Like any great partnership, digital and print can only reach the dizzying heights of campaign success if they both play distinct roles that complement one another. As well as communicating a message across a range of channels, adding direct mail to the marketing mix can increase ROI by as much as 12%.*
The advantages of digital tools, such as search engines and social media, are well known – from interaction to direct response and the valuable insight that data provides. But there’s no avoiding it, the digital space is overcrowded, and the distance online transactions create between customer and brand has put trust at an all-time low.
And while digital marketing has taken off, the benefits of print media have been overlooked. Now marketers are returning to tools such as brochures and direct mail because they can create an emotional bond, establish brand positioning in the home, and are more likely to be shared. All of this makes combining print with digital a great tool for building brand trust, credibility and driving action.
Digital technology has also revolutionised the possibilities for printed materials. Our digital presses can handle specialist finishes for small runs, which make personalisation much easier to achieve. The variety of materials has also expanded to include textures and recycled, while specialist finishes now include personalised foils and soft-touch laminate.
How online brands are integrating digital and print media
As you might expect, Wayfair, the online furniture retailer, has invested in digital innovation, but, perhaps more surprisingly, they also allocate a significant slice of their budget to printed catalogues, postcards and brochures to engage high-value customers with a ‘rich, tactile shopping experience’.**
They’re not alone, other online retailers such as Not on the High Street and Cox & Sons all drive traffic online with mailed-out catalogues. The physical brochures bring the brand story to life, present products with an editorial slant and inspire with visualisations of the products, which is especially useful for high-value products such as furniture. Fashion brand, Boden, also backs up sales promotions with postcard flyers and mails out a mini-brochure version of its online catalogue.
So, how can you bring all of this to bear on your marketing strategy? Here are our three easy-to-implement ideas for integrating your print and digital campaigns:
1. Allocate leading and supporting roles to print and media
It’s all about knowing your goal, choosing the right media for each campaign phase and combining each tool to bring about a sale. Select whichever medium is going to take the lead role and then consider how the other might support it. Also, establish where the conversation will begin and then progress. For example, will you support a printed newsletter, or the launch of a new brochure, with a teaser and follow-up emails? Or, perhaps you’ll support a digital e-shot with a postcard, to reinforce the offer.
Remember too to coordinate your Call to Action (CTA). A powerful CTA can direct readers from one medium to another, for example, a direct mail’s CTA might feature a link to a landing page which will channel potential customers towards a sales pipeline.
2. Use your data
The insights you glean from your online campaign data can fuel ideas for your offline efforts, too. Say a blog post generates lots of interest, you could support this topic with a feature article in your printed newsletter or follow up with a mailed offer that relates to it.
3. Sync with social media
Digital, and particularly social media is perfect for creating a buzz and generating initial interest. Use social media to encourage sign-up for a competition, special offer or free samples and then follow this with a targeted direct mail campaign.
Do you need help producing quality printed materials to support your digital campaigns? Give us a call. We help growth-minded businesses reach their potential. Call Managing Director, Mark Bidewell, on 01622 677 541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat .
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