With our email inboxes full of reminders, surveys, and not-so-special offers, offline marketing presents an opportunity to clamber over the mountain of spam and grab your audience’s attention.
Print campaigns — mailers, packaging, catalogs, and beyond — are offline marketing’s secret weapon, achieving high engagement at low prices. Print and digital marketing can work together to create engaging campaigns, let’s look at how.
Print’s Big Comeback
E-readers and tablets were supposed to replace printed books, yet the publishing industry continues to rake in about four times as much money in physical book sales as digital. Likewise, downloads and streams were supposed to make CDs and records obsolete, but in 2022 vinyl sales increased for the 17th consecutive year. Digital might be convenient, but people continue to value tangible, real-world experiences.
In the world of marketing, physical media is showing a similar resilience. Although marketers can fire off email newsletters and deploy banner ads at the click of a button, users are experiencing a kind of “digital burnout” and the impact of these campaigns has started to weaken.
A recent study commissioned by Printing for Less and conducted by Forrester Consulting, “Hybrid Experiences Bring Direct Mail into The Digital Age,” surveyed 158 business-to-business marketing executives in North America. The study found that 78 percent of marketers believe analog touchpoints have seen a performance boost since the start of the pandemic, which accelerated the digital burnout many were already experiencing. These marketers also recognize the engagement potential of direct mail, as 81 percent admitted they are “very likely” to open a package they receive.
“There will always be the need and desire for print,” says Kristi Eby, National Account Executive at Printing for Less. “In my opinion, there is something special about holding something physical in your hands that cannot be replicated digitally.”
Print has made a comeback, and it’s here to stay.
Using Print & Digital Together
Print marketing is head and shoulders above digital in terms of engagement and interactivity, while also allowing marketers to enclose product samples like perfume sachets. But digital clearly has the edge in terms of reach, analytics, and the ability to use multimedia elements like sound and video.
This means that marketers are increasingly trying to get the best of both worlds, combining online and offline marketing to create more effective campaigns. After all, these are not two separate worlds: Printing Industries of America has found that 67% of online searches are driven by offline messaging.
Print and digital can be used together in various ways. Marketers who have a customer’s home and email address can use physical and digital channels simultaneously. Different mediums can be brought together by cohesive campaign messaging. On the flip side, marketers can look to using analytics from a digital campaign to inform their offline marketing strategy.
Another way of combining print and digital is to use a mailer to guide the customer to the digital element of their campaign. The easiest way to achieve this is by using QR codes that the user can scan with their smartphone, taking them from printed media to a digital destination such as a YouTube video or product page.
“Using QR codes and integrating marketing efforts across media does two important things: it unifies the brand and allows the campaign to reach different audiences,” Eby explains.
Print is Cool!
Using print media for offline marketing opens infinite possibilities in terms of campaign messaging and the physical medium on which it is delivered. For example, print marketing can involve booklets, kits, oversized postcards, uniquely folded mailers, die-cut packaging, custom catalogs, and much more. Curious how you can start incorporating print into your marketing campaigns? Check out the examples below for inspiration.
High-Value Offline Marketing
HR and payroll software company Paycor recently embarked on a highly ambitious offline , sending different forms of print media, including a customized postcard and a branded gift within die-cut card packaging.
After successfully delivering 95% of the packages, Paycor achieved 209% of its goal for sales opportunities generated.
Using QR Codes to Attract Younger Audiences
A great way to entice a customer is to provide a promotional code that gives them a discount on their next purchase. However, the experience becomes even more seamless when the discount is activated by a QR code on the printed media.
report using marketing-related QR codes. Of these shoppers, QR codes were most popular among customers aged 18-29, making this an essential offline marketing tool for organizations advertising to a younger audience.
Mailers for a Digital-Averse Audience
Eleanor Health, a mental health and addiction organization with more than 40 clinics in seven states, has used Printing for Less to coordinate its online and offline outreach, automatically sending and tracking personalized mail.
The organization used this technology to launch a multi-part introduction mailer that discussed how its services are eligible for insurance coverage. Follow-up mailers included an informational brochure and a letter from a health advocate encouraging the recipient to get in touch. This strategy made it easier to target a digital-adverse audience and led to 3x as many leads.
Offline Marketing to Express Values
When it comes to campaign messaging, there are even more options. However, Ambre Zachmann, Ecommerce Marketing Specialist at Printing for Less, has noticed a trend for campaigns that focus on issues like sustainability, one-on-one support, and local donations. “Personally, the most effective campaigns I have seen contain messaging centered around a purposeful cause or meaningful initiative,” Zachmann says.
In the early days of online marketing, digital threatened to wipe out offline marketing. However, the opposite has happened: digital strategies have helped to refresh offline marketing, making it more powerful than ever and — perhaps most importantly — allowing it to work in conjunction with digital.
Request some free samples to see how print media can create real engagement with your audience.