Taming the Print Zombie: How to Use a Once "Dead" Medium to Market Your Business
Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Pamela Wilson – Enjoy!
Twenty years ago it was one of the most important means we had to market our businesses. Its death has been announced more than once in the past ten years. And today, using it can be a radical move that helps your business stand out from the crowd.
I am speaking, of course, about printed marketing materials.
The postcards, brochures, flyers, and newsletters that papered our world just a couple of decades ago have all but disappeared now. And that’s exactly why it might be time to reconsider them.
Because while all your competitors are reaching out and touching their prospects’ inboxes, what would happen if you arrived in their mailboxes?
If this sounds intriguing, read on for money-saving ideas and tips so you can explore the possibilities of print collateral to market your business.
Ideas for Print Materials
Well-designed letterhead, envelopes, and business cards make your company look polished and professional. You’ll be motivated to send out estimates, proposals and follow up letters when you know they’ll reflect favorably on your business.
Postcards are inexpensive to print, and less expensive to mail than an envelope. Think about them as an opportunity to send content marketing to your prospects and customers: checklists, buying guides, how-tos, etc.
They’re also the perfect place to make a special offer, which you can send them to your website to pick up (more on that later).
Consider using oversized postcards to stand out in people’s mailboxes, and be sure to explore variable printing, which allows you to personalize and customize elements of the piece depending on who you’re sending it to.
A beautifully-designed pocket folder has a multitude of uses.
You can rely on it to help your business stand out when you’re making a sales proposal or presenting a report. If you keep it simple and remove your address and phone number (these can be on the paperwork inside) you can use your presentation folders for many years.
This is a “print once, use for years” investment you won’t regret.
Simple pre-printed note cards and envelopes that feature your logo will motivate you to send thank you notes, words of encouragement, and follow up notes to people you meet at networking events.
Saving Money with Print
Standard offset printing works best when you’re printing large quantities. To print smaller runs, consider digital printing.
Digital printing happens on machines that are large, sophisticated versions of the color laser printer you may have on your desktop. The quality is similar to traditional offset printing, but the cost is reduced.
Consider using online printers for some of your print materials. Online printers “gang up” their print jobs: your artwork is placed next to other customers’ art on a large sheet, which saves everyone money.
Integrating Print with Your Web Marketing
Finally, if you’re going to use print, make sure you integrate it with all your other marketing efforts.
Start with the obvious: add your website address to all print materials.
For promotional items like postcards, consider creating a custom landing page that’s visually similar to the piece you’re sending, and include the URL on your postcard so you can track visitors.
Coupon codes which are exclusive to your postcard offer are another way to track who received your mailing and see who takes you up on your offer. With variable printing you can even use a different code on each card so you can track clicks to users.
Dip Your Toes in Print Marketing
Print marketing materials are different than web marketing because they’re permanent — once it’s in print, you can’t modify it like you can a web page.
This means taking extra care to proof your information carefully, and working with a graphic designer and printer who can help you bring your vision to reality.
Precisely because print takes extra effort — and not as many marketers make this effort today — tangible print materials can help you stand out.
Start small. If you don’t have a business card, work on that first. Once you’ve created those, consider a simple note card.
Dip your toes in print marketing — because sometimes the most radical way to stand out is to create a tangible object people can see, touch, and hold onto.
Pamela Wilson helps small business owners combine strategic marketing and great design to grow their businesses at Big Brand System. Thousands of small business owners have used her free Design 101 series to polish up their marketing. Want it? Just sign up for her free Marketing Toolkit here, and you’ll get the first lesson today.