Why Combining Print and Digital Marketing is the Secret to Your Campaign's Success

Why Combining Print and Digital Marketing is the Secret to Your Campaign's Success

Read Time: 7 Minutes


24 Jul 2017

It’s easy to assume that everything is digital these days. We bank online, we file our taxes online, we do the grocery shopping from a smartphone app. However, it’s been proven time and again that any business using a combination of print and digital has a far higher conversion rate than those using digital alone.

Print Has Its Place

People like to hold real things. The return of book sales after a couple of years of e-reader hype is a great example of this. It feels good to have something physical in return for a transaction. That could be something you’ve paid for – or a transaction as simple as giving away your email address.

Despite many claiming that ‘print is dead’ for the last decade, savvy marketers have realised that it’s actually evolving to become the ‘new niche’ way to grab their audience. People are less used to having physical mail to hold, or will take more time to consider a printed catalogue than scanning online. While print marketing can also capture an audience who may be unable or unwilling to go online (such as older people), a recent study also found that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking the post each day. (Source: sharpcat.co.uk

For example, over 100 MILLION adults in the U.S made a purchase from a physical catalogue in 2016, according to the Data and Marketing Association. Further, 23% per cent of millennials (that ever-tricky-to-grab demographic) bought or ordered something as a result of receiving direct mail in 2016. If you need proof that direct mail works, there it is.

The Trick To Integration

The reason print marketing is still very much alive is thanks to the innovative steps taken by businesses to integrate it with new technologies. The key to making your print marketing successful is simple: make it a part of your digital marketing strategy.

Rather than thinking of print advertising and digital marketing as two separate entities, try to build the two together as one campaign stream. Bringing budgets and targets in line with each other, rather than treating digital and print as two different revenue streams, will help you maximise your ROI, too. 

For example: using personalisation can help target your audiences more effectively, reducing your overall spend on direct mail but increasing the response rate. A targeted direct mail piece, for example one which is based on customer behaviour on your e-commerce site, will have a much higher conversion than the traditional ‘spray and pray’ blanket direct mailouts of days gone by. 

Consider it as a consumer yourself: if you received a discount coupon in the post for a website you visit often, fill the basket but never complete the purchase, wouldn’t you be more likely to go through with a purchase after all?

Tips For Simple Print And Digital Integration

It may sound a daunting prospect to integrate print and digital marketing strategies, but never fear! Here are some top tips to get you started:

1) Use your social profiles to encourage real-life visits.

Run a shop-only discount and promote it online. A simple but effective way to increase footfall in your shop – and further opportunities to give visitors printed catalogues or event flyers.

2) Include your online details on ALL printed marketing.

This might sound like an obvious statement, but it’s easy to think that people reading a postcard won’t be interested in how to find you on Facebook. Instead, try to include all of your contact information at every opportunity: make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch in the way they prefer.

3) Run competitions on printed marketing.

If you’re sending out a catalogue, event flyer, or even your updated restaurant menu, consider running a special competition. The catch? The reader must go online to complete their submission. And voila! You’ve increased traffic to your website.

4) Time your emails and print marketing together.

Don’t bombard people! It’s easy to get carried away, but try to cycle how you communicate with your customers in order to build brand awareness without putting people off

5) Use events to your advantage.

Events are a huge opportunity for you to build leads and gain custom, whether you’re at a massive trade expo or a small local craft fair. Be sure to have printed materials with you that people can take away, but also use an iPad on your stand to collect their details if they want to get an exclusive online discount

Step It Up

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, you can think about venturing into more complex integrations for a truly unique and engaging customer experience. Some print adverts, for example, are interactive when you place your smartphone over the top. You might feel this is out of your budget, but there are other ways to innovate with your integration.

Using unique URLs or QR codes on your printed materials can encourage readers to interact with your print marketing in a new way. A bespoke URL will also help you track the success of your campaign, as you’ll be able to see exactly how many people visited your website as a result of the print marketing campaign.

If the idea of video integration really grabs your imagination, you can always include unique links to your YouTube channel, too. 

Get Started

Now you know how to make the most of print marketing in a digital world, why not test it out with some postcards advertising an online offer?


About the Author

Hi, I’m Ally and I’m instantprint’s PR Lead. I enjoy writing content to help small businesses succeed and inspire them to get creative with their print marketing.