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Many marketers are resorting to email, social media, and other online channels as their sole approach. We’ve always said that a healthy marketing mix contains both online channels, as well as strategic printed materials for a well-rounded approach. Print, and, Direct Mail in particular, is more important than ever.

Why? Here are three reasons:

1. Email and online media efforts are more expensive than people think.

Email lists have significant opt-in, opt-out, and other list management challenges and they require constant management and updating. If Online media is pursued as a serious marketing channel, it may require dedicated resources. Top brands have entire departments dedicated to the list management, legal, behavioral, and creative aspects of online marketing.

2. Printed material stands out in empty mailboxes.

Mailboxes are simply not as full as they used to be. That means that print stands out and gets noticed more than ever. U. S. print volumes have been on the increase for the past six months!

3. Multi-channel marketing works. That means a healthy mix of online and print marketing.

When J. C. Penney announced that it would no longer be sending out mail order catalogs, Melissa Dowling, editor-in-chief of Multichannel Merchant magazine, called the cataloger ?nuts.? They shut down their ?big book? catalog last year, and now ?the company admits that ceasing the big book hurt total sales more than it had expected in the second quarter of 2010? (MCM, November 2010). Now they to stop mail order altogether?

People still like to shop in catalogs. Study after study shows that print and online channels work in a symbiotic relationship. When you use print and online together, sales go up. Drop print for online marketing only, sales go down.

How Do You Use Print Smarter?
Create target segments. Break your customers down into categories that allow you to segment and target your message. Segmenting can be done by age, geographic region, product category, etc. Print in shorter runs – each with a customized message to each specific interest group. There are many benefits to online marketing, but don?t abandon print. Use multiple channels. Shift to integrated campaigns that include email, social media, and targeted printed materials. Then allow each channel bring out the best in the others.

For more information or ideas on how you can integrate print into your marketing mix and increase sales, call us at 561.596.9071 or contact us online.

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