The Symbiotic Relationship of Email & Print

Is email replacing print? Is print replacing email? These are the questions that consumer companies with a product to sell seem to be scratching their heads over. After all, which communication channel is worth the most investment? Maybe the Millennial generation have their heads down and their eyes on their phones so much, they won’t so much as blink at a print advertisement. Perhaps the only way to reach young people under the age of 30 is through their email inbox, and if you’re a company that thrives on print collateral, this dilemma has likely caused some anxiety.

But, what if you didn’t have to choose? The fact is that email or print isn’t necessarily better than the other—they both have their advantages—and when it comes to Millennials, who are so inundated with digital advertising, print catalogs may just be the reprieve they need. Although, the real success will come from using both email and print, together, in harmony.

Here’s how to leverage email and print for your marketing and sales needs:

  1. Build your email list with print catalogs

Okay, so you have a mailing list and you’ve worked really hard to not only grow it, but to write, design, and print beautiful, high-quality catalogs for your products and services. It would be a real shame if those catalogs reached your customers, were read, [hopefully] recycled, and then never heard from again. Ideally, the customer will be motivated enough to visit your physical location or to make an online purchase, but just in case your direct mail customers aren’t quite ready to buy, a friendly prompt to opt-in to your email communications could be the best way to keep them engaged. Opt-in email communications is a win-win—it’s low-stakes engagement for the customer that feels safe, and it builds your email list so you can follow up and keep in touch.

  1. Increase Your Catalog Distribution via Email

IKEA makes it incredibly easy to request a free print catalog. The request buttons may be as ubiquitous on their website and in their emails, as the email newsletter sign-up—and for good reason. According to a Gallup Poll, 95% of adults between 18 and 29 feel positively about receiving personal mail. And while your email list may be robust, not all of those contacts will have opted in to receive your catalog too. Make your marketing and sales tactics extra potent by offering your print catalog in your emails—offer customers an opportunity to experience your company across channels.

About the Author: Jim Gibbs

Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Dingley Press. Jim has been with Dingley since 2002 and lives in Maine near our Lisbon, Maine plant location.