First thing’s first, let’s, once and for all, clear up the misconception that print is dead . While it is undeniable that email marketing and online adverts have increased exponentially, there is evidence that print can be far more engaging and effective than its digital counterpart. For instance, print has a higher brand recall rate than digital media (we’re talking 77% compared to just 46%). And printed mailers generate a significantly higher response rate—as much as 30 times greater—than email.
Integrating Print & Digital
Print and digital media should be used in combination, with each supporting and even enhancing the other. Ultimately, integrating print and digital marketing campaigns strategically will ensure that all your bases are covered and that a wider, more diverse audience is being reached.
Using print and digital marketing seamlessly means understanding what each medium’s strengths are. While both have the same goal of promoting your business, each requires a slightly different approach. For example, digital marketing is a great and cost-effective way to reach a broad audience. It is also highly adaptable, enabling you to test out and evaluate different marketing styles or tactics.
Print marketing, for its part, has the potential to be more memorable than digital because the consumer interacts with it physically. You can also target audiences with greater precision using print. For example, you can place printed adverts where they will be most relevant, such as a product info card strategically placed in retail locations, or an attraction brochure placed in a local tourist office. In short, you meet the customer where they would be most interested in your offering.
Print, particularly direct mail, is also unique in its ability to build strong relationships with high-quality leads or existing customers. Customized mailers or merchandise can show prospects your commitment to them in a real, tangible way. “Marketers are quickly narrowing down who gets which type of mail,” adds Printing for Less’s Wes Kirk. “Focusing on smaller sets of higher quality prospects and on better engagement with existing customers.”
The Key to Remaining Relevant
Today, print marketing remains relevant by embracing digital media. That means not only should both factor into your marketing decisions but they should also be unified. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this.
“QR codes are one of the best ways to drive traffic from print to online marketing,” Gardner says. QR codes printed on posters, brochures, postcards, and more provide a direct link to your business’s digital resources. From the client’s perspective, this means easy access to a wealth of relevant information about your product or service. QR codes are also trackable, giving your marketing and sales teams vital insights about potential prospects and allowing them to gauge a campaign’s success.
Another innovative way to bridge the divide between print and digital is discount codes. By including a discount code on a printed ad that can be exclusively redeemed online, you can drive potential clients from the printed page to your website and increase the potential for new sales. Moreover, people are more likely to spend time reading a printed ad if a discount or deal is involved. It’s a win-win.
The link can be made in the other direction too, with digital engagement leading to custom mailers. For example, a digital campaign and landing page can invite the user to submit their information and address to receive a free gift. The data shared not only shows the prospect is interested in your business but also enables you to vet them as a lead. From there, you can send printed merch or kits that increase in value the higher the lead quality. You can learn more about the value of printed merchandise here.
A Cohesive Campaign is a Hybrid One
In the end, digital hasn’t killed print: they are both stronger when they co-exist. A cohesive campaign is really important. Your print and digital strategies really need to speak to one another, because the best results happen when digital and print are working together.
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