Here’s the key to knowing the best choice for the paper you use for printing: test different papers.
Break your list into statistically valid segments and mail one segment the brochure (flyer, premium slip, etc.) for which you’re trying to choose a paper, and mail other segments the same piece (the exact same artwork) on paper stocks with different specs.
For instance, test different weights (maybe a 50# paper versus a 60# or 70# paper) or a brighter sheet versus one that is not as bright (like a grade 1 paper versus a grade 3 or 4). Run the numbers when you get all your responses and see which paper yields the greatest profit. Now you have your answer.
For catalog companies there are also postal implications for the paper weight that you use. If you have a lot of pages, the heavier your paper the more it could cost you in postage. So when you plan your catalog, have your printer make you some dummies using the exact paper specifications, page count, etc. Weigh them and calculate the postal ramifications.
Another trick of the trade in saving on paper is to ask your printer if they have a “house” sheet that would suit your needs. Often a printer uses large quantities of a particular paper and they buy it in big lots. Because of their volume buying, they get an exceptionally good price, and they’re willing to pass the saving on to you for your business.
Using a house sheet also allows you a little more flexibility when you increase, or decrease, your quantities at the last minute. Your printer will have it on hand if you need it, and they can use it elsewhere if you don’t.
For more on how to reduce your print costs, click on the link below.