Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.

As marketing increasingly focuses on online content, print marketing materials may seem obsolete. Not true. Consider these reasons to incorporate print into your marketing plan.

Print sparks emotion: One scientific study found that print materials’ physical nature create an emotional response that makes a more lasting impression on the brain than digital content. In another recent study, participants had a more intense emotional response to print materials than to online content. They also spent more time with physical marketing materials than viewing online ones. Last, but not least, they were better able to remember information from print marketing materials than from digital content.

Print appeals to all ages: Print marketing’s appeal to older consumers is obvious, but this tactic works surprisingly well with millennials. Some 82 percent of millennials read direct mail they get from retailers, according to Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse, and 54 percent enjoy getting catalogs in the mail. The same survey found 45 percent of millennials ignore text message marketing, but just 15 percent ignore direct mail.

Print stands out: As we spend more time scanning screens, marketing collateral we can hold in our hands is a key differentiator. Plain and simple, printed marketing collateral gets noticed.

Print and Digital: Better Together

Here are nine tips for successfully integrating your print collateral with your online marketing campaigns.

  1. Establish goals. Whether your marketing campaign is online or offline, set clear and measurable goals. Use unique codes on flyers, postcards or coupons to track redemption and measure the effectiveness of each print piece.
  2. Develop a library of marketing materials, both print and digital, for different stages in the customer’s buying journey. Think through what information prospects may want and how best to lead them through awareness to consideration to the purchasing decision.
  3. Attract attention by design. Xerox offers a full library of professionally designed business templates you can use to create print marketing materials from flyers, coupons and newsletters to marketing brochures, greeting cards, postcards and more. Customize them to suit your needs, and feel confident you’re making a good impression.
  4. Get it right. Print marketing materials have a longer shelf life than digital ones, so spend the time and money to ensure your finished products turn out the way you want them to. Use Xerox multifunction printers (MFPs) to print out multiple options for your print marketing collateral so you can review different colors, designs and copy. Conserve cash and save trees by previewing print jobs before you hit “print”, using duplex (double-sided) printing whenever possible and employing Xerox Solid Ink Once you’ve signed off on each piece, use Xerox ConnectKey enabled multifunction printers to print and scan it to the cloud so your entire team can easily access your library of marketing pieces and collaborate on new ones.
  5. Play with color. Give your print marketing collateral a high-end look with Xerox Metallic Dry Inks. They’re more cost-effective than foil stamping or metallic paper, while still creating sophisticated sparkle. Try using gold or silver ink to highlight key elements of your print marketing materials or enhance photos with metallic image overlays.
  6. Create multi-format materials. Make sure your digital marketing materials are equally appealing when printed on paper. Some buyers are happy to look at spec sheets or comparison charts on screen, while others prefer to print them out. Always design with the assumption that the piece will eventually be printed.
  7. Use print and digital marketing materials in tandem. Include your business URL, social media handles, and relevant hashtags in print marketing materials to drive traffic online. Just got off a call with a hot prospect? Send her an email and a sales letter. Use a Xerox color printer like the Xerox WorkCentre 6505 to print the letter on plain paper with your logo in color; you’ll save money and still stand out without using letterhead.
  8. Use lower-cost print marketing materials, such as flyers, letters or postcards, to drive prospects to unique landing pages for specific marketing campaigns. (Learn more about that at com.) Simple, affordable print materials are a great way to share custom landing page URLs for short-term campaigns; the URL also lets you measure how well the print materials drive web traffic.
  9. Engage customers offline with high-quality print marketing materials such as glossy brochures, catalogs or magazines. Upscale clothing and home retailer Anthropologie still sends print catalogs to customers who request them, even though most of its customers are firmly in the millennial demographic. High-end online clothing retailer Net-a-Porter started a bimonthly magazine, PORTER, for consumers to enjoy offline. A local printer is an ideal cost conscious option for small businesses that want to take the quality of printed documents to a higher level without investing in a new printer.

When your print and digital marketing materials work hand-in-hand, you’ll be more successful at attracting prospects and closing the sale.

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