Print marketing. Back in the day, print was the most common form of getting your business out there. Free ads in the paper, direct mail through the letterbox and adverts in magazines were 'de rigueur' amongst marketing specialists of old.
The rise of digital marketing and the internet in the early noughties threatened to kill off print. And for a while, I think it did. I worked in web, digital and email marketing for years. We would always brag about how magical digital was compared with print. You could measure it, change it with a click of a mouse and target prospective customers like some kind of digital undercover agent.
But print is having somewhat of a renaissance. Perhaps we have all got bored and over-saturated with constant online ads, pop ups, email marketing campaigns snd social posts. Perhaps with the advent of lockdown, we yearned for something real, tangible, valuable. Something we could hold in our hands. Something to smell and touch.
You cannot beat the excitement of getting a piece of mail in the post. OK, maybe not a flyer for double glazing, but you know what I mean. That excitement of a handwritten present with your name on, in a pretty envelope or package plopping onto the doormat.
Personally, I think to market your business effectively, the sweet spot is to use both digital and print. New to print or want to find out more? Here are five top tips on how you can grow your business using clever and thoughtful print marketing:
1/Create a print 'family' of your marketing materials Don't just think about a one-off brochure or flyer. Gather all your current marketing materials together. Grab your business cards, postcards, stickers, pens, pads, comps slips, letterheads, email signatures, brochures, invoices, quotes, event/exhibition materials and even flick through your web pages.
Look at everything together. Do they gel? Would a prospective customer recognise that all the materials belong to the same company? Is the tone of voice the same? Is the messaging the same? Is the branding consistent across all the marketing materials? If it's not, it's time to have a little spring clean and create a kick-ass family print pack that truly showcases your business.
When you think print, the first thing that usually comes to mind is chopping down trees. Trees the planet desperately needs right now. You may think that digital marketing is better for the environment than print. I think that view needs to be challenged. Every email you send, every website you create, each blog post you write, every social post you create...every little piece of information on the internet has to live somewhere. Usually, data is hosted in GIANT warehouses full of servers, using up vital power and energy. When I say these are big, I am talking massive. Check this out: https://www.rankred.com/largest-data-centers-in-the-world/ .
Print can be unsustainable, too. However, the print world has become a much more green industry IF you are willing to look at sustainable options. You can now use recycled paper, plantable seeded paper, paper made from bamboo and grass, plant-based inks and recycled paper packaging. Dynamic Print in Norwich goes one step further.
Their customers can capture the Co2 emissions from paper purchases by planting native woodland, right here in the UK, through the Woodland Trust and the Woodland Carbon scheme. Check out further details here.
3/Have a strategy
Why print? What type of customer do you want to target? What is the best location to get print to them? Home? Work? Leisure venue? Shopping centre? What type of info do they need? What is your budget for the print? What return are you looking to get? Print marketing works if you a) have amazing on-brand materials and b) are super targeted with your approach. Don't use 'dear homeowner'. Good god, no. That generic stuff doesn't do the job. Find out who they are, but be compliant with UK data protection laws, of course. Check out the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations to be sure. Write a personalised hand written note if you can. Make an impact.
4/Do the best job possible
I know budget may be a sticking point here, but if you are using print marketing to attract new customers you really have one shot to make a good first impression. Print marketing is a time to pull out all the stops and wow them. Really, this should be the mantra for all your marketing but it is doubly important for print. What is the best quality paper stock you can afford? Do you want a specialist finish such a debossing or foil? Not good at design? Hire a designer. Hire us. Go to see a local printer for a coffee. I personally can highly recommend Sarah from Dynamic Print in Norwich, Norfolk. I know it's the second time I've mentioned them, but they are truly great, especially on the eco front. Printers are a friendly bunch.
Sarah added: "I always promote and talk about the importance of having a good quality business card, either by making sure they are die cut, foiled or embossed, round mini or large. Because the second impression anyone will get of you is when you hand over your business card; the first being YOU."
As Coldplay once sang, nobody said it was easy. OK, they weren't specifically referring to print marketing, but it can definitely apply. It takes time, energy and work to make print marketing flourish for your biz.
A targeted and personalised approach with rockin' materials will get you so far, but the best marketers/business owners will always follow up. Either with an email and special offer, a free sample, guide or course (reciprocal psychology comes into play here people).
If the prospective customer lands on your website, why not serve them some retargeting ads on Insta or Facebook using the Facebook Pixel on your website? See how digital and print can work like yin and yang?
Here is a pic of me and Sarah from Dynamic Print. I mean, why not? I learned so much from going to see her recently. Does your company do print marketing? Would you consider it?
Speak to the Nurture team if this is something you are keen to roll out.