Although the world is highly digital-driven, print still has its place and practical usage, particularly when it comes to creating a powerhouse marketing strategy.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) wrote that despite so many closures of newspapers and magazines, “print isn’t dead.” In fact, savvy businesses recognize that circulation numbers going down means the “most engaged” of that particular audience is still reading. From a marketing perspective, this is a potential gold mine for print ad engagement.

But newspapers and magazines aren’t the only game in town for print ads. Direct Mail, especially when combined with digital marketing, can be a powerful tool in the process of finding and keeping customers.

Utilizing the two different mediums provides businesses with an approach that more thoroughly engages prospective customers by reaching them in both offline and online ways.

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reported in 2016 that of the many ways advertising was being used in North America, “print or other offline promotion” was used by 57% of those surveyed, ranking as the second most used medium for B2B paid to advertise. Coming in at first place (66%) was “search engine marketing (SEM).”

Furthermore, more of those surveyed felt print promotions were effective (31%) than traditional online banner ads were (29%).

CIO from IDG noted three ways in which print and digital marketing can be combined to optimize campaigns:

1. Direct Mail digital opt-ins
2. QR codes & personalized URLs
3. In-store displays connected with social media

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) affirmed that “direct mail is not ‘dead’” in their Featured Direct Mail/Catalog Trends from 2017 DMA Statistical Fact Book:

“Customer response rates increased year-over-year by an impressive 43%, but prospect response rates more than doubled – reporting an astounding 190% increase! So it’s no wonder that for brands that have never mailed before are finding it a viable medium for both their retention and acquisition efforts.
In a digitally-dominated world, how could this happen?
The significant change is an increase in mailings paired with digital intelligence – browsing behavior and sophisticated modeling based on preferences make mailings extra timely and relevant.”

But the good news does not end there. Citing a USPS Household Diary Study, DMA wrote that there had been a 3.9% year over year increase in the number of people who read postcards. This is attributed by DMA, at least in part, to the fact that, according to a Marketing Sherpa report, people just “don’t want to be bogged down with detail.”

What they do want are “convenient solutions that will enhance their life” and “subscription-based campaigns” that capitalize on both offline and online marketing strategies in order “to create an incredibly easy decision path.”

The prior year’s Statistical Fact Book (as noted by CIO from IDG), offered up an explanation from expert Lois Brayfield as to why Direct Mail was showing such success, particularly when combined with online marketing methods:

“Direct Mail continues to serve as a major driving force in most omnichannel marketing plans. It’s complemented well by online efforts and fills a much-needed niche. Where online is low-cost, low impact, print is higher-cost, higher impact. Where online marketing is passive, direct mail is active. Direct mailings are proactive and tactile — demanding that the recipient DO something with it.”

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