5 Common Misconceptions About Print Marketing

Take a look at your desk, what do you see? That’s right, there’s printed material all around. We believe print is a vital part in your daily life. Whether you’re reading a book, reading through paper documents, taking notes in your notepad, or buying a packaged item at the grocery store, print is ubiquitous. However, there are quite a few fallacies that are still associated with the medium.

Here are 5 common misconceptions individuals have about print marketing:


  1. Paper isn’t sustainable

We’ve all received billing statements from various companies with a message advising us to “Go Paperless, Save Trees.” This leads everyone to believe that digital is a more sustainable option than print, but this most certainly isn’t the case. In 2014, Two Sides, a membership organization representing the paper and print industry, had over thirty leading North American companies remove the misleading “Go Paperless, Save Trees” claims. To read more about their main reasons for challenging these clients, visit their website.

Made from a natural resource, Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products that is renewable, recyclable, and compostable. According to Print and Paper Facts, “These features, combined with the paper industry’s advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, use of renewable, carbon -neutral biofuels and advances in efficient paper-making technology, make paper a product with inherent and unique sustainable features.” Still have apprehensions about how sustainable the paper industry? Two Sides debunks myths around the paper industry in their Myths and Facts section on their website for more information. 

  1. Print can’t be personalized

An InfoTrends study stated, “The survey of over 1,000 large businesses, across 10 different vertical industries, found that more than 60% of respondents’ campaigns were personalized or segmented.” Many marketers still don’t identify print as a way to individually target a recipient through personalization and customization.

Variable data printing (VDP) is changing the way you think of personalized print. With VDP, you can produce personalized and customized messages that are individual to your recipient with a fast turnaround time. Unbelievable right? It also allows you to add a salutation, varying legal terms by different locations, and imagery targeted to each individual. The possibilities are endless and print technology continues to transform your print marketing into a more efficient medium.

  1. Print is expensive

On the surface it appears that online marketing channels are less expensive than print communications. However, according to the DMA Response Rate Report, cost-per-acquisition for direct mail is very competitive. Direct mail stands at $19, which fares favorably with Mobile and Social Media (both at $16-18), Paid Search ($21-30), Internet Display ($41-50) and even email ($11-15).

According to research found by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), what makes print so cost effective is that 79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately, as opposed to 45% who report they deal with their email that quickly. When evaluating the effectiveness of various communication channels, it’s not about how much it costs to produce the marketing components. It’s how effective the overall campaign is in driving response and actions that deliver your company’s product or solution objectives.

There are other ways you can reduce costs on your print projects. For example, the USPS provides yearly promotions for your direct mail efforts. To learn more about how you can save money on your direct mail campaign, visit our blog 5 Great Ways to Save Money: USPS Promotions for 2016.

  1. Print is ineffective

Consumers expect that a brand’s conversation take place across all marketing channels, whether digital or print. Ignoring either channel reduces the effectiveness of your messaging. According to an Infotrends study, when you combine print, email, social and other mobile applications the response and action rates increase by 50%. Identifying the message and targeting each consumer can lead to an increase in brand engagement. With variable data print technology, marketers can include print in their omni-channel marketing campaigns. In short, marketers will generate a higher response rate by combining print, email, and social media.

A cost effective way to determine the best mix of a communication channel is to develop and monitor A/B testing with VDP. To learn more about A/B testing using VDP, visit our recent blog Want A/B Testing on Steroids? Try Variable Data Printing.

  1. Print is dead

Wait, print is dead? This perhaps isn’t the first time you’ve heard this buzzing around the marketing world. Digital Marketing, such as social media, email, and pay per click ad, deliver a way for marketers to get their messages to audiences at the click of a button.

The speculation of print disappearing has been rumored over the past few years now. A few years ago, the Onion, a mordant online publication, posted an amusing obituary regarding print’s 1,803-year journey (posted in 2013).

But, Don’t worry, print is thriving and doing well.

Do you have a common misconception about print you’ve heard lately? We’d love to hear your insight on how you’re spreading the word about print marketing.

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