Marketers today are in love with all things digital. In fact, many claim the rise of digital marketing has signaled the end of traditional print marketing. Digital marketers shout, “Print is dead!” and implore you to spend all of your marketing budget and time on blogs and new phone apps.
Now, I’m as enamored with this “online toolbox” as the next person, but let’s not be too hasty to kick every “non-digital” tactic to the curb. Print is most certainly not dead.[jetpack_subscription_form title="Subscribe to Out of Office:" subscribe_button="Sign Me Up"]
In fact, print marketing offers you and your business a way to avoid the increasing noise of online content.
In addition, a growing body of research around the idea of paper vs. screens suggests there are advantages to consuming content on paper.
“There is physicality in reading,” says developmental psychologist and cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University. “Maybe even more than we want to think about as we lurch into digital reading—as we move forward perhaps with too little reflection. I would like to preserve the absolute best of older forms, but know when to use the new.”
Here are some creative ways you can use print to help your business stand out from the competition.
Use Direct Mail and In-Store Promotions
Print marketing is a great way to get prospective clients and customers in the store. You can use direct mail advertisements to draw these clients in, offering special promotions to those who come in with the mailer. Emails are quickly and easily deleted, but direct mail grabs the attention of perspective customers and clients.
Bonus Tip: For a more personal touch, send leads and current clients a form letter from your company’s owner.
You can then turn these new customers into return customers by offering vouchers for promotions. These vouchers can be distributed at the point of sale, or included with a letter to current clients. These vouchers can even be used as a referral tool if shared by your current customers with their friends and family.
Print Creative Proposals
Every proposal-based business should have professionally printed materials for their proposals, such as custom folders and envelopes. Use your company’s images and logos to brand the folder, and print all materials on professional branded stationary. Then hand-deliver or mail the proposals to your clients. This will surely stand out more than emailing a PDF.
Distribute Extraordinary Business Cards
I know the telephone card file is no longer a necessity in a modern business, but this means you can create standout business cards that don’t adhere to the standard size and shape.
If a business card has an interesting shape, texture, or material, it is more likely to get a second look and will at least continue the conversation if you are presenting your card in person.
Bonus Tip: Create an extraordinary business card in the shape of your logo, a square or even something uncommon that relates to your business, such as a dog bone for a pet store or a hammer for a handyman.
Coordinate Print and Digital
Print is great for a first contact with leads, but digital is necessary to keeping contact with potential customers. You can coordinate your digital and print efforts by including your social media handles and website address in the copy, or even create digital versions of your print materials.
Bonus Tip: You can even get creative, offering combined discounts if a customer brings in a coupon and RTs a post on Twitter for example.
With all the blogs, tweets, posts, likes, shares and pins, digital marketing media can fill up with noise. If you want to break away from that noise and really stand out, use print media.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best-selling author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine. His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine.