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In a game of word association, odds are “printing” rarely – if ever – comes to mind first when someone says, “technology.” Yet the two, while not mentally married, do pair well. The result is better quality, faster production, greater personalization, reduced costs and more powerful marketing and sales pieces.

As a print communications channel, direct mail delivers in new dynamic ways, including connecting with digital strategies to drive purchases, website traffic, business location visits and sign-ups.

According to marketing decision-makers, companies are coordinating their campaigns by:1

  • Driving traffic from direct mail to digital channels (80%)
  • Integrating a unique URL or discount code in direct mail (76%)
  • Timing digital media once direct mail is delivered (61%)
  • Sending personalized direct mail based on online actions (51%)
  • Creating a digital version of direct mail (49%)

Following are some key considerations of print and mail that may have you thinking differently about how these traditional strategies can bring better results to your campaigns in 2020 and beyond.

image PAPER choice matters

In a neuroscience study, subjects received one of three versions of a fictitious company brochure: one printed on high-quality coated paper, another using a lesser grade uncoated paper or a third, digital version. The results? Those who read a version on high-quality paper remembered the content best, had the best impressions of the company they had read about and said they were more likely to recommend the brand to friends.

imageOKAY to be different.
Whether you’re selling landscaping or roofing, cars or cookies, die cutting adds shape or perforated punch-outs to a printed project. Business cards, hang tags, postcards, mailers and folders get an extra shot of pizzazz when they conjure your products or services at first glance. Pop-ups in a variety of shapes are an unexpected and fun way to drive interest and engagement. Even better, they fold flat for easy mailing.

imageWOW ‘em with texture or shine.

The tactile nature of print is one of its best qualities. Nearly eight out of 10 people say that print on paper is more pleasant to handle and touch when compared to other media, including 73% of 18- to 24-year-olds.2 Smooth and glossy, or rough and muted. Your print provider can help you with paper selection or finishing techniques that inspire interaction because your piece looks and feels special. Most techniques can be done with smaller print quantities, allowing you to customize images or text to be more relevant to your recipients or readers.

imageEASY to digest is best.

For understanding, retaining and using new information, more than eight out of 10 people believe it’s better when delivered in print compared to electronically.3 Laboratory experiments, polls and consumer reports have shown “that modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper that many people miss and, more importantly, prevent people from navigating long texts in an intuitive and satisfying way.”4

imageRENEWABLE, naturally.

Paper is a product of a natural resource that is renewable. Nine out of 10 consumers agree that when responsibility produced, used and recycled, print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate.5 Paper with recycled content, vegetable-based inks and a paperless workflow that includes electronic proofs to reduce hard copies are all eco-friendly processes and practices employed by many of today’s print providers to meet customer preferences.

To learn about other ways to elevate your print communications download Marketing Insider magazine today.

1 Direct Mail Conversion Research, USPS
2,5 Two Sides North American
3 Marketing Sherpa
4 Scientific American

Joe is passionate about helping SMBs. He’s spent the last 30+ years building the American Speedy Printing Marketing • Print • Mail – and sharing best practices and marketing trends with his customers. Through research, in-person visits and this blog, he hopes to engage with and empower local business owners and marketing professionals.

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