Marketers today rely on coordinated campaigns using multiple channels to reach their audiences with many touchpoints over time, called omnichannel marketing. In 2020 with COVID-19 some channels are vastly outperforming others, and keeping top of mind with your audience now can pay dividends post-pandemic. Reliance on digital touchpoints, perhaps because of their low cost and ease of use is understandable.
However, campaigns that only exist in pixels are at a distinct disadvantage against those that include other channels. Consider the following seven benefits that can only be obtained by adding print to your omnichannel campaign:
1. Ensure Your Message is Seen
The last USPS Household Diary Report showed that 74% of households usually read or scan advertising mail sent to them. Compared to the average email open rates of 15-25%, it is more likely your message will be seen if it is sent by mail than email.
2. Reduce Competition
In one week, the average American receives more than 500 emails, but the USPS Household Diary showed a household receives just 18 pieces of direct mail in a week. The competition in the inbox is way more fierce than the competition in the mailbox, which means it is easier for your company to stand out and make a brand impression in the mind of your target audience. Be sure to incorporate coupon codes, QR codes or campaign-specific phone numbers and URLs so you can track your results.
Plus, with Informed Delivery (a free service from the post office) you can deliver your message in a consumer's mailbox and their email inbox on the same day for a double dose of marketing! The open rate for Informed Delivery emails are 63%, so even if they don't open emails from you, they are definitely opening email from the USPS with your mail inside.
3. Improve Recall
A study performed by Canadian neuromarketing firm TrueImpact found printed advertisements both easier to understand and more memorable than digital media. When asked to cite the brand name of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 75% among participants who were exposed to a printed piece versus 44% for a digital ad.
Because a printed piece involves two senses (sight and touch) and exists in three dimensions it improves memory because more areas of the brain are engaged. It's why students retain more information when reading from a printed textbook versus a digital screen.
4. Extend Exposure
With the constantly scrolling feeds of social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, a social media advertisement's shelf life is usually no longer than a few seconds. Contrast that with the mail at your home that is probably in a pile on the counter, stuffed in a drawer or hung on the refrigerator with a magnet.
Britain’s Royal Mail MarketReach conducted an 18-month comprehensive study that found advertising mail is kept in the household for 17 days on average, 38 days for door drops and 45 days for bills and statements. The study said, "This means a single piece of mail can have a big impact and presents multiple opportunities to be seen, often over days or weeks."
5. Boost Purchase Size
A report by Go Inspire Group found that email promotions averaged a return of $1 in incremental revenue while direct mail promotions averaged a return of $5 in incremental revenue. However, combining both email and direct mail delivered the highest return, $6 in incremental revenue!
Campaigns that use multiple channels continue to outperform campaigns using only a single channel.
6. Promote Luxury
A study with Temple University found printed marketing materials were more effective at evoking an emotional response and increasing subconscious value and desire for the product being advertised than digital ads.
Consumers' perceived value of a product affects the price they are willing to pay for it. Using print to promote your product can increase its perceived value. It is the reason luxury brands like high-end cars, jewelry, perfume and famous clothing brands use print marketing. Printed ads increase your company's credibility, trust and quality in the eyes of recipients just by the fact that you took the time, money and commitment to create a printed promotion.
7. Surprise and Delight
Print can surprise and delight, especially when certain techniques are used to engage multiple senses. Specialty coatings or unique interactive elements can make the experience of interacting with print memorable and pleasant.
In recent USPS research 81% of Americans across all generations look forward to seeing what is in their mailbox. Receiving mail is a tactile experience like opening a gift and is perceived as more personal than email.
I continue to make large software sales based on omnichannel marketing campaigns including dynamic print and direct mail, yet I will have leads from these campaigns tell me that print and mail doesn't work. And that is OK. I do find it wonderful that Google is mailing small businesses letter packages for their online advertising services and Amazon is sending consumers toy catalogs in the mail for holiday shopping, don’t you?
With the current shelter-at-home orders, one of the bright spots in my day is checking the mail, one savvy retailer has already earned an order from me with a catalog delivered combined with an email coupon offer at a time when I certainly don’t need any additional athleisure wear.
The best way to start incorporating print into your marketing mix is to find an expert who can help you take advantage of these seven benefits to improve your results.