Ever since the arrival of the Internet, the printing industry has been the target of dire predictions about the death of print. However, more than 2 decades later, print media and print fulfillment services are still alive and kicking. Here's why the competition between print and digital media is still an active battlefront, and why it shouldn't be a competition at all, but rather a partnership.
Print Is Not Dead and Neither Is Direct Mail Marketing
Despite predictions that online media would eliminate print, and as a consequence, destroy direct mail marketing, that has not happened. Print is still a viable medium, and direct mail is as strong as ever. In fact, last spring, the printing industry was labelled essential by the United States Department of Homeland Security's Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) because printed materials are necessary to support other critical infrastructure sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. So why were experts so wrong, and why is direct mail still a marketer's best friend?
Print Statistics Speak for Themselves
Although print is often considered old-fashioned, statistics show that perhaps old-fashioned is not such a bad thing. For example:
- According to the Direct Marketing Association, 70% of Americans say snail mail is more personal than email, and 56% say receiving mail is a pleasure.
- Nearly 40% of customers try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising.
- According to a USPS study, more than 60% of direct mail recipients visited a promoted website.
- The USPS study also found that direct mail and print catalog recipients are more likely to purchase online and typically spend more money than non-recipients.
- According to market research company MarketingSherpa, 82% of Internet users trust print ads when making buying decisions. That makes print the most trusted form of advertising.
- The payoff for print ads is often higher than for digital ads. People keep print products indefinitely, re-reading and sharing them with others
Although print has many benefits, that doesn't mean it should be your only media channel. Both print and digital have an important role in your marketing efforts. The Internet provides vast opportunities for reaching your readers, and you should definitely have an online presence. It allows you to extend your reach through online forums, webinars, podcasts and social media. Your print product can promote your website and send a reader to additional online resources or an eCommerce site. Your business needs both.
Long Live the Printed Piece
So why does print endure long after its predicted demise? Because the predictors didn't understand today's audience or the benefits of print. People enjoy a tangible product they can hold in their hands. It makes reading an experience, rather than a task. In the early days of the Internet, experts believed that younger users would forsake traditional print media in lieu of the newness, convenience, speed, and vast possibilities of the Internet. But that vastness could be its undoing. Digital overload is a real thing. People are tired of looking at their screens and often going back to good old print can be just the break they need. That's why printing is still a very viable industry and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
If you're looking for a good printing service, look to your local experts today.