The initial decision of whether a W2P solution should be used or not within a company relies on the estimation that is made regarding its profitability or benefits for a company. This is a point where most marketers are seen to make a mistake. They evaluate the monetary advantages of the system both in terms of cost and profits, based on individual or per piece cost.
It is important to realize that when it comes to investing in Web-to-print solutions, thoughts should be kept broad and instead of focusing on short term investment benefits, long term benefits should also be kept in mind. The focus should not be on initial outlay, rather on the bottom line benefits of employing the system.
Tiffin University employed W2P software and switched from printing of 9X12 inch pre printed folders to highly personalized and super slim booklets that were printed on demand using the system. This allowed the university to drop its postage and printing costs by a whooping 50% owed to use of the web to print app. This is long term benefit. Even though it may sound against common thinking to suggest that a per piece increase in cost can result in a reduced bottom line result, however it is possible and happens at times too. That is why it is essential to consider bottom line benefits of employed W2P extension applications instead of short term or per piece cost enhancement only.
What is required to be done here is to take up a complete holistic approach of all the processes and workings of a company, where the new web to print system is to be employed. Understanding the different ways W2P applications can benefit a company, and analyzing all costs leading to bottom line scenario can help in evaluating the true impact of introducing a new system in the company. Concepts of total returns on investment, cost incurred on per response and cost per lead become critical at this point.
It is also essential here to mention that in some instances, new web2print applications can have upfront costs, such as deploying of a new portal or developing cost. Here even though the short term ROI can be estimated, the true ROI is only assessed over time. For example if a financial company gains 100 new customers owed to a web to print business marketing campaign, the first month’s ROI can be calculated, however the true value of investment always proves itself over time, going beyond initial investments. The new clients could stay and work with the company for a long time or even a lifetime. Here the lifetime customer value (LCV) gets rather high. An example is of VistaPrint Software Company who claims that over 71% of its orders according to their investors are from previous or repeat customers, showing a very high LCV gained from every new customer received.
This does not mean that instant returns have not been experienced by new W2P deployments. There have been examples of cheap web2print deployments that resulted in huge revenues. One example is of artik.com that spent $5,000 on the new W2P system and reported revenues of $60,000 per month within a very short time span of web-to-print ecommerce software deployment.