Why Print Marketing Isn't Going Away Anytime Soon

Written by
Mar 31,2021

You might look at the growth in digital marketing and think it spells a sense of doom for print promotions. Print marketing is still alive and well, though. It is one of the most effective ways of marketing directly to leads and keeping current customers engaged.

You might wonder, “Is print marketing dead?” In short, the answer is no. Statista predicts print advertising spend will reach $44.2 million in 2021, with the largest segment going to newspapers.

Even if your business is 100% online, such as an e-commerce store, there’s a time and place for print ads. Print marketing isn’t going away anytime soon and should be part of your overall advertising strategy.

1. Connect with Others

In an increasingly digital world, where folks are tapping into the internet of things (IoT) 24/7, consumers feel disconnected from brands that wish to engage them. Print advertising puts something concrete in the hands of potential customers.

There is something about a newspaper or magazine that enhances the senses and stays with a person longer than a social media ad flashing across a newsfeed and disappearing into oblivion. Print sends your message right into the person’s home and stays there much longer than a digital ad does.

2. Tap Into Direct Mail

Digital ads shouldn’t be your only effort to reach your target audience. Did you know, consumers respond to direct mail marketing 35% more frequently than email marketing?

Take the time to segment your list and send specific offers to the right audience. The more personalized your direct mail campaigns are, the more likely you’ll gain new customers.

With the pandemic, foot traffic is down for most business owners. One way to bring people into your store is by inviting them through the mail. They may not see a sign outside your store, but they’ll see the postcard you mail to their home address.

3. Improve Conversion Rates

You can improve your overall conversion rates when you approach marketing with a multi-pronged approach. Ideally, a potential customer sees your name on Facebook. They might read a post you shared as a guest blogger. They see an ad you put in front of them on social media. When they open their mailbox, they have a postcard advertising the same offer.

One of the best ways to improve conversion rate optimization (CRO) is by trying different tactics and seeing what works best with your clients. You might find you get more prospects from a postcard with one segment of your audience and more leads from door hangers with another.

Pay careful attention so you can work on CRO for future campaigns and deliver the promotions working best with each section of your customer base.

4. Offer Loyalty Cards

Most managers agree it is much more valuable to keep a current customer than seek a new one. They tend to spend more, tell others about your brand and order frequently. One thing you can do is print loyalty cards. The more the consumer shops with you, the more they’re rewarded.

Although not a traditional ad, loyalty cards are a form of advertising. People may even show them to friends and family to highlight what prize they’re working toward. Fear of missing out (FOMO) makes others want one, too.

In the Delphi Loyalty report, researchers discovered loyalty programs sometimes fail. The top reasons were poor use of data at 94.1% and inadequate communications at 91.2%. If you plan to offer loyalty cards, make sure you collect data on the user and analyze how well the program performs.

5. Garner More Time

Expert salespeople know that more time equals more sales. The more minutes a person spends with you, the more likely they are to buy something. The rule of thumb is true for a car salesman, jewelry store clerks and your business.

Print advertising takes more time to look at than a digital ad. The user must pick it up, perhaps turn it over and read it. It also involves more senses. Instead of just looking at the ad, they feel the paper, hear the crinkle as they touch it and see the layout.

It isn’t that one type of ad is better than the other. It’s about engaging users on as many levels as possible. Getting in front of them over and over until they’ve spent enough time with you to want to buy your product or service.

6. Attract Millennials

In the Quocirca Print 2025 report, researchers talked to hundreds of business owners in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. They found 77% of millennials believed paper documents would remain important through 2025. They did mention they felt direct from mobile printing would increase in the same time.

People often describe millennials as the digital generation. However, they still remember when print was a thing. They are open to both mediums. While they’re comfortable in a digital environment, they still have an appreciation for classic advertising.

Don’t rule out print marketing for your younger clients. Look at direct mail, newspaper ads and even billboards as a way to reach them on multiple levels.

7. Focus on Sustainability

Many people care more about protecting the environment than in years past. You must balance your print ads with sustainability. Use recycled products. Take actions to reduce your carbon footprint. Explain why you use print ads and steps you’re taking to replace any paper used.

While print ads are a great thing and grab the attention of potential leads, you also need to be aware of how they are perceived by some and show you care.

Build Trust

The idea of building trust with potential customers goes back to spending time with them. The more time they spend reading your ads and getting to know your brand, the more likely they’ll see what advantages you offer.

The best marketing strategies combine both digital and print methods. Look for ways to create omnichannel experiences. Add a web address to a postcard. Offer a print catalog on your website. Tie the two formats together for a perfect mix of promotions.

Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.