The Value of Print

Much is being made today of the decline of printing. Newspaper and magazine subscribers are dwindling; e-books are gaining in popularity; online advertising is replacing print; and printed products are being assailed as environmentally unsound.

It’s enough to make us want to close up our business and become sheep farmers.

So, does printing have a future? Does it even have a present??

We say unequivocally: yes, BUT…

…it will be different. Let me explain . . .

Businesses and smart marketers know that printing is not about the ink on the paper; it is about the target audience’s reaction to it.

Print is not dead or dying, though it is changing. In fact, we believe its here to stay. Here’s why…

Affordable color

One of the greatest changes in printing is the new affordability of full color printing. Improvements in digital printing equipment have resulted in output that rivals offset printing for color fidelity, image resolution and the range of papers that can be used.

And because digital printing requires almost no make-ready, you can get quantities as low as 100 prints, as well as in variable data printing and other cool effects.

Direct mail

As the amount of advertising on the Internet has grown, conventional wisdom has declared that direct mail marketing will disappear as a way of reaching customers and prospects.

We say “poo poo” to that.

The United States Postal Service has conducts an annual study called The Household Diary Study. The study included 5,312 households who completed a seven-day household diary of mail received and sent for all 52 months of the study year.

Here are some of the study results:

  • Advertising mail represented 63% of all mail received – an average of about 16 pieces a week.
  • 79% of households said they either read or scanned the advertising mail they received.
  • One in three households said they made one or more purchases as a result of receiving the advertising mail.

Contrary to the prevailing opinion that direct mail is “junk” mail that is immediately discarded by recipients, a majority of respondents in the Household Study reported paying attention to the advertising.

In another study, the DMNews/Pitney Bowes survey they found that:

  • Nearly 94% of consumers surveyed reported taking action on promotional offers and coupons received via direct mail.
  • 20% of consumers reported that more than 10% of the offers or coupons they received by mail led to a purchase.
  • Almost 40% of respondents said they had tried a new business for the first time because of information received via direct mail.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents said they renewed a relationship with a business because they received a direct mailing or promotional item.
  • Respondents stated that information received via direct mail often led to contribution to a non-profit organization for the first time.

The surveyors concluded that “direct mail induces consumers to touch the offer – recipients of mail are receiving, sorting, reading and using direct mail to make purchasing decisions.

Combine direct mail with e-mail marketing

The best strategy for communicating with customers and prospects is to use a combination of direct mail and e-mail marketing.

According to an Ipsos survey, 67% of respondents performed online searches for more information on a company, service or product after receiving an “offline” message.

Results from ExactTarget’s Channel Preference Survey supports the strategy of combining direct mail with e-mail.

Respondents in that survey gave direct mail a score of 3.9 (out of a possible 5) as an acceptable marketing method and e-mail a score of 3.7. Three-quarters of respondents said they made a purchase because of a marketing message received through direct mail, and 65% said they made a purchase because of an e-mail.

Print is here to stay

Despite the pace of change affecting printing, it remains a proven way to communicate with customers and prospects.

Direct mail marketing, when combined with e-mail, is more effective than e-mail alone. And the affordability of full color means that direct mail pieces can be eye catching and appealing to the target audience.

At Zine Graphics, we can teach you how to properly deliver your message, attract prospects and begin a dialogue with them through direct mail, email, and other integrated marketing methods. Contact us to see how you can get started with better print marketing.

Category: Printing

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