The Staying Power of Print

personal-mailIt’s a misleading concept that direct mail has lost the advantage when it comes to marketing to your existing and prospective customers.  Although the ability to send emails to your database provides immediate, real time contact with personalized messages at a relatively low cost, it’s important to know why print should be part of any well-rounded marketing plan.

Direct Mail is opened more than Email.  Roughly 80% of physical mail is opened, a whopping 4 times the rate of email messages.  Most customers enjoy receiving mail, and tend to bring their mail into the house or office every day and sort through it.  There’s no spam filter on your physical mailbox, so every piece is delivered to its destination, and with the tactile impact of print, you’ve captured your prospect’s attention, even if only for a few moments.  With creative design, targeted messaging, and a good call-to-action that is relevant to your audience, you have an excellent opportunity to make those moments count.

Print is memorable.  Whether it is because they are more tangible, or just that they are less plentiful than the hundreds of digital messages that consumers are bombarded with throughout the day, print messages are undeniably more memorable.  You’ve given your customers something that they can feel, smell, hold, and interact with on different level.  A printed piece leaves a more lasting impression than online contact, so the information that you’re sharing is better retained.  You can customize that tactile experience to fit your brand by adding texture through stock, specialty inks, or dynamic cuts, and then keep your brand in the forefront of your prospect’s mind by tying that experience in with a follow-up that employs your digital messaging.

Print communicates credibility. Customers know that print is more of an investment for you, and harder to take back once it’s out in the world.  Paired with the right call-to-action, you can use this to your advantage to drive traffic online or create other engagement with your brand. Prospects can set your information aside and save it for the day when they need your product or service, and your message is less likely to be lost in the clutter created by the massive amounts of digital marketing messages.  When your postcard or brochure is sitting on the kitchen counter or stuck to the fridge, your brand stays in front of that prospect, and your name is the one that will remain in the forefront of their mind.

staying-power-of-direct-mailPrint yields response.  Due to a combination of these factors, print still has higher response rate than digital media alone.  Direct mail to a customer list averages a 3.7% response rate, drastically outperforming email at 0.1%.  The best way to take advantage of this is to combine your print and digital efforts for an integrated approach, preferably with a trackable URL or personalized URL so that your direct mail results are measurable.  We have a number of case studies that demonstrate proven results when combining print with digital messages, and the MROI on these campaigns is impressive.

So ultimately, what will help the emails you send stay at the forefront of that customer’s mind, when dozens are rolling in to take its place at the top of the inbox?  Your investment in printed communication will foster a stronger relationship by establishing your credibility before you connect with your customers and prospects in the digital sphere.

To discuss how to adapt your marketing plan to include print communication with measurable results, or for more information on creating effective direct mail campaigns that produce lasting impressions, please contact our Marketing Director, Sam Gordon, anytime at sgordon@rcbrayshaw.com or 603.456.3101.

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