If You Mean It, Print It!

Have you ever considered what your life would be like without print? If language was solely spoken word and nothing was ever written down and distributed, where do you think our world would be? How could you manage your current day without print?

Printed writing first appeared almost 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia. This doesn’t make print a new concept, but shows how vital it continues to be as it has remained utilized all that time up to present day. Humanity would not have achieved so much without printing and the mass distribution of information that came because of it.

Constitution on American flagHumanity’s success is due, in part, to the human brain’s natural response to written or printed word. Our minds are hardwired to rely on printed word to communicate and understand the world and others. Ingrained in us is a method to interact that is so natural we don’t even realize we’re reading as it happens. At almost all times of the day we are reading something that has been presented to us. This natural, subconscious act can’t be ignored or prevented.

Pick up a book, paper or card near you. Look at it and try not to read it. It’s practically impossible. Our brains simply decode the information on the item without us even prompting it to.

Let’s look at direct mail as a case study for this phenomenon. Of all direct mail that is delivered 66% of it is opened. Of that 66%, 82% of it is read for one minute or more. This study did not examine if the mail piece is read at all, which would most likely result in 95-99%, but instead focused on duration. Your brain takes in a massive amount of information when looking at a printed piece for one minute! Consider how much information you could be sharing with 66% of your audience, that would get them to minimally recognize your brand, and potentially drive them to purchase.

If you are a business that targets a younger demographic, do not shy away from print advertising. It is certainly true that young people spend their time online as the digital landscape is available to them at all times of the day and is the way they stay connected with their world. However, this is not the only place to go to get their attention with your advertising.

Millennials read 82% of the direct mail they receive, especially when it comes to retail brands. Now compare that same percentage with this: Consumers on average ignore 82% of online ads, studies show.

When direct mail arrives at home it becomes ritualized with the consumer’s everyday task of getting the mail, sorting through it and setting tasks for themselves in response to it. It’s anticipated and with a printed piece in hand, their brains will revert to autopilot and read the information. 92% of consumers say they get ideas for shopping trips from printed material, proving direct mail’s effectiveness at persuading potential customers to buy. When compared to digital