Using print to further your marketing efforts

print and online marketing convergenceThere is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way small business owners market their business. Digital marketing, like e-newsletters, search engine optimization, social media, and search engine marketing, can be powerful forms of advertising.  Even more powerful, however, is digital marketing with a collaborative print marketing effort.

Here are a few ways print and digital working together can generate leads.

Tip #1: Postcards rule. One of the most powerful marketing strategies today is to promote your website via direct-mail postcards. Postcards serve many purposes. Whether you want to invite people to an upcoming webinar/class or showcase a few of your bestselling products, using a postcard to direct traffic to your website is a great idea. Motivate response with an exclusive offer or personalized URL which will allow you to track your response rate, conversion rate, and ultimate return on investment.

Tip #2: Use in store signage to increase newsletter subscriptions. Whether you run a restaurant, a school, a retail shop or a B2B service-based company, chances are good that you’ll have a client visiting you at your office at some point.  Use in store promotional posters, counter signs, table tents, hang tags, window clings or other signage to encourage customers to visit  your website and sign up for your email newsletter. Include a QR code that links to a mobile optimized page on your site with a short subscription form for a great customer experience. Entice customers to subscribe with an instant money saving coupon that can be emailed directly to them and shown to staff as proof of subscription for redemption.

Tip #3: Use print to connect you socially.  The digital world is cluttered. Every 60 seconds 700,000 Google searches are performed, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and 168 million emails are sent. Making sure that your fan base sees your posts can be a challenge unless you find other ways to promote your social media accounts. Help people find your social media accounts by including your most used and valuable account on your business cards. If you print a newsletter or brochure, include some of your positive Google, Yelp or Facebook reviews and encourage readers to view your full profile online.

Tip #4: A personalized letter. For a more personal touch and for situations which warrant a more professional approach, there’s still nothing like sending a personal letter; especially when both parties are acquainted with each other on some level. People do business with people and success in sales is about developing relationships. A well-crafted and sincere letter can accomplish this. To be sure, the content and tone should be tailored to your audience and written so as to provide value and not waste the readers’ time. Doing so can open doors, increase acceptance of phone calls, and make your next touch a little warmer.

As with all print, the fundamental keys to success are:

  1. The list: mail to the right audience
  2. The content: with or without a valuable offer, the content must be appropriate for your right audience. Everyone’s time is valuable so give them a reason to read past the salutation.
  3. The creative: whatever you mail, make it eye-appealing and captivating in relation to the right content for your right audience.
  4. Test, and then test some more: we may “think” we know what our audience wants, but often times we don’t know what we don’t know. Testing, like using an A/B split as part of your direct mail campaign, is an excellent way to put your print and mail budget to work for you; providing valuable data that help shape your ongoing marketing direction and budget.

Finding the right marketing mix is less about your business and more about your customers. Thinking about who they are, how they purchase and what influences them will help you determine how to reach customers with a mix of print and digital advertising.

Have you come across a cool marketing campaign played out online and in print? Share all! Let us know about it in the comments section below.

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