Complete Guide to Picking the Right Stock

By Luke Weigel,
Marketing Manager, Lessiter Media

Times are tough for marketers like you and me. Studies show that the average person is estimated to encounter up to 10,000 ads per day — 10,000! A quick scroll through your social media feed and it's easy to see how they can add up quickly. We're up against some difficult odds.

But noone is going to throw us a pity party, so we need to get creative and figure out how to get seen.

Sure, most ads we see on a daily basis are in the digital space — social media, web ads, pop-ups, etc. — but the print side of things isn't any less cluttered. Every day I go to my mailbox hoping for a handwritten note from family or friends (do people still send those?), but come back with a stack full of offers that will "save me $100s." They all look the same, feel the same and are mostly of no interest to me.

So how do we stand out? When it comes to print, you can try various sizes, interactive pieces and/or hard-to-beat offers. All can definitely help your efforts. But the simplest, maybe most overlooked aspect of print marketing, is the paper stock you are using. Based on the number of marketing postcards I get, I'd say there is definitely an industry standard being used for paper stock as they all feel the same. 

If you've ever taken the time to really investigate what your options you are, there is a good chance you might have made a quick U-turn after realizing the overwhelming smorgasbord of options that awaited you.

No doubt, the amount of options available can be tough to comprehend, and if you don't work with the information everyday it's easy to forget what's what. But it's these options that could be your ticket to staying on the desk instead of ending up in the trash. 

Don't be afraid to ask your printer for stock samples. Many will have a kit they can provide that shows you an abundance of stock and finishing options. In the meantime, I've put together a quick guide of paper stock terminology that will hopefully make your next project a little easier when it comes to selecting your materials.

If you ever have any questions and are looking for a quick answer or recommendation, don't hesitate to reach out. Our in-house creative team can not only help you with your design-work, but can also point you in the right direction when it comes to what is the best material for your piece.

Marketers' Note: Did you know that paper stock options are not limited to just direct mail pieces? Magazines also offer you the opportunity to stand out with a heavier paper stock for special inserts. Plus, you'll have the added benefit of knowing your advertisement is reaching your target audience and not ending up in my mailbox. If you'd like to learn more about a special insert in any of our publications, just let me know. We'd be happy to send over some additional info.

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Infographic Source: Compu-Mail