Print is Still Alive and Doing Well in Communications Strategies

Posted by on August 29, 2016

Whether it’s an engaging annual report that tells a compelling story, a tent card that welcomes new employees after an acquisition or a bulky direct mail piece that generates a 17 percent response rate—we consistently produce a variety of print materials for our clients.

So, I wasn’t completely surprised when I attended an IABC professional development luncheon titled “Print is Alive!” presented by marketing strategist Janice Mayo and found that we’re not alone. While digital is strong, we also believe that print can be an effective way to enhance an integrated communications strategy.

Before she dove into the advantages of print, Janice shared several interesting stats:

  • Direct mail outperforms all digital channels by 600 percent.
  • Websites supported with print catalogs generate 133 percent more revenue.
  • Paper affects our brains very differently than digital. While we process digital ads more quickly, print ads engage viewers for more time. And, physical ads cause more activity in brain areas associated with value and desire.

With that in mind, here are some of the top reasons and ways to leverage print in integrated campaigns:

  1. Surprise and delight. Comparing your email inbox to your mailbox, print makes a bigger impression and can create a stronger relationship. For example, a printed thank you letter has a bigger impact than a thank you email.
  2. Drive web traffic. Aligning digital marketing campaigns with corresponding offers can increase opt-ins and encourage sign-ups. Let your prospects know who you are and motivate them to respond with limited-time offers, coupons or promo codes that are redeemable online. And rather than have audiences get lost on website home pages, consider creating unique landing pages to convey specific messages and track results.
  3. Integrate print and social media. An important part of integrated campaigns, social media can also be used to reinforce print messages and reach audiences quickly.
  4. Follow Google’s lead. Google is using direct mail to sell digital services. If Google’s doing it… Need we say more?

By optimizing traditional and digital media, you can not only increase engagement and educate target audiences, but also meet overarching communication goals through the right mix of messaging and channels.


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