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Leveraging Printed Collateral in the Modern World

Before the Internet, marketing campaigns were primarily print-based, either through direct marketing or mass mailings that were intended to target everyone with a mailbox. With the electronic communication revolution, that changed drastically.

In the modern age, it became dramatically easier and cheaper to target potential customers via e-mail, and it became much easier for consumers to find what they were looking for by using a search engine. Can you remember the last time you or anybody else you know used the Yellow Pages? Do you even know what they are?

However, direct mail products like fliers and catalogues shouldered on until the late 2000s, when the recession forced many to abandon their direct marketing efforts in favor of cheaper alternatives, never to return. Did that signal the beginning of the end for print-based direct mail? Read on and rediscover the value of print-based marketing campaigns for your business today.

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Direct Print Marketing Still Has Value

The answer seems to be no, the recession did not spell the end of print-based direct mail services and marketing. While e-mail marketing and other digital alternatives are becoming more and more common, there still seems to be a place for the reliable print-based direct mail campaign.

A study commissioned by Ricoh found that nearly 2/3 of direct marketing expenditures in the United States still use the print medium, and that more than half of U.S. households usually read their advertising mail, while less than a quarter scanned their advertising mail.

The fact that many don’t realize is, while email is easier to send than direct mail, it’s also easier to ignore. A simple click of the delete button on a subject line someone doesn’t recognize means the end of your e-mail, but even someone who doesn’t really want to read your catalog has to hold it and look at the picture on the cover on their way to the recycling bin.

The Power of Tangibility With Print-Based Direct Marketing

The big advantage that print-based media has, and one that electronic media will never have, is that you can hold it in your hands. In fact, print media engages all the senses. You can see it, touch it, hear the pages as you rifle through them, you can even smell the ink. You can taste it too, although we don’t imagine you would want to.

Even an advertisement on a tablet computer cannot engage the senses in the way that a print ad can. When you’re direct marketing, meaning you are trying to have what amounts to a one-on-one conversation with each consumer, this level of authenticity is paramount.

Even though you may be sending your print mailings out to hundreds of people, it still just feels more personal than an e-mail.

The Power of Honesty in Direct Print Marketing

There’s also something that feels more real about printed matter beyond the way it engages the senses. Even though a printed picture of a product can be staged, images cannot be manipulated with the skill and level of deception in a photograph as on a computer, or at least, it does not seem that way to many.

In some ways, a printed mailing seems to say “this is truly my product,” more than a mailing on a computer, where everything is merely dressed up ones and zeroes, does.

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Print Marketing and the Power of Stickiness

People online tend to be very concerned about whether their content is “sticky.” That is, they want to know that when people come to their webpage, they’re going to stay on it long enough to be converted into a sale.

Printed matter tends to be stickier than advertising on a computer a lot of the time, simply because there are fewer distractions. If you’re looking at printed material and suddenly think of something else you’re curious about, you can’t just click to a different catalog. It’s not as easy to get away with when it comes to printed media.

The Future of Direct Mail Print Marketing

Does this mean that direct mail print marketing is going to make a huge comeback and bury the Internet? Almost certainly not. But it does mean that a coordinated advertising campaign using both print and digital methods can be highly successful for obtaining and maintaining a customer base for your business.

When you’re ready to give direct mail print marketing a shot, get in touch with East Side Printing Co. We’re here to help you with the entire span of your campaign: from strategy to design, printing to mailing.

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