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Using digital to maximise engagement with print marketing

In case you missed it, print media boasts a whopping response rate that’s 600% higher than its digital counterparts*, and personalised print and digital marketing can have a tangible effect of up to 31% boost in profits**

That’s why we think it’s really important to incorporate them into your multi-channel marketing strategy. And with the pressure mounting on marketers to ditch print in favour of digital, you’re probably wondering how you can gauge the effectiveness of your print marketing so you can make sure it’s still worth your while…

Print marketing in an omni-channel world

Print always played a key part in marketing, but the development of the omni-channel environment has changed the game. With multimedia marketing now commonplace, marketers can compliment different channels depending on the format customers choose to consume. These days, marketing has become increasingly customer-centric, and when, where and how it will be consumed has become the primary factor in determining its content and format.

Measuring the ROI of your print

To gauge the ROI of print marketing, it’s best to supplement it with digital. You can do this by including specific webpages with custom URLs in your print material – that way, you can utilise analytics packages to track activity on the web pages after a send to see how many punters it attracted. Unique telephone numbers can play a similar role, offering customers a separate point of contact to discuss anything related to individual pieces of print collateral they’ve received.

It’s also worth employing channel-specific response codes for customers to quote when communicating with your business or making an order, and including an element to help identify location within the code could prove useful too. Not only will you receive concrete data measuring the success of your print marketing, but you’ll know exactly where the material was used and where it performed best.

If you’re targeting tech-savvy customers with your print, including QR codes could be useful (although it’s unlikely the IT illiterate will make use of them, and web hits are typically low). For those not afraid to use them, all they need to do is take a picture of the QR code, and the magic of smartphones will transport them to a landing page. From there, you can monitor website traffic right through to final order.

Encouraging an audience to take action is a tricky final step, but a nice incentive such as a discount slip, voucher, coupon or special offer can be enough to push them into making contact or placing an order. Pairing them with unique telephone numbers or URLs will allow you to keep track of your promotion’s performance, and your sales team can be used to keep record of any phone traffic it generates while your online analytics tools watches over any web activity.

Evaluating your findings

Once you’ve collected the data, you’ll need to make sense of it. Ask yourself a few key questions: If you used A/B testing, which version performed better? How many customers made use of the vouchers or special offers you sent them? Did a particular demographic respond more than others? Which parts of your combined print and digital campaign did well, and how could you use the results to improve future engagement? And ultimately, consider whether your efforts led to a significant uptick in business, and how you might be able to use these insights to tweak your print strategy going forward.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 1850 or email info@matrixcms.com. To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

* 2015 DMA Response Rate Report.

** Smithers Pira white paper.

Why you should care about catalogues in 2017

Over the last few years, digital marketing has made its way to the heart of most companies’ marketing strategies. Whether you were won over by the instantaneous nature of social channels, the ‘stickiness’ of video content or the eye-popping possibilities afforded to us by recent advances in VR, chances are print is no longer the most exciting part of your marketing strategy. Which is odd, because it still works. 

As recently as mid-2015, the DMA were reporting direct mail response rates were nearly 600% higher than for digital channels, and it’s still pulling ahead of digital channels in this year’s report (heads up: it’s a paid paper). And research by Royal Mail has shown that, regardless of which age group you look at, 26.7% of consumers say that they’ve purchased something as the result of direct mail in the last year.

So why is direct mail still working?

A popular theory is that unlike emails and social media notifications, some of which we receive an almost overwhelming number of, well-crafted print pieces have rarity value. Their very unusualness makes them eye-catching and memorable, meaning your messaging stays front of mind for longer.

And if you combine this with personalisation (one of everyone’s predicted hot trends for 2017, as it leads to a rumoured lift in profits ranging from 31% to 10% depending on who you ask) you can use print to make a lasting impact on your audience.

Even the cost per acquisition, a metric that you’d assume would get increasingly shaky for print as online advertising becomes better targeted, has stayed reasonable thanks to the shift to digital printing and a variable print workflow, which allows greater economy at smaller scales. You can even provide different areas of your organisation with templated documentation that they can personalise for customers and then send to print on an as-needed basis.

This means you can supply customers or groups with uniquely targeted content and still have money left over to invest in other channels. In fact, 52% of DMA respondents are now combining at least three channels on any given campaign. A highly personalised print piece can be used to generate initial impact, then transition customers over digital channels such as email and social. It also provides an element of trustworthiness – we’re all more likely to open the brochure of a company we don’t know than click on their pop-up ad – that can translate to more ready engagement on the consumer’s part once you’ve moved them to the digital pipeline.

Streamlining print production

While many of us are already cutting print costs by opting for digital over offset printing, it’s also worth bearing in mind that streamlining in-house production can bring down the cost of print media by making things more efficient in-house.

Centralised, accurate data, a streamlined approvals amends process and easy-to-use team management tools all help make things run more smoothly. Seeing them combined with PIM and CRM functionality in tools like MatrixCMS is likely to become increasingly common as we see the demand for content become more immediate and the number of channels content is duplicated to increases. After all, why update your catalogues and web platforms separately when you could drive them both from the same system?

For all this and much more, including exclusive demos, visit www.MatrixCMS.com, call 0161 804 1850 or email info@matrixcms.com. To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.