The Recap

After over 6,416 words, our series on why and how to combine digital and print marketing is wrapping up.

We’ve covered a lot. If you just tuned in or missed a couple, we’ve got you covered. We’ll roll through the key points and get you caught up in 25 minutes or less.

Ready? Let’s go.

Is Your Marketing Too One Sided?

In this post, we cover why so many marketers have trouble balancing digital and print and why the two mediums work so well together.

Why it’s hard for people to balance print and digital marketing?

People love what’s new, tend to follow the herd, and almost always pursue our gut feelings beyond what’s rational.

Case in point: The digital marketing gold rush.

As digital marketing channels emerged, early adopters cashed in. Their success sent CMOs the world over scrambling to get their share. They went all in on digital and print was pronounced dead on the spot.

Why do print and digital work well together?

Digital is perfect for action – you can buy in a few clicks – while print is perfect for engaging the brain at a deeper level to deliver a complicated message.

The Canadian neuromarketing firm TrueImpact recently did a massive study that found direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media. This gives marketers a great way to take a user from totally unaware of your brand/product/service to highly informed in a single touch. Now they’re ready for that targeted digital ad.

How to Combine Direct Mail and Targeted Ads

In this post, we cover the pros and cons of direct mail and targeted ads, and a few ways the two tactics can benefit each other.

Direct Mail – Pros

  • Highly targeted
  • Heightened sensory appeal (tactile, physical)
  • People absorb info 21% faster when it’s printed

Direct Mail – Cons

  • Effective direct mail can be expensive to create and produce
  • Long lead times – digital ads can be seen instantly while mail takes days to get to recipients
  • Environmental impact

Targeted Ads – Pros

  • Instant access
  • Ability to convert desire to a sale in seconds
  • Highly customizable

Targeted Ads – Cons

  • Very low attention spans
  • Ads shown to people who have already made their purchase and are out of the market
  • Too targeted can feel creepy (How do they know that about me?!)

A few tips to get print and digital to benefit each other.

Leverage the data collected for your physical mailing list when you sit down to target your digital ads. That mailing list you bought with all those demographics doesn’t stop being applicable once the image becomes pixels.

Did your mailer do well? Replicate the creative and targeting online. And vice versa. If you run an ad on Instagram that gets a ton of clicks, use that as the cover panel of a direct mailer where you can expand on the concept. When art and copy clicks, it’s a powerful thing. Don’t just run it once and shelve it.

eCommerce Branding vs Physical Branding

Get your branding nailed down before you worry about how it translates on physical vs digital tactics. Here’s a good resource for creating a brand guide.

Now that you have your brand guide ironed out, let’s go over what makes for good branding in each medium.

What makes good branding in packaging?

  • Your packaging should be immediately recognizable as you
  • It has to be clear what you offer and what sets you apart
  • It makes your product look desirable
  • Authentic – don’t try to be something you’re not
  • It’s practical and keeps the product safe
  • Consider your surroundings and make sure you stand out
  • It translates well for your whole line

But this is all pretty general – and your product isn’t general, is it? We have packaging pros ready to give you specific advice. Seriously, they love this stuff. Get specific advice.

What makes good digital branding?

  • It takes advantage of social channels as a place to be it’s most honest and friendly while staying authentic
  • Stay true to your brand guide on every platform, channel, and site that your products appear on – be vigilant
  • Use the right logo in every occasion – that means knowing when to use the PNGs, JPEGs, and GIFs. (Here’s a cheat sheet.)

Look for every opportunity to bolster your branding – do you have branded email template(s), are there pages on your site that could be any site, is your Facebook cover photo on brand? These opportunities are plentiful and valuable, go find them.


Email Marketing + Direct Mail: The Marketing Alley-Oop

Engage your prospect everywhere.

This basic advice is ignored a lot these days. If you’re trying to reach a human who is both online and offline, it would seem only logical that your marketing should also be both online and off.

Here are your basic steps for ensuring your direct mail and email are two peas in the same pod.

For emails and direct mailers that will be sent together:

  1. Identify what you need to say and who you need to say it to? Then define what you want them to do (the ask or CTA) and why they should care.
  2. Create your offer, message and look/feel based on the above direction.
  3. If you have a sales team, get their thoughts on the work. They know what motivates prospects and can make your marketing more effective.
  4. Find the best way to communicate this art & copy in both direct mail and email.
  5. Once you’re done making revisions, review them together to ensure they’re aligned.
  6. Review your mailing list and email list to ensure the audience is the same and it matches the audience you defined in step one.

Here are the steps for using them sequentially:

Identify what you need to say and who you need to say it to? Then define what you want them to do (the ask or CTA) and why they should care.

  1. Break that ask down into two steps, the first should get them to a webpage where you can convince them to give you their email in exchange for an offer or discount.
  2. Create your offer, message and look/feel for this mini campaign.
  3. If you have a sales team, get their thoughts on the work. They know what motivates prospects and can make your marketing more effective.
  4. Take that art & copy and translate it into a letter first, then an email.
  5. Give your direct mail about week to arrive and get read before sending the follow-up email.


That’s a wrap. But we do want to leave you with one last piece of advice that can often be the difference between nailing your campaign and watching it go up in flames: Get a printing partner

Sure the little Quickie-Print place around the block is cheap, but a partner will do more than just take your money. They’ll treat your goals and aspirations as their own. And it doesn’t take long to see why that makes all the difference.