself just like a printer on your computer, except when you print to it you get a PDF file instead of a printed piece of paper.  You can print anything at all to a PDF printer and you get a PDF file.  Its cool stuff!

When you weigh the cost of printer ink and your time wasted monkeying around with your printer, you can quickly see how using this setup to achieve the same results can be a much better alternative to the “do-it-yourself” way.


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