Marketers should not underestimate the power of print advertising. Sure, digital marketing appears to be a more robust and contemporary way to advertise, but its power is limited. Consumers can interact with your brand online to an extent, but not in physical way—that’s where print comes in. Giving consumers the ability to literally hold your brand in their hands helps them form a direct connection with your brand that online experiences can never replace. Here are some of the reasons why print is powerful for your brand:
More variety in touchpoints.
For the most part, all emails look the same. While design, copy and UX elements are all factors that make different emails unique, the fact remains that emails are relatively limited when it comes to formatting and are ultimately confined to a screen. Print, on the other hand, is not limited in this way. Physical mail and print items can vary significantly when it comes to size, shape, weight, material, etc., and all of these distinguishing variables give your print efforts an edge over digital. Think about it: Do you think you’d be more likely to remember an email advertising a new gardening store in your area, or an envelope filled with information about the store and a complimentary packet of seeds?
It’s a great compliment to your digital marketing plan.
There’s no denying that digital is essential when it comes to advertising in the 21st century. However, print advertising plays a vital role in the lead nurturing process. Print is a great way to establish another point of contact when trying to reach your audience. Imagine a woman is scrolling through Facebook and sees a sponsored post promoting a sale going on at your fitness apparel store. Two days later, she receives a postcard in the mail reminding her about that sale. Because of repetition and the varied ways she interacted with your brand, her chances of visiting your store become much more likely.
It gives you a new way to be creative.
One of the distinct advantages of print advertising is that it leaves a lot of room to be creative! By sending specialty print items in the mail, you’re creating another opportunity for your customers to interact directly with your brand in an engaging way. Playing cards? Stickers? A paper fortuneteller? The possibilities are endless.
Physical connections have high impact.
As humans, we are very affected by our sensory interactions. Smell, sight, taste and feel impact our decisions and overall mindset on a daily basis, whether we’re aware of it or not. Our haptic sense, which refers to the perception of objects using the senses of touch, are very powerful when it comes to establishing memory and emotional connection. The Harvard Business Review conducted a study which explored the relationship between consumerism and haptic senses and found that we should “…appreciate the importance of touch in shaping consumer behavior: consumers use their hands to connect with brands.” (Harvard Business Review).
It can be used to communicate your company’s brand immediately without using words.
When you send your customers something in the mail, you’re communicating with them in a variety of ways. Of course, there is the literal message itself, often including some enticing copy and a call-to-action, but your piece will communicate beyond that. Consider the other ways in which print can speak to your customer: when they notice that their invitation to a jewelry store’s trunk show is printed on high-quality cardstock; when the bright magenta shade of your postcard peaks out from their stack of white envelopes; when their kids play with the stickers you included in your envelope. All of these factors communicate with the consumer subconsciously and can leave your audience with a positive impression of your brand.