4. The Web is great, but print interrupts. Again, I thought this was a particularly good point. The printing industry is always fighting the power of e-mail and Internet marketing. The interruptive power of print is a terrific point that we need to remember to point out when presenting the value of print to our clients.
At some point in the day, most people stop what they are doing, go to their mailboxes, and flip through their mail. Yes, they scan their e-mail, too, but there is something different about “snail mail.” It’s physical. It’s tangible. There is always the possibility of a great reward—a personal letter or card or (however remote) notification that you’ve won a sweepstakes that might be more legitimate than the e-mails from Nigeria.
Snail mail provides a fundamental disruption to your day. It interrupts your thinking in a way that Internet applications do not. For well-crafted campaigns, that can make a split second difference between catching your customer’s attention and having them gloss right over your campaign.
This doesn’t make print better than its e-counterparts. It just gives it a different place in the marketing toolbox. That’s why knowing how and when to use a print strategy is part of being a marketing partner and not just a 1:1 print output provider.
All of this is why I like the conclusion written by Melissa Dowling, editor-in-chief of Multi-Channel Merchant, in her Editor’s Note (November 2009). It drives home the point for printers: “Make sure you understand how your channels work together and how your customers prefer to shop and be contacted—Don’t be afraid to interrupt them.”
Heidi Tolliver-Nigro is an industry writer, an analyst specializing in digital workflow and technologies. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.