If you’re thinking about incorporating print marketing materials into your overall advertising strategy, then you’re in the right place. With over a decade of experience in boosting small-business ROI, retention rates, and referral rates through print content, we have seen the magic work firsthand. Here are some types, strategies, and benefits of a well-rounded print marketing plan.
The Benefits Of Print Marketing
Print marketing offers several unique benefits. One of the biggest benefits of print marketing materials is that consumers actually prefer them. Yes, you heard that right — consumers prefer print marketing. In fact, 73% of U.S. consumers report that they prefer to receive marketing materials through the mail, with 59% saying they like getting mail about new products from brands. But that’s not the only benefit of print marketing — it’s also more motivational, unique, and direct.
Motivate Your Audience To Act.
Did you realize 76% of consumers trust print ads and catalogs when it comes to purchasing decisions, and 39% of consumers will try a business for the first time after viewing a direct mail ad? Plus, with direct mail response rates 5–9 times higher than any other marketing channel, you’ve got yourself a uniquely motivational marketing medium. In other words, your customers are far more likely to try your business if they are first exposed to it in a print ad, not a digital ad.
Stand Out From The Competition.
Over the years, print marketing has become less common. Recent estimates suggest that for every 36 emails a consumer receives, they get only one piece of print mail. While this is often chalked up to print being a “dead medium,” it provides a unique opportunity to stand out from the competition.
A recent Toluna survey revealed that 68% of consumers do not pay attention to online advertisements, 57% do their best to avoid them, and 60% can’t remember the last time they clicked an online ad on purpose. By contrast, 45% of consumers like receiving personally addressed print advertising, and 46% pay attention to them when they receive them. In other words, print is a much more powerful advertising tool than most people think.
Deliver Your Message Directly.
In terms of deliverability, print marketing provides the best channel. Logically, that makes sense since a potential customer has to touch and look at every piece of mail they receive, even if it’s only for a second before they throw it away. But the data also show that most of this mail gets opened as well, with up to 90% of direct mail being opened. That’s especially impressive compared to email, which has an open rate of about 20%–30%. In other words, print marketing should be the go-to medium for marketers who want to ensure their message is delivered to their audience at the right time. The average lifespan of a piece of mail is also 17 days, giving it unique longevity no other marketing channel possesses.
What Types Of Print Marketing Materials Should You Use?
Various types of print marketing materials are available, each with unique purposes and uses. Here are some of the most common.
- Newsletters and magazines provide a great way to provide your readers with valuable, consistent communication every month. Their main purpose is to nurture pre existing relationships with your active customers, inactive customers, and prospects.
- Greeting cards and postcards can provide fun seasonal reminders of how much you care and value their business.
- Pamphlets, flyers, or booklets can contain various information and provide a quick and easy solution for distributing information. They are a great way to deliver coupons and other special offers.
The print marketing materials you select for use within your business should work to support your overall business goals. For example, a newsletter is perfect for providing your readers with valuable, consistent content if you’re trying to boost your retention rates for active customers. If you’re trying to gain new clients within your neighborhood, then a flier with a special offer might just be what you need.
Nurture Existing Relationships.
Your current customers are your most valuable asset. It costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an old one. Yet many business owners spend much more time trying to entice new customers than keeping the old. Invariably, this is a big mistake in the long run.
But how are you supposed to maintain consistent, meaningful relationships with every customer who walks through your door? Just 3 words: print marketing materials.
Some businesses design print marketing materials to delight customers and remind them they care. These materials provide value through educational content, visual appeal, entertainment value, or a combination of those factors. Whether you send out a monthly newsletter, seasonal greeting cards, or magazines, keeping your strategy consistent will allow readers to interact with your business, keeping you top of mind.
Reach Out To The Community.
Finding new customers can be challenging and time-consuming. However, print marketing materials offer a unique way to target and advertise to certain areas of your community. By mailing your promotional materials to new locals, you are opening your business to a new market of potential customers.
Offer A Special Deal.
Print coupons and offers are perfect for getting old and new clients back in the door. With unmatched deliverability rates, print marketing provides a unique way to ensure your most valuable customers receive your special offers and act on them. This is also a great way to introduce people to your business for the first time if you are interested in investing in a localized direct mail campaign.
Send A Token Of Your Appreciation.
