To Print or Not to Print?

Is electronic media REALLY the answer to small business advertising problems? According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, direct mail is still an important part of any company’s marketing strategy. A Channel Preference Study examined the success of traditional and online media channels in driving purchases. The study found both young and old are still directly influenced by direct mail for the purchase of an item or service more than any other channel. More recently, new research from Nielsen, a leader in measurement and information, examined the benefits of print and digital inserts and other forms of retail advertising. Read the articles below - they may help you make a more informed decision about what will serve you best.

Direct Mail Advertising

July 28, 2015 -Recent research conducted by the Temple University Center for Neural Decision Making has recently proved print's advantage to digital in several different ways.

  • Engagement time: It was found that people will spend more time looking at print than digital content.
  • Emotional stimulation: People are more likely to have an emotional response to print.
  • Memory speed and confidence: The study showed that people were able to both recall information faster and be more confident in their knowledge when they had read print content.
  • Desirability: People just preferred printed products to digital ones.
  • Value judgement; Printed content was seen as having a higher value.

Jones, Graham. Business 2 Community. N.p., 27 July 2015. Web. 28 July 2015.

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February, 18, 2014 – According to a U.S. consumer behavior survey conducted by Synqera, a global technology startup that uses big data to bring personalized digital experiences to the physical retail store:

The majority of consumers (75%) still prefer promotional content and coupons from traditional print media -- such as magazines, newspapers, inserts, and flyers -- followed by savings found online (72%) and coupons received after a purchase for future shopping (62%).

Nearly 6 in 10 (57%) of total respondents signed up for a retailer or grocer’s rewards or loyalty program this past year for a discount.

A majority (81%) would not search for promotions and coupons on a retailer or grocer’s mobile app and 73% would not want them sent directly to their mobile device.

About: The data for this survey was collected between January 27-30, 2014 via, with 1,024 online respondents ages 18-70 with nearly an equal split in gender; 47% were under the age of 44 and 53% we 45-70; 37% made $20-49K, 25% made $50-79K.


Direct Mail and Fundraising

The following is an excerpt - See the full article by clicking here!

Dec. 18, 2013.  According to the latest survey by global research company, YouGov, direct mail is still the strongest tactic for donations, aside from donating to a regularly supported charity.  Social media is beginning to be a significant motivator for younger Americans.

The November 2013 survey of over 1,150 U.S adults, finds:
* One-fifth (21%) of respondents cited direct mail solicitations as the prompt for their most recent gift.
*Mail arriving in the home is particularly successful with those over age 55; 25% of those 55+ made their last gift in response to direct mail compared to 14% of 18-34 year olds.
*Lower income households also respond strongly to direct mail with 29% of those earning $40k or less responding to direct mail for their last donation, compared to 18% of those earning $80k+.  

*More than one in 10 (12%) report being prompted for their last gift by something they heard about on the radio, on TV or in print.  It seems a stronger prompt for men (14%) than women (10%).

*Although social media has yet to take off as a major prompt, with only 6% of adults responding to Facebook or Twitter for their last gift, social media has become a motivator for 18—34 year olds.
*11% of the younger demographic responded to social media for their last donation, compared to only 3% of those 55+.   
*Social media appears to have a higher response rate for low-income households (11%).

*Email prompted 10% of respondents to make their last gift.
*Those over 55 (12%) are slightly more likely to respond to email than younger responders (9%).