We’ve all heard the news repeatedly over the past decade or so: This is the digital age they say… newspapers are shutting down, magazines are trimming their staffs. Yet, a quick Google search of “Why print isn’t dead” yields more than 1 million “print defenders”—individuals who believe print is perceived as the more credible, trustworthy source of information.
Yes, the future lies in digital technology, but if you want your marketing strategy to be truly effective, think multichannel. Print can be an extremely effective tool, especially when working hand-in-hand with digital.
As many companies compete online for their audience’s attention, effective print pieces make your business stand out. An International Communications Research survey recently found that 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods. U.S. Postal Service research indicates that households report they tend to respond to about one in 10 pieces of direct mail. And according to research by Mail Print, 85% of consumers sort and read their snail mail on a daily basis, and 40% try new businesses after receiving direct mail. (I realize these sources may be slightly biased, but their findings still have merit.)
By highlighting your business’ benefit, offer or product, and presenting it in an attractive way, you’re immediately taking advantage of what makes print a great medium: Its ability to literally get your message into the hands of your audience. And research shows they will likely engage with it longer than with an email or social media post.
The key is to use print correctly to achieve the best results:
- Know and target the print content to your specific audience. Consumers appreciate the time and effort taken to personalize your business marketing. Consider variable data printing to take advantage of the power of complex personalization.
- Drive your customers to your website by including your URL. As smartphone and tablet technologies continue to grow and develop, so, too, has the interactivity of print media. QR (quick response) codes and NFC (near-field communication) can be used to connect your audience to a website, videos and other features that encourage your audience to explore and engage, as well as share with others.
- Integrate your print marketing with social media. Include your business’ Facebook, Twitter or other social networking URLs in company collateral.
Remember: No matter how crucial digital marketing becomes, there is still a large audience you can reach through print marketing and direct mail campaigns. To achieve the greatest success, work with your marketing partner to develop an effective print strategy that will enhance your brand, present the value of your service or product and excite your audience into converting. Think multichannel and utilize the tools and technologies available to you.
Have a multichannel marketing success story to share? We’d love to hear about it.