Overflowing garbage presents an opportunity
It can be difficult to reach your customers and prospects using email when their inboxes are overflowing with garbage. Think about it: How much email do you get every day and how much direct mail do you get every day? Often a strikingly designed, quality print piece can generate greater brand visibility than the best and most innovative email.
Why does print have such remarkable staying power? Because it provides an experience that is deeper and more immersive than any digital content. For starters, printed pieces are memorable and shareable objects that provide people with real value. If you put a printed piece down, it stays, reminding you of its presence. Digital is easy to abandon (just one click away, literally). Print isn’t. Printed pieces also provide a sensory experience to the reader: From viewing the compelling, colorful images to feeling the texture and weight of each page, they engage readers in ways that digital can’t.
In an age when so much business is done via digital communications, “high touch” is more important than ever. Print collateral remains a powerful tool to distribute to prospects during sales calls and at trade shows. Being able to hand a prospect a brochure and say, “Here, read this. It addresses your questions” is powerful and engaging.
Finally, printed pieces can be personalized with customer data to generate stronger engagement than traditional collateral pieces ever could. Digital printing makes this approach more affordable than ever!
The big opportunity: print/digital integration
Print materials, when coordinated with digital campaigns, provide a greater total number of touchpoints with your customers and prospects, helping to ensure your brand remains top of mind with them. That’s much harder to do if you’re publishing content in only one of these media.
Prospective customers need an average of 12 “touches” to trust your brand. Integrate print and digital to reach that threshold faster.
Here are some of the possibilities for print/digital integration that can help you reach and influence your prospective customers:
- Imagine leading off a marketing campaign with a direct mailer, and following it up with a series of emails that reinforce the same creative theme. We’ve used this strategy consistently with Heritage and Cultivate marketing campaigns, and it works really well. It generates excellent engagement and memorability.
- Another simple tactic is to send a direct mailer to prospective customers that contains a QR code or a personalized URL. You can use these tools to drive them to your website to download a white paper or special report. These links will enable you to track their engagement with your online offers.
- Want to engage readers of your printed pieces? Incorporate incentives in them that encourage recipients to take a specific action, such as enter a contest or buy a product using an exclusive discount.
- Picture this: You can bring your print pieces to life with augmented reality. AR apps let your audience digitally scan and interact with your business card, store display, catalog or other physical items.
- Here’s something many marketers don’t consider: In most cases, you can reach a broader audience with print collateral than you could with a digital-only campaign. With email and social media, you’re reaching a well-defined segment of your target audience who are somewhat technology savvy. But your total audience may be much larger. You need to add a print component to your marketing plans to ensure you’re reaching your entire target market.
- Colorful postcards and direct mailers can command attention when they arrive in your customers’ mailboxes. Why not use them to persuade your target audience to participate in an online contest or survey?
Increasingly, high tech is bridging the gap between printed pieces and digital marketing. New marketing automation tools like HubSpot enable marketers to compose high quality, personalized letters and postcards that can be tracked, just like digital messages. Recent technology breakthroughs make the production, printing, mailing and tracking of these customized pieces surprisingly easy.
Why not create a magazine for your brand? It can be integrated with your online content to add extra value to its readers.
Finally, why not create a printed magazine for your brand, which contains teasers and links to online content? This is a technique that the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) uses in its quarterly Chief Content Officer (CCO) magazine. Next to each issue’s table of contents, CMI includes a set of shortlinks to a set of articles on the website that match the theme of that issue. This is an excellent way to extend the issue’s content beyond the printed magazine and add greater value to its readers.
Conclusion: Digital plus print equals a winning strategy
In order for prospective customers to trust your firm, they must have an average of 12 “touches” with your brand. Combining web and print marketing will increase your brand exposure, familiarity, credibility and loyalty. That means better results for your marketing campaigns!
If you’re ready to get your customer’s attention and create high-quality print marketing materials everyone will love, we can help you. Contact Heritage Printing today and we’ll walk you through the creative process for a beautiful finished product!
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