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3 Tips for Printing & Mailing in the Digital Age

By Kristen Duncan

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re in the digital age of marketing. Personally, I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in push notifications, pop-ups, emails, banner ads, and sponsored ads that follow me across apps and websites. Sometimes I have to put my phone down, shut my laptop, and close my eyes to get away from it all—to remember that I’m human.

The reality is that you have to engage your customers where they are. But, one area of marketing that is often overlooked in today’s digital age is printing and mailing, and there are millions of individuals who want to connect with you through print. I know what you’re thinking…Everyone is online, why would I use print? No ones pays attention to print advertising anymore. It’s expensive.

To put it simply, that's just not so.

Did you know the baby boomer generation prefers print ads to mobile ads? Or, that male millennials are more interested in transit ads compared to male baby boomers?

A strong marketing strategy leverages all marketing mediums to tell your brand's story and win the hearts and minds of consumers across both print and digital hemispheres. This is often referred to as integrated multichannel marketing or an integrated marketing campaign.

Here are some tips for printing and mailing in the digital age as part of an integrated marketing campaign.

1. Data is key 

Like any marketing tactic, you’ll want to design your printing and mailing strategy with concrete data. Here are some questions you should ask your data analyst (or Graphcom):

• Segment your target audience by known demographic factors and marketing responses.

  • • Gender
  • • Age
  • • Address
  • • Household members
  • • Annual household income
  • • Purchasing habits
  • • Professional industry
  • • Marketing medium and response
  • • Etc.

2. Get to know your audience

Now that you know your demographic, spend some time walking around in their shoes and get to know what’s important to them. This helps you know how to market to each audience—baby boomer, Gen X, millennial, etc. It also helps if you create a persona for each group, like Becky the Gen Xer. Here’s what we know about Becky:

  • • Female
  • • 42 (Gen X)
  • • 123 Main St. in Gettysburg, PA
  • • Four (two adults and two children under 10)
  • • $175,000
  • • Online shopping at Kohl’s, Amazon, and Hello Fresh
  • • Public sector
  • • Used coupon code and visited custom URL included with direct mail piece and sponsored ad on Facebook

3. Design your campaign with measurable touch points

Let’s talk analytics so we can measure printing and mailing performance. When designing your print piece, make sure you’re customizing it to each audience group, like Becky. Use information gathered from your data assessment and audience personas to craft a print piece that speaks specifically to each audience in both content and design.

When planning your mailing schedule, again, think about your audience. Timing is everything. Consider where your audience is in the buying process. Is the print piece the first part of the campaign or is it the third (eg. They already received an emailer and heard radio spots on Pandora)? What day of the week and time of day has been historically successfully with this audience? Each piece of the integrated marketing campaign should build upon one another and amplify your message.

For measuring print pieces, here are some methods to consider:

  • • Unique promotional codes
  • • Unique URLs
  • • Unique phone numbers
  • • Unique email addresses

You may also want to consider breaking each audience into test groups so you can test different variables of your print piece. Here are some variables to consider testing:

  • • Print medium (postcard, flyer, letter, brochure, etc.)
  • • Envelope color
  • • Salutation
  • • Promotional offer
  • • Premium
  • • Content
  • • Photo

Testing is a great way to pilot different marketing tactics with your audiences to learn more about their preferences and what type of marketing speaks to them.

Want to talk more about printing and mailing? How about integrated marketing campaigns? No matter where you are in the marketing process, we’ve got the team and the tactics to tell your brand’s story in today’s evolving digital age.

Give us a call at 800-669-1664 or email us to get started!