Print is the ideal communications medium and a powerful marketing tool. But because it has been around for so long, print often gets lost in the enthusiasm for newer options, such as online and social media channels. Yet, after all is said and done, print is still the prime communication and promotional vehicle. Why? Because of its unique characteristics: Print is durable, portable, credible, universal, beautiful, tactile and works well with other media. Most important, print works.
Print Provides a High ROI
Studies show that print gets read – 66% of direct mail is opened, and 82% of that is read for a minute or more. This is especially impressive when you consider that consumers on average completely ignore 82% of online ads!
A Direct Marketing Association study showed that direct mail advertising gives businesses, on average, a remarkable 12 to 1 return on their investment ("ROI"). The high ROI holds up across all industries. For example, printed catalogs have been shown to provide a 7 to 1 ROI, while direct mail provides the lowest cost per lead or order, ahead of email, pay-per-click and telemarketing. In fact, a study conducted by Oracle found that 79% of consumers surveyed make purchases via printed catalogs at least four times each year.
Shoppers Are Influenced by Print
In a 2014 study, Nielsen analyzed 11 key marketing touch points (i.e. sources that consumers refer to before and during shopping). Although just three of these touch points were print and eight were digital, print produced far greater shopper engagement – nearly 20 points higher than the next-closest digital touch point, emails. Similarly, the City and Regional Magazine Association's research found that 68% of readers purchase products and services from ads seen in magazines.
Millennials Love Print
Even the digital-savvy millennial generation loves print, with more than half ignoring digital advertising altogether and paying attention to direct mail and print ads instead. Studies have shown that 82% of Millennials read direct mail from retail brands, 62% regularly use retail advertising inserts, 49% brought print coupons to the store with them in the past 30 days and 50% look forward to receiving retail catalogs.
The facts cannot be ignored: Print builds brand identification and powers sales. It's no wonder print media is still the workhorse of successful marketing and advertising campaigns.
Click here to download a detailed infographic about the ROI of direct mail.
InfoTrends, Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth, December 2015,
Harris Interactive, Goo Online Advertising Survey, January 2014,
DMA, The Power of Direct Marketing, 2011-12.
DMA Response Rate Report, 2012.
Oracle, Cross-Channel Commerce: A Consumer Research Study, 2011.
Nielsen, Touchpoints Shopper Survey, April 2014.
The City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA), 2016 City & Regional Magazine Readership Study, April 2016
Quad Graphics, Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse, December 2015.