4 Statistics That Prove Business Owners Shouldn’t Ignore Print Marketing

Not only is print marketing alive and well, it could help make your digital campaigns.
Incorporating a print campaign along with your digital marketing campaign can increase profits. (Photo: Bohbeh/Shutterstock)

Whoever said “print is dead” was dead wrong, and not only when it comes to books. Print marketing remains a powerful tool, especially when used in conjunction with a digital marketing strategy.

According to Ben Glasgow, digital print and offset manager at Target Print & Mail, it’s a great way for small businesses to build awareness within their community.

Below are four statistics that suggest print marketing — especially direct mail marketing — is still making an impact.

81 percent of Americans prefer printed materials

It may come as a surprise, but a significant majority of consumers prefer their reading materials to be on paper rather than as text on a screen, at least according to a 2015 survey from Two Sides, an advocacy group for print and paper.

Cognitive researchers have found that our brains better retain information from print materials, said Glasgow. “Studies performed by educators have shown that students comprehend and remember more fully when reading from paper as opposed to screens.”

In part because the brain responds differently to different types of media, effective marketing strategies often incorporate both print and digital.

Household response rate for direct mail is 3.7 percent


(Photo: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock)

This stat, from the 2015 DMA Response Report, may sound low, but not when you compare it to response rates of other marketing channels — 0.2 percent for mobile, 0.1 percent for email and social media and 0.02 percent for internet displays.

“To put that another way, a single direct mail piece is nearly 800 percent more effective than all digital channels combined,” said Glasgow. “That isn’t to say small businesses are off the hook when it comes to digital marketing. The highest response rates occur when the two are combined.”

39 percent of customers say they tried a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising

This stat, from the same DMA report, should be of particular interest to single-location small businesses that rely heavily on a hyperlocal customer base. It shows that direct mail can build awareness and get new customers in the door.

Related: Boost Your Business through Local Search Optimization

If this piques your interest, Glasgow said the USPS Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program is a low-cost option. You can use EDDM to target a specific direct mail audience by neighborhood, street or radius of a specific address. You can narrow recipients by age, income or household size.

Direct mail pieces sent via EDDM don’t need to be addressed, so you save on printing costs. Postage is about half that of typical direct mail. Glasgow said this is a great strategy for promoting a grand opening or increasing visibility for your small business, even if you’re on a tight budget.

Online marketing campaigns that include printed catalogs produce 163 percent more profits than campaigns that use digital media alone

Stats like this one, from a USPS study, support a cross-channel approach to marketing, said Glasgow. Because cross-channel marketing campaigns can touch consumers multiple times on different avenues, they’re more likely to get your brand noticed.

What would a cross-channel campaign like this look like? Glasgow gave this as an example.

First, your company could send out a direct mail piece with a URL or QR code that leads to a landing page with more information or even a coupon. You can track the success of the mail piece based on traffic to that landing page. Customers who visit the page can then be sent a catalog or brochure — which is more likely to be welcome since they’ve already shown interest in your brand.

“The ultimate goal is of course a sale, but before that point, each step in this process will improve the quality of your lists and help you identify the most promising leads,” said Glasgow. Campaigns like these will help “weed out” uninterested parties so your advertising budget is better spent and you achieve a greater ROI.

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