Here is a quick list of what I view as the most common mistakes people make when buying custom stickers. They are in no particular order of importance, and by no means, the only “mistakes” made.
1) Thinking the stickers will be stuck “everywhere”. We hear this ambitious dream a lot when working with clients at Websticker.com. The first order of concern should be that your promotional stickers are stuck “somewhere” and that the design, size and style is tailored to promote application in certain targeted locations (like cars, or laptops, or water bottles, or helmets, or phones, etc.)
2) Not considering how you will distribute the stickers. If you are going to include your sticker in mailings, you wouldn’t want customized sticker sheets that didn’t fit the envelope (or needed to be folded to fit). Costs may go up – effectiveness of presentation may go down. If you are hoping to distribute through partnerships with stores or other businesses you may want to consider back copy printing or coop advertising before going to print. Knowing how most of your stickers will be distributed along with where you want them applied is essential when creating a perfectly tailored sticker for your needs.
3) Buying custom stickers from a machine not a person. I think it is important to know who is responsible for the quality, design and delivery of your custom printed product. A real person may have tips on saving money with some simple changes or increasing the power of your promotional sticker with design assistance. It is also easier to trust and form a relationship with a person – someone who you know will take care of problems, questions and future projects.
4) Designing the sticker your self. This ties into #3. Most sticker printers offer design help at no charge – why not get assistance and tips from people that do sticker design everyday and know the medium inside and out? It may be fun to use an on-line design tool or play around with your design vision on your own computer, that’s fine. But, have a professional fine tune and polish off the final design. Promotional stickers (just like advertisements, billboards, logos, brochures, etc.) are reflections of your identity and integral to the power of your overall marketing – make them as effective and professional as possible with available resources and budgets.
5) No guarantees on delivery time and quality. Make sure there’s a written (and verbal) guarantee, especially if a certain quality (e.g. it has to stay stuck “here” for “this long”) or delivery on a certain date (e.g. we leave for a trade show “this day”) is essential. Here’s our Websticker Guarantee.
6) Paying too much, not checking for price breaks. While there is not a lot of haggling or negotiating of prices in the custom sticker-printing world, there are factors you should review in order to optimize value. Check prices at more than one company and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples (many different companies have different manufacturing processes with varying quality). If you have followed my advice in #3 and are dealing with a real person, make sure you find out if any slight changes to size, shape, material, or quantity would alter prices. Sometimes going a bit smaller may put you in a different price bracket. Perhaps there is a stock size or product that can be utilized with a few art adjustments? Perhaps you can drastically cut the per-piece price by paying just a little more and hitting a quantity price break?
7) Getting wrong quality for job – going “cheap”. I said that these “mistakes” were in no particular order but this, I believe, is the most important. If you don’t get the sticker product needed to do the job (be it promotion, equipment tagging, temporary advertising, etc.) then you are wasting money. If going with the “cheapest price” sacrifices longevity, impact, delivery dates, or overall effectiveness, you overpaid. That is why the most important information you can pass along to a printer or supplier is what the stickers will be used for.
Hopefully this quick-list of common mistakes helps you in creating and ordering the perfect promotional sticker for your individual needs. The staff at websticker is happy to help recommend products, review designs (or develop new designs) and answer any additional questions you might have. And, if you have questions or want immediate help from a “real” person, feel free to pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-802-253-2011 (9-5 eastern time).