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Why Printing Your Marketing Collateral is Still an Effective Way to Communicate with Customers

It’s no secret why some marketers have made a full-scale pivot to digital channels. Customers are more plugged in than ever before, digital marketing content can easily be published or repurposed across multiple platforms, and digital channels provide detailed analytics that help marketers better dial in their ROI. 

But the trouble with the deluge of digital marketing content is that the channel is quickly becoming overcrowded. This not only makes it more difficult for marketers to cut through the digital clutter, but the massive quantity of digital content is actually turning consumers off and making them less receptive to the channel in general.

In fact, a recent survey found that 57% of those surveyed strongly dislike ads that play before a video, and 43% of people say they don’t even watch them. What’s more, marketers are now finding themselves struggling with decreasing email open rates and click-through rates, as well as an overall decline in email health due to increased bounce and unsubscribe rates.  

Printing your marketing collateral can not only help you reach a highly targeted audience, but it can also go a long way to ensure customers engage in a more meaningful way with your messaging — and actually result in the desired action. Let’s look at a couple reasons why printing your marketing collateral is an effective way to communicate with customers in this overwhelmingly digital era.

Print helps promote customer education

If you were to evaluate the content of your marketing collateral, odds are there’s a pretty heavy educational component to the copy, photos, or images — and this makes sense given how important it is to demonstrate you understand the challenges your customers face, and how and why your product or service can help them overcome specific obstacles. 

While digital marketing collateral can help you educate your customer quickly and in multiple places — email, social media, and digital advertising, to name a few — print has the edge in helping you more effectively educate on your product or service, better communicate your brand, and more memorably demonstrate your overall value proposition. 

Reading or engaging with visual depictions of information in print has shown significant increases in both comprehension and retention of information, but it also helps customers make more complex associations between ideas. In addition, customers who engage with print are less likely to become distracted compared with reading on digital devices like smartphones or mobile devices, and this in turn fuels a deeper understanding of the information they’re presented with. 

And when it comes to turning this enhanced level of understanding into action, print also comes out on top over digital content. A study found that 79% of consumers are more apt to respond to a specific call-to-action in print compared with only 45% with emails or other kinds of digital channels. This means print not only has a greater capacity for informing and delighting your customers, but it is also better equipped to help them put that education into action.

Print helps build trust

Another interesting byproduct of the tidal wave of digital marketing content is that consumers are becoming less and less likely to trust brands whose digital content they encounter frequently. For example, a recent study found that millennials are much less likely to engage with or trust ads via commonly used digital channels such as email, social media, or digital ads. 

What’s worse than the lack of trust consumers put in these channels? The irritation consumers experience when they’re presented with digital content that doesn’t speak to them. A recent survey found 42% of consumers unsubscribe from receiving a brand’s content if they were targeted incorrectly, which means ill-conceived digital marketing collateral can actively damage your brand.

Print marketing collateral — direct mail, brochures, pamphlets, and other kinds of marketing collateral — provides a tangible form for you to communicate with customers in a way that they already trust. 

More than 82% of customers trust print marketing materials more than any other channel, and, in the case of direct mail, a USPS survey of millennials found that 75% of this demographic felt special when they received print marketing pieces, and that this feeling made them more likely to engage with and respond to the mailer. 

Elementary though it may seem, consumers are more likely to trust and interact with print marketing collateral simply because they can hold it and touch it. Combining this trust with the connective ability of a more tactile medium can present some interesting opportunities to get the most out of your print marketing collateral. 

Print can help deepen your connection with customers

While it’s true that digital marketing channels have a lot to offer in terms of creating immersive customer experiences, print marketing collateral can be just as engaging — if not more so — than digital pieces, particularly when it comes to the look and feel of print materials. 

How, you ask? 

When designing print collateral, marketers can incorporate a variety of visual or tactile design and print techniques in order to help their collateral standout and provide a more unique consumer experience. For example, things like heavier paper stocks, innovative finishings, textures, and speciality inks can work to create a deeper connection with customers via an enhanced sensory experience.  

Plus, for marketers with a highly targeted audience, variable data printing (VDP) makes it possible to use a variety of customer data to create personalized print materials that speak directly to the recipient in a deeper, more insightful way. In fact, personalized direct mail pieces can result in a 500% greater response rate compared with more generic pieces. 

To really take customer connection with print marketing collateral to the next level, you can combine personalization with QR code technology to help extend the consumer experience by building a seamless bridge between the print and digital worlds. Plus, this multichannel approach can help marketers better understand the ROI of their print collateral by tracking things like website views, clicks, and other engagement metrics.   

So the next time you hear print marketing collateral simply doesn’t work, remember that print actually provides you a significant advantage over the competition when it comes to educating customers, building trust with your brand, and creating a meaningful connection with consumers.

Tell us about your print marketing collateral needs and we’ll connect with you ASAP!