Open Letter on email?

This is one thing that I find crazy about the printing industry today.

We are in the printing industry, printers, suppliers, lovers. Printing to me means, placing an image on paper stock for others to read.

Doesn’t matter if we do it for fun or for money, printing is putting an image on paper stock.

So, if we as printers and suppliers are trying to promote printing, why do suppliers of items to use for printing, printing museum and paper suppliers “E-Mail”

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Cost. A simple letter by regular mail probably costs more than a dollar each by the time you figure in staff time, materials, and postage. Email is basically free — though it uses much the same staff time, the rest is foregone, and it is much faster to execute and in transit. Cost and speed are uppermost. “Print” is obsolete and the market is so small that most companies can safely ignore it.


for the same reason you post your questions and comments on this message board rather than consult and contribute to a trade journal

Aaron, you keep bringing this argument up, and your unwillingness to accept the clearly logical answers is what I find crazy.

I am (among other things) a hobby blacksmith. I suppose that I could make my own nails and such rather than buying them in a hardware store… and from time to time I do just that. For the most part, though, wire-drawing machines made hand-made nails economically obsolete. Therefore, unless I have need for something special, I buy my nails. I do send letters out from time to time with letterhead printed stock… even typed on a manual typewriter for the sake of nostalgia. My boss would be most upset with me, however, if I ever sent him a typed document instructing him to please special order something for a customer. It would be too expensive and inconvenient for the customer.

Everyone is missing the point.

I get an invoices from other printers, print suppliers etc.

9 out of 10 the invoice is trashy looking. Poorly designed and hard to read because half the time it looks like a photo copy machine print out.

If “We” printers, designers, are going to email our customers invoices etc, it should look great in design.

So, it cost you mail to mail an invoice $2.00 to mail an invoice to your customer. That $2 cost is your way so promoting your printing, design etc.

We (printers, designers etc) are asking our customers to pay us money for our work. And, we should show off our work.

Let say you design a great invoice, some you mail some you email, but each time your customer pick up something you printed, he/she see your work.

If your design is great in Print or Email, you might get more business.

I got a invoice from my engraver for some dies they made.

The email scanned invoice was poorly designed, off center did look like the 50 year company they say they were.

YES, Emailing is FREE!!!!

But, if you love emailing more than printing, why are you in the printing trade?

We are printers, any child of 5, can go into the Word processing program and print out an invoice. So, why be a printer and say people to pay you money, if you want to promote something a 5 year old can do?

Stop jumping on me, for pointing out, we are printers, not push the button kids.

If you want to be professional, you have to show the world you are the best professional printer or designer in your area.

You’re comparing the letterpress trade to the commercial printing trade. They’re very different things.

The suppliers you work with are probably more-often-than-not working with large commercial shops, and the accounting departments in those shops don’t care how pretty an invoice is. All they care about how much it’s going to cost them and when its due. All of the overhead associated with a paper invoice (processing, storage, disposal) only costs them money. In my experience, when faced with paper invoices most modern accounting departments scan them into their systems and shred the original immediately. They will then follow up with the supplier with a polite request to not send paper invoices.

Paper invoices are dead. Fretting over using them to promote your business is wasted effort; in the majority of cases, the eyes that see your invoices are not in the heads that make creative or purchasing decisions.

If you’ve just hand-delivered a box of custom printed flower order forms to a bridal boutique, then a letterpress printed invoice might be in order. But let’s be honest about this: there’s an element of ‘authenticity theatre’ to it. You’re maintaining the air of esotericism that you, a printer using obsolete equipment and techniques, relies on to attract business. Expecting your razor-thin-margin-providers to reciprocate this is just an invitation to waste everyone’s time.

Save your money and your customer’s money and invest it in marketing strategies that actually have a snowball’s chance in hell of working.

I can see your point, now that you have presented it more eloquently. I never considered that day to day business communication, i.e.: invoices and the like really ARE, in a way, a brochure for a printing business. Being merely a hobbyist printer who sells guns for a living as my day job, perhaps this never would have occurred to me without you pointing it out.
That said, I don’t think anyone here is “jumping on you”. You made your post. Others read your post and some of us commented on it. Is this not what you intended or at least hoped for?
As much as some of us, myself included, would like for it not to be so some days, digital publishing is here to stay. Emails will continue to be sent, ebooks will be published, and newspapers will continue to shrink. In some cases, this makes sense.
I would have loved to have had even one of my books actually printed up and published on paper, but the reality of the industry is that I don’t have time to be turned down by a dozen publishers before one of them decides to take a chance on me. Also remember that a printed book manuscript is NOT something you can hold in your hand. It requires at least several reams of paper that has to be mailed in a strongly-constructed box which the writer generally pays for. I don’t have money enough to self-publish. So The Wives of Jacob got presented as an ebook. The manuscript was submitted digitally and now my first novel is available for everyone in the world to read at a net cost of only my time.
Might I one day print a limited-edition copy with my recently acquired platen press? Well, just maybe… some day. ;)