How to improve the effectiveness of your print materials

DATE:January 26, 2015

Did you know that 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication? How about that direct mail has a 43% share of total local retail advertising?

Print is powerful because it has become the new “nontraditional marketing.” Customers see print materials as an enjoyable break from the traditional e-newsletter or digital update. In fact, 70% of Americans enjoy reading printed magazines even though they know they could find most of the same information online. The tangible nature of print materials engages customers, but there are plenty of ways to go above and beyond to make your print materials more effective.

Tips for more effective print ads

Use variable printing

Personalization is a huge part of effective marketing, and it is not just limited to digital communications. With variable printing, you can customize each ad to make it personalized or for segmentation. Research has even found that marketing efforts featuring a higher level of personalization complexity result in a higher return on investment.

Make it interactive

Just like personalization, interactive advertising is not just for digital ads. Use calls-to-action to get customers to start engaging with you online, use QR codes to direct them to a landing page or experiment with new interactive print technology.

Use more than paper

Print advertising is often thought of as brochures and direct mail – but there is so much more. Large format printing can turn the world into your canvas and printing on promotional materials like drinkware or magnets will make your ads useful (they won’t throw them away) to customers.

Use good visuals

While you may assume that customers will view your ad like they read – from left to right and then top to bottom – eye tracking research conducted by PRS Research found that this is not the case; customers start with the most dominant visual element in the ad.

Move your brand information

Using the same eye tracking study, PRS found that over 50% of readers “check out” of an advertisement before reaching the lower right-hand corner where a majority of advertisers put their information. Do some A/B testing to discover what information location your customers respond to best.

As the new nontraditional marketing, print holds a lot of power, but being nontraditional is not enough to fully engage customers; you need a strong marketing strategy behind your print ads and should constantly strive to exceed your customers expectations.

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