Could Print Newsletters Be Your Secret Marketing Weapon?

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 26, 2016

3 Big Reasons Print Newsletters Are Business Boosters

3 Big Reasons Print Newsletters Are Big Business Boosters

In Tuesday’s post, I offered several good reasons to include print in your content marketing program. In my opinion, they were pretty compelling reasons. Hidden in that post was a reference to what I would consider a “diamond” just waiting to be mined – one that will add extraordinary value to your marketing. And ironically enough, many of your competitors are choosing to ignore it.

This secret weapon is the printed and mailed customer newsletter and one of the main reasons it holds so much potential for you is precisely because many short-sighted marketers have done away with them. In their eagerness to cut costs, they’ve listened to the biased anti-print opinions of social media strategists. Notice I didn’t say “marketing” strategists.

Not long ago, I came across a great read on the website of Entrepreneur magazine. It explained exactly why printed newsletters in particular are an excellent resource, not instead of social media, but as an ideal tool to increase the impact of your social media efforts and accomplish things that social media alone simply can’t.

In the article, the author Kim Walsh-Phillips – herself a digital marketing strategist – touches upon many reasons why printed newsletters belong in your marketing arsenal, not the least of which is the ROI frequently documented by those who use them. She also provides several tips on how to make those newsletters work effectively for your business. But here are a few of the biggest things I took away from her post.

1. People Value Printed Publications More Highly

Your customers and business prospects are smart people. They understand that it costs you time and money to develop newsletter content, collecting information that will interest, help and/or entertain them. They understand that the process of having a newsletter printed and delivered to them isn’t free as is simply posting it on line or at a negligible cost as in sending it via email. It is no surprise, then, that they are more likely to return the personal connection and engage with your company more readily.

Plus, as I’ve mentioned frequently in past posts, consumers place higher value in publications they can touch, feel and hold in their hands. The very act of navigating the printing process adds credibility to the issuing company in a way that simply posting it online does not.

Walsh-Phillips cites a 2014 survey that more than 80 of respondents said they always read the print newsletters and magazines they receive, whether they subscribe or receive it free. The same group reads the ezines, blogs and other digital media included in paid subscriptions only about 20% of the time. You can only imagine the percentage for unsolicited materials that pop up in their faces on the internet.

2. Print Newsletters Have Staying Power

Anyone who spends any amount of time online knows that messages are very fleeting. Users (and that includes me) tend to scroll quickly through batches of incoming material – whether it’s an email inbox or a chain of Facebook posts or Twitter tidbits. Most messages are deleted without reading or opening, and those that aren’t are quickly forgotten when they disappear as incoming messages push them off the screen.

Even if you see a newsletter or article that looks interesting online, chances are you save it to a folder or shuffle it over to some “reading list” that you almost never get back to. It’s the Siberia of internet content.

Yet a print newsletter touches your hands, and stays front and center. Many times people will flip through it or read an item or two as soon as they receive it (which already puts it ahead of its electronic cousins). Often, they’ll stick it in a briefcase to read later in the day in a free moment or over coffee.

Print newsletters tend to stick around on a desktop or bookshelf for days and weeks, beckoning the recipient to come back and read a little more or to find that interesting story he or she remembers reading. When you add in the ability to clip and save or share something of particular interest, your miles ahead.

3.  Print Newsletters Are “Force Multipliers” For Social Media

The article also mentions the ability of a print newsletter to integrate with and promote your social media efforts. It can serve as a wonderful way to drive traffic to your website or other online content. The entry point can be a feature, news note or intriguing infographic in the newsletter that sends the reader to the deeper, more involved treatment of the subject on your electronic site, where they’ll also find an easy response mechanism to get further information from you. Online comments, contests and other tools can also provide relevant and interesting topics for the newsletter. So it’s one big circular win-win.

You could fill libraries with the books written about the importance of customer relationships in today’s business world. Interaction and engagement are the keys to future transactions from loyal customers and the point of discovery for new ones. In that environment, does it really make any sense to discontinue or avoid one of the very best ways to create, develop and reinforce that one-to-one relationship?

Print Newsletters…Your Secret Marketing Weapon

Print newsletters can be your secret marketing weapon. If you’d like some thoughts on how to develop one for your company, I have plenty of ideas to share. Give me a call, and we can talk about it or reach out to us HERE. Don’t fall for the thinking that electronic newsletters can replace printed ones. Sure they’re cheaper – all they cost you is customers.

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