In the beginning, there was print media. It was an almost magical way to send out a message and get people to buy things they needed (and sometimes things they didn’t need). Then, along came the Internet. It created 2-second attention spans, and destroyed traditional direct marketing – or did it? Many marketers these days say that snail mail is dead. The reality is that it’s evolved.
Print Media Marketing Still Alive
According to research from BIA Kelsey, direct mail still has 43 per cent of the total share in local retail advertising. Pitney Bowes also found that 76 per cent of small businesses use both print marketing and digital marketing. So, as a matter of fact, print isn’t dead.
Print Media Augments Reality
The cool thing about print media is its ability to interact with digital media in a way that connects users using tactile response. A QR code, for example, lets users hold an informational document in their hands while also exploring the article or document more in-depth using digital technology.
By printing a scannable code right on the document, you can offer prospects and customers a dynamic (and trackable) content upgrade to the printed material.
Of course, printing more informational documents like this requires a lot of ink. So, unless you’re having them professionally printed, you’ll want to use something like Stinky Ink to stay on top of the black-and-white.
Print Media Grabs Attention
Direct mail has evolved over the years to include something called “lumpy mail.” This mail is literally stuffed with an odd-shaped thing that entices people to open the package. In some cases the “lump” is something like a miniature trash can. Why would you mail someone a 4cm trash can? Well, some companies may do so to introduce prospects to the idea that they are throwing money away on their current product or service offering.
For example, a company might mail out a miniature trash bin with play money inside (or real money, if one wanted to enhance the effect) along with a sales message about how the prospect is throwing money away. Then, the advertisement would tell the prospect to visit the company’s website.
There’s A Low Barrier To Entry
There’s no real barrier to entry as long as you have money. All you need is a mailing list, a mail house to stuff your envelopes, and some simple tracking mechanism to track sales.
Cost of Acquisition Is Low
You don’t have to develop a community of users. You can use cheap door hangers or just rent a list and mail to “hot” prospects. In this sense, print media is infinitely easier than digital marketing. With online marketing, you almost always have to cultivate a community of users (unless you’re playing in the Google Adwords space). Not only does this get expensive, it’s time consuming. With print media, your audience is purchased. They exist already, waiting to be mailed to.
There’s still an allure to having something in print. So, if you publish a newsletter with an opinion column that people can write in and comment on, you’ll find that people still love to see their name in print.