Printing for your Bay Area Start Up's Marketing Plan
New research has been published, providing even more evidence for the idea that print remains a viable and valuable part of any marketing campaign.
FedEx Office, in conjunction with the Ketchum Global Research Network and Braun Research, conducted the third annual Sign of the Times small business survey in spring 2010. The survey respondents were small business owners employing 5 to 100 employees and whose companies generate over $100,000 in annual revenue; over 500 interviews were completed. Survey results include:
- 87% of survey respondents indicated that printed marketing and advertising tools are somewhat to very effective in driving customers to their businesses.
- 57% of owners aged 18-34 believe in the power of flyers and brochures – more than their older counterparts (47%).
- In addition, 44% of respondents said they plan to increase communication with existing and potential customers via a printed piece – a newsletter or direct mail.
How to use print for marketing
As people increasingly use the Internet to conduct research on products, services and the businesses that provide them, it becomes very important to be sure that your business or organization is included in the search. Search engine optimization applied to a company’s web site helps raise the organic ranking, increasing the possibility that the site will be listed on the first page.
Another way to encourage customers and prospects to include you in their research is to send a direct mail piece that invites them to your web site.
Many kinds of direct mail pieces can be sent; catalogs consistently are named by recipients as a reason for visiting a web site.
are another effective way to invite people to a web site. For overall value, we like using post cards as a direct mail piece. Post cards don’t require opening for the recipient to view the message. A postcard that keeps the mailing panel to a minimum allows for attention-getting design and instant impact of the most important message. A small post card (i.e., no larger than 4x6 inches) can be mailed at the first class card rate which is a lower postage rate than standard mail, has delivery priority, and comes with free address correction services.
Postcards are also more cost effective
than an enveloped mailing, both because there are fewer pieces to print and there are no inserting or sealing requirements. Full color printing on both sides of a post card is now affordable and may even be less than single- or two-color printing on an enveloped mailing.
For certain industries, including a personalized URLs (PURL) on a post card can be an effective way
to get people to visit a web site and provide information. In a 2009 study conducted by Dr. Marnie Brown of the University of California, Irvine, these industries were identified as having the top visit rates (i.e., the number of recipients who visited the PURL sent to them) and response rates (i.e., submitted information upon visiting the PURL): insurance, manufacturing, retail, and not-for-profit.
If you have marketing reasons for using an enveloped mail piece, consider the results of two research studies about envelopes. A 2006 study commissioned by the Envelope Manufacturers Association and conducted by GolinHarris in collaboration with Insight Express tested perceptions of direct mail and mailed envelopes among 1800 American adult consumers. Here are a few of the findings:
- 75% of respondents said they were most like to pay attention to and act on direct mail sent to the home – over three times more than unsolicited e-mail, online banner or pop-up ads, sales calls to the home and text messages combined.
- Respondents favored direct mail sent in envelopes (41%) compared to post cards or self-mailers (16%).
- When receiving an envelope in the mail containing marketing, advertising or promotional material, respondents said they “always or usually” open the envelope if they believe the contents might be interesting (66%), might be of personal value to them (61%), or can clearly identify the purpose or sender (59%).
A study conducted by Clinton Amos, Ph.D. of the University of North Texas and Audhesh Paswan, Ph.D. of the University of Mississippi tested recipient feelings toward teaser copy on the outside of envelopes and how the envelope appearance.
Six types of envelope message and three envelope characteristics were studied.
The six envelope messages were importance (characterized by
- urgency (offer expires soon)
- “confidential” or “first notice”)
- price incentive (no fees, are you paying too much)
- non-price incentive (sweepstakes, coupon inside
- exclusiveness (preferred customers only, special offer)
- and gratitude (thank you, we appreciate your business)
The three variations on envelope appearance were personalized
- handwritten name and address, a live stamp and return address from an individual);
- official (creating a feeling of something important and non-trivial);
- standardized (addressed to the recipient in an impersonal way).
Here are the findings:
• Only three envelope messages were associated with the intention to open the envelope: importance, gratitude and non-price incentive.
• All three envelope characteristics were shown to have positive effects on the intention by recipients to open the envelope.
Using print is environmentally sound
Despite the proven benefits of using print, some business owners and organization top managers have cut back or discontinued print, believing print to be detrimental to the environment and inconsistent with a commitment to “going green”. We believe there is a lot of evidence to indicate otherwise, and that you don’t need to deny your business or organization the benefits of print.
E-marketing is not environmentally neutral. Energy is required to power computers, and mobile digital devices powered by batteries create toxic e-waste.
Paper is a renewable resource. Trees used for paper come from forests owned by paper manufacturers and grown for papermaking. Paper manufacturers plant over 4 million new trees each year – more than are harvested.
Paper used for printing can be reused, recycled or converted to other paper products such as packaging materials.
Integrate print into your marketing plan
Print continues to be an effective way to get information about products and services into the hands of customers and prospects. While you may control costs or save waste by cutting down on the quantity ordered and even the variety of printed material, it isn’t wise to eliminate printing altogether. If you remain unsure about whether you can print and still be environmentally responsible, contact us for more details about the research we’ve cited. We’ll be glad to provide additional information.