UPDATE 6-20-16: A related article titled Not So Fast: Print Ain’t Dead Yet by MindFire Studio highlights that direct mail outperforms digital channels by 600%. Our article below is still relevant but this recent article provides insight into how direct mail is dominating digital marketing channels.

There have been a lot of rumors that the printing industry is dead thanks to digital innovations like e-books and email newsletters. These rumors couldn’t be any further from the truth. Some marketers and big companies claim that going paperless saves money and helps the environment. However, many studies show that print remains one of the most cost-effective marketing mediums out there. Furthermore, the environmental impact of print is much less harmful than that of digital devices.

Print is Tangible

The look, touch, feel and even the smell of printed materials offer a sensory experience that digital media cannot. People enjoy clipping coupons from the newspaper to save money or printing recipes from the internet.  Keeping the business card of an important individual, or giving a paper gift certificate are examples of how the physical nature of print is important.

Print is Engaging

There is something intriguing about skimming through your favorite magazine or flipping through the pages of a newspaper.  Approximately 70% of Americans, including 69% of 18-24 year-olds, prefer to read print rather than off a screen. The TwoSides study also shows that printed materials are much more pleasant to handle and touch than any other media.

Print is Effective

As direct mail marketing gains in popularity, people increasingly overlook, delete or mark as spam the majority of promotional or sales emails without even opening them. Marketing leads from printed items like a catalog are more effective than leads generated from an email where nearly 90% of consumers say they prefer to receive sales and promotions via direct mail, according to Nielson research. Furthermore, it is much more cost-effective and feasible to display engaging large-format printed signs advertising your business than it is to have large digital flat-panel displays.

Print is Versatile

The approach of combining print and digital marketing, known as multi-channel marketing, is an effective way to convey a strategic and cohesive marketing campaign. Using print to drive your customers or target audience to online or digital offerings produces more effective results than print or digital alone. Ultimately, integrating print and digital creates the strongest marketing strategy.

Print is Green

Only 11% of the world’s forests produce paper, compared to 28% for lumber and 53% for fuel. These statistics come from The Value of Print which also states that private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, which is three to four times more than they harvest. Print is also the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint.  All other media require energy every time they are viewed. Adverse health effects from producing an e-reader such as an iPad or Kindle are 70 times worse than producing a book.  Printed materials recycle easier and are far less toxic than electronic devices. Another ‘green’ aspect of print is in its life-cycle, where something like a book can be accidentally dropped and still remains usable compared to an electronic device when dropped often becomes useless.

Include Print in Your Marketing Mix

The print industry is thriving on consumer demands.  The choice between printed materials and digital media is not an either/or scenario but rather their combination creates an ideal marketing mix.  When compared to digital communication devices like computers, laptops, e-readers and cell phones, printed marketing collateral is much less destructive to the environment and relies on renewable resources.

The team at West Press is here to help make your print vision a reality. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.