Here’s the Epic Truth

One too many businesses have written off the value of print-based marketing in lieu of shiny and exciting digital forms of marketing. Just because there are many more marketing channels available today than 10 years ago, doesn’t mean traditional forms of marketing don’t work anymore.

Print based marketing is as effective as before, but the rules have slightly changed. Once you understand them, your ability as a marketer to get results will improve.

It is relatively easy to run an ad in social media compared to designing, printing and distributing brochures or magazines. However, easy is not a good measuring stick for effective marketing. Don’t let the lack of time or the boundaries of a comfort zone completely dictate your marketing strategy. If something digital works, then, of course, do it. But keep in mind a printed means of marketing most likely will enhance your digital strategy even more.

A great example of this is growing your opt-in email list. Print marketing can help solve the email opt-in challenge in a targeted way. Approach it with the intention to build your email list instead of a short-lived direct sales promotion. These have the highest open and click rates, which is often the step right before the point of sale. That’s why you want to have a solid email marketing strategy. But the biggest challenge is reaching enough folks so they can choose to opt-in to your email list.

Most of us in business concentrate on closing the sale—be it a big contract or higher checkout averages. Consider the “Buy Now, Save Big” message on postcards you get every week. The percentage of purchase-ready prospects in your market is relatively small compared to those who could eventually be a customer.

There is something about print that helps us retain a connection between us and the advertiser. Print sticks around physically, and therefore, also in our minds. Emails disappear into overflowing inboxes, and digital ads go away with a click, but print has longevity.

When mail is delivered to a house, every piece is reviewed before it’s thrown away. Sometimes it can lie around for days, particularly if the recipient has any interest in using the information.

Print marketing, in general, except perhaps the door hanger or flyer on your car, is not intrusive. We don’t find print marketing annoying or repetitive like the remarketing ads online that won’t stop showing you a pair of shoes for six months.

Most people are more protective of their email inbox than their mailbox. You can send unsolicited direct mail, and it’s considered socially acceptable, but that’s not the same for unsolicited email. Send an email to prospects who didn’t ask for it, and you may anger them to the point of reporting your business as a spammer.

Perhaps this counter-intuitive perception of personal space (your home vs. a digital cloud) exists for a couple of reasons. First, if a company took the time and expense to print and mail something, it means they’ve invested some effort and care about what you think. Second, email now moves with us throughout the day on our smartphones. The soft notification chirp says there’s something of value you need to see. It better be true!

Your goal in 21st century strategic marketing is to create an online lead nurturing system and then drive traffic to it using both online and offline tactics.

Anytime you get anything printed, consider how to encourage readers to explore your business online. For lengthy forms of marketing collateral include a specific call-to-action (CTA) and provide a URL to a customized landing page.

A landing page allows you to customize the marketing “pathway” for the prospect. The call to action gives them a reason to visit the landing page and the landing page presents the reason they should take the next step towards your business (fill out a form, call you, complete a survey, etc.).

The better you can promote online marketing through print marketing, the more direct traffic you’ll see on your website and social media.

By Victor Clark