It’s a classic mistake in sales, marketing and small business: taking on too much, too soon, without knowing exactly who the customers are.

When watching the big brands operate in print, it can be tempting to get all of your marketing materials together at once, ready for the big launch: printed flyers, brochures, posters, PVC banners, leaflets, menus… without first knowing for sure that these custom print designs will engage the audience.

Obviously, there’s a need to attract as much attention as possible, as early as possible – but it’s also about finding a balance between the initial expense, and maintaining your finances over the long-term. Print marketing for small business is less about making one big splash in the marketplace, and more about hitting smaller, high-value growth targets more often.

Starting out small with iterative print marketing

As a small business or a sole trader, you can build up your knowledge of exactly what works in your print marketing through an ongoing process of small, low-cost iterations. For example, start out small with an order of a few hundred professionally designed, high-quality business cards. Even better, divide your order into two slightly different business card designs, and run a split test on which design brings in more customers.

For your next order, you could run another fresh (and very affordable) split-test to trial differing designs that build on the first batch. Refining your business cards to optimise their design, to gain the most possible customers – before taking your most successful design into larger-scale print runs of pro-quality flyers, menus, PVC banners and more.

Scale versus agility in print marketing

Established businesses put in print orders with us into the tens of thousands, blanketing their market with ads and flyers that are hard to ignore. They use established branding, pro copy and expert design, refined over years and informed by a wealth of market research, to attract maximum sales from their audience. But they have only reached that point through lots of different iterations in their print marketing.

For much smaller businesses and sole traders starting out, it’s crucial to see that good print marketing is an ongoing process, building upon smaller print campaigns over time to see what works – rather than one costly “big push” to dragnet as much business as possible through your doors. Instead, it’s about fast, agile print campaigns, and more of them; testing ever-evolving print designs to see what works best for your bottom line.

Using iterative print marketing as audience research

Amazon’s market value stands at $1.14 trillion. How? Two words: customer obsession. Any successful business, large or small, must become totally fixated on who’s buying from them and why.

Smaller print marketing campaigns, tailored specifically to your audience, don’t just bring in the sales – they’ll also tell you, through a process of iterations, who responds most to your offering and how they prefer to get in touch. And the more data you can record from each small campaign, about which iterations generate the most business for you, the faster you’ll be able to maximise your sales through more and more effective print runs.

Turn your print marketing campaigns into a positive feedback loop

The more iterations you print, the more targeted your print marketing campaigns. The more data you collect from each print run, the more effective you can make your future printing campaigns as they evolve. It creates a high-frequency, positive feedback loop of trial-and-improvement over time – without ever breaking the bank on your budget.

And the best part? There’s no long wait to launch a big print campaign. Go small, go agile, and start building your business through lightning-fast mini print campaigns and split-tested design iterations. We even have a vast range of pro design templates to get you started, fast.

Iterative print marketing could get you more business, faster. Evolving and engineering your printed marketing materials into high-impact sales tools over the course of weeks, not months. And we can guide you every step of the way.

We’ve made it super easy to print your designs in ultra-high quality, whether you’re testing the water with a small batch of business cards or ready to jump in with everything from brochure printing and clothing to signage and custom drinkware.

Want to see what iterative print marketing could do for your small business? Click right here to speak with our print experts. We’re ready when you are.