Your customers want to feel special. But in this quick, digital, throwaway era, people often feel like they don’t matter to anyone — especially the businesses they patronize. That’s why sending a token of your appreciation in the form of a seasonal greeting card can make a real difference in the minds of your customers. With 68% of people reporting they believe that a person who sends them a greeting card cares about them, it’s a worthwhile strategy. This print marketing item is an easy and effective way to communicate how much you love your customers.
Reactivate Lost Customers.
If you stay in business for an extended period, sooner or later, you’re going to lose customers. Sometimes, it’s through no fault of your own, like a move or a lifestyle change. But sometimes, customers stop coming to your business because they have forgotten about you, lack interest, or no longer need your services (but might in the future). In these cases, print marketing materials are perfect for maintaining contact with these lost customers (and winning them back).
Often, the key is providing your deactivated customers with something of value, like a coupon or special offer. But even if you do not run a business where offering a deal would make sense, you can still use print marketing materials to provide your lost customers with something else. Namely, you can offer entertaining or educational content through a newsletter or magazine. This will remind those lost customers you’re still there and significantly increase the likelihood that they will return should they need your services in the future.
Shout Out Your Referral Program.
A great referral program is a must if you want to reward long-term customer loyalty. A print marketing campaign is a perfect way to let customers know they can sign up and start seeing rewards every time they come into your store. Direct mail is also the perfect avenue to offer VIP deals to your most loyal customers.
Boost Your Brand Recognition.
The more clients see your business’s name, the more recognizable it will be. Suppose they’re interacting with your content or print materials every month. In that case, you have a much better chance of becoming the #1 business your audience thinks of when they reflect on local leaders in your industry.
Announce Big Changes.
Some print marketing materials (like flyers or pamphlets) are perfect for announcing big changes within your business. The unique deliverability of direct mail will inform clients if you move store locations, add a new location, change your business’s name, merge with another business, or experience another important change.
Become The Authority.
If you consistently provide your clients with industry-specific educational content through a newsletter or magazine, then whether you realize it or not, you build authority around your expertise. This authority translates to trust, making you appear more knowledgeable and experienced in your field.
Stand Out From The Competition.
You’ve probably heard the sentiment that “print is dead.” But in the digital era, nothing could be further from the truth. Many consumers prefer print marketing specifically because it stands out. In fact, 75% of millennials feel special when they receive personal mail.
The best part? Most of your competitors are probably not investing much time or energy into print marketing. If they do it at all, it likely doesn’t provide customers the same kind of value that a tailored plan would. In other words, if you can do a direct mail campaign consistently and well, you will already be way ahead of your competition.
The Impact of Print Marketing
One of the best benefits of consistent, valuable print marketing is the word-of-mouth marketing that comes along with it. In our decade-plus experience in the print marketing business, we have seen this phenomenon hundreds of times firsthand. Our clients often come to us to let us know how their print campaigns influence the way their customers think (and speak) about their business.
Here are just a few examples of the type of word-of-mouth marketing our clients who commit to print campaigns often receive.
- “Yeah, I really like my dentist. They have great customer service, and I love their monthly newsletter. They also send me a Christmas card every year, which I appreciate.”
- “My local pizza shop sends me a coupon in the mail every month. It’s become one of my favorite date-night spots with my partner.”
- “After my dog died, I stopped going to my vet. But I kept getting their newsletter, which was pretty fun to read. So, when I adopted my cat, I knew exactly which vet to take her to.”
- “Have you heard about this new sports bar on the corner of Main and Fifth? They just sent me a coupon in the mail for a free fountain drink. I’ll have to drop by soon.”
- “Aw, my favorite boutique just sent me a birthday card! How sweet! I should stop by there soon.”
- “My chiropractor is always putting interesting health tips in his newsletter. He seems to be really knowledgeable and experienced, which makes me feel like I picked the right one.”
- “I love getting VIP deals in the mail every month from my local grocery store. They really seem to value my business. At this point, I don’t shop anywhere else.”
Every time a customer thinks or speaks positively about your business, it boosts your bottom line. Even if you only get 1–2 lifetime customers from every referral, that amounts to a huge elevation in your customer base over time. That’s why print marketing materials are especially useful for businesses that rely on retention and referrals to keep their businesses afloat.
So, if you’re considering a print marketing campaign, this is your sign to act. By implementing a valuable, consistent direct mail campaign, you will invest in a uniquely persuasive form of marketing that can fundamentally change the way you do business — for the better.