Think Print Advertising is Dead? Think Again.

Updated: Jul 2

If you think print advertising is dead, get ready for a resurrection of apocalyptic proportions once businesses realize that digital marketing alone isn’t giving them the return they want and need.

The Danger of Relying on Email Marketing

These are trying times for companies, no doubt, and many are tempted to increase the number of emails they send out to current and prospective customers to boost revenue. But, more often than not, they don’t get the response or return they were expecting. Sure, the cost of sending out emails is low, but the cost of oversaturating customer inboxes and possibly alienating them is high.

Here are three reasons relying solely on email marketing is bad for business:

· Your current audience is more likely to tune you out completely so you’ll have to work harder to get new subscribers.

· You’re more likely to be reported as spam, even if the email recipients are bona fide subscribers. They just want to stop getting bombarded.

· If people get really tired of your emails, they may take it out on you by disassociating from your brand altogether – not buying from you, not following you on social media, and possibly even encouraging others to follow suit.

So what do you do? Increase digital spend on paid search and online display ads? That’s not a bad idea, but there’s another way to get even better results.

Combine Digital Marketing with Print Advertising

Should you give up digital marketing altogether? Of course not. This is still the digital age and email, display ads, paid search and social media can still be effective forms of consumer engagement. But when you cut down on digital marketing as a whole and use it in conjunction with print advertising like direct mail, you’ll get more brand bang for your buck. Want proof?


Direct mail has a median ROI of nearly 30% (higher than both paid search and online displays) and a response rate of 5-9%. (Data & Marketing Association, 2017)


If that response rate seems low, consider that the median click-through rate for email marketing is 2%-4% (UK Direct Marketing Association, 2019). Again, email marketing can have a higher ROI because it’s so inexpensive, but that’s only if you haven’t entered the oversaturated zone. Also, email open rates hover around 20%, but open rate makes little difference if your audience isn’t clicking through. It may even surprise you that 30% of millennials say that a direct mail piece would be more effective than email in getting them to engage with a company (only 24% said email would be more effective – Data & Marketing Association, 2018).


The average time a direct mail piece stays in a consumer’s home is 17 days. (Mailmen, 2017)


In contrast, the average time a marketing email lasts in a consumer’s inbox after they see it is 15 seconds (RetailWire). And with the constant barrage of online advertising (social, display ads, etc), you get an entire one second to engage someone.


Most people will take the time to take a relatively longer, leisurely look at a direct mail piece, even if it’s just during their walk back from the mailbox. Make it an interesting piece that makes it really difficult for them to NOT engage—use it to drive them to your website and follow you on social media—and your ROI has the potential to blow the roof off.


Nearly 105 billion marketing emails are sent every single day. Out of the over 1,600 ads a person sees each day, 98% of them are digital. They only see about 454 pieces of direct mail each year. (Sources: The Radicati Group, 2015-2019; The Trade Desk; USPS)


Imagine the impact you could have by standing out from the crowd and adding direct mail to your marketing toolbox.


We can help you formulate a marketing plan that includes direct mail and will keep you better connected to your audience and compel them to take action. Drop us a line or give us a call to find out more.



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