It may seem that printed materials are things of the past to some — but this is far from the truth. Although we have come to rely on “soft copies” — that is, materials found online or on computers — more than we did in the past, printed materials are still extremely important to those in the business world in particular. A few generations still haven’t gotten completely on board with the technological boom the way millennials have — and these generations are still very much active in industry. Therefore, it’s important that small business owners don’t rely overmuch on one form of advertising or distributing information. While you should certainly take advantage of the Internet and soft copies, you should also use printing services and printed materials in general. That way, you get the best of both worlds. In fact, printing services now often work in conjunction with the Internet. Print services can print things directly from the web, making it easier for people to keep track of information whether or not they have access to the Internet (and believe it or not, constant Internet access is not guaranteed in all places). Below, we’ll discuss some of the things that printing services can be used to produce, and how they benefit businesses today.
1. Direct Mail
Plenty of people are inundated with online ads today — they often get emails advertising sales or products that are easy to ignore, simply because they’re so numerous. Direct mail isn’t used as frequently today, it’s true; and that’s exactly what makes it an effective marketing strategy. Getting a printed ad in the mail is more noticeable to a lot of consumers. Furthermore, while you have to click on an email to read the whole ad — something that many simply don’t do — a direct mailer can be read immediately. Often, they’re designed to be colorful and eye-catching, which makes them even more effective. It’s no wonder that 92% of shoppers say that they prefer direct mail when making purchasing decisions. For that matter, if a business is offering coupons to customers, most feel more comfortable with a physical copy of said coupon, rather than something they have to access on their phones. Often, people find that their phones don’t work at the last minute, making it impossible for them to use their coupons — and nobody wants to print out a coupon they got through email. It’s estimated that direct mailers have a 3.7% response rate, compared to the .2% mobile response rate, .1% email response rate, .1% social media response rate, and .02% internet display response rate. It’s just more effective. For that matter, direct mail can positively impact businesses’ online traffic, with 60% of direct mail recipients being influenced to check out a website for the first time.
2. Business Cards
There’s something about a business card that just makes a company look more professional and legitimate. A business card communicates information in a way that, because it’s in a hard copy, is often more memorable to people. For that matter, a lot of the people that small business owners might court as potential investors or clients may be more familiar with business cards than, say, an online CV. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have both — but a business card ensures that you reach as many people as possible. Printing services also make it easy to mass-produce business cards at a cheap rate, and wholesale printing is often very time-efficient as well as cost-effective.
Fliers may seem to be an old-fashioned way to advertise, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Fliers can be a part of direct mail campaigns — or they can be fixed on walls, left on front desks… Fliers are eye-catching and easy for people to pick up. They’re bigger than other forms of print advertisement like business cards, and thus easier for people to see and read. Fliers may seem simple, but can make a big difference in terms of how you advertise your company.