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Print in a digital world

Statistics tell us that the combination of print and digital campaigns is more powerful than digital alone.


According to Royal Mail research:


   – 87% of people were influenced to make online purchases as a result of direct mail

   – 13% more people visited the sender’s website when direct mail was used in addition to email


In a different survey of 1,000 British consumers in 2017:


   – 43% would be more likely to take an action after seeing an advertisement in a printed newspaper or magazine than they would if they saw the same advert online

   – 59% do not trust many of the ads they see online and 63% do their best to block or avoid them. 72% can’t remember the last time they willingly clicked an online advertisement


We’ve written about the power of programmatic mailing, but what about other applications of combining print with digital advertising?




At an industry conference last week we came across this brilliant example of Battersea Dogs Home capitalising on the power of print combined with digital. At one shopping centre, they leafleted shoppers in the traditional way, but had installed paper-thin smart chips in the leaflets.


Those chips were linked to the digital outdoor advertising within the shopping centre, meaning the shoppers were followed around by a stray dog, looking for a home, generating lots of leads (geddit!) for the dogs’ home.


Take a look at the video about the clever campaign here.


Another stand-out example of combining direct mail and online comes from American digital marketing company, 97th Floor. It sent clients the usual Christmas card but tucked $20 inside and added a QR code. The card contained a strong message linked to the company’s values – that $20 could do plenty to help those in need – and the code linked to a video encouraging recipients to give away the $20 and share their ideas online using #20helps


This is similar to the idea we’ve used in our summer mailer, Vinyl Revival, which capitalised on the idea that both vinyl and print are coming back, and encouraged clients to tell us about the first album they bought either by email or using our social media channels. Did you see it? What was the first album or single you bought? (Mike’s not too embarrassed to admit that his was Elton John and Kiki Dee, Don’t go breaking my heart, but maybe he should be! Ellie is smug with her purchase of Kylie Minogue’s 1988. You can’t beat a bit of The Locomotion.)


So far from being an exclusive marketing tactic, direct mail is best used as part of an integrated campaign to amplify your messages. It’s also much easier to use now companies are expected to be compliant with GDPR as the Information Commissioner confirmed that legitimate interest can be applied.


If you want to discuss your next direct mail or leafleting campaign, give one of the team a call and if you’re stuck for ideas, our creative studio will happily get involved in your next campaign.

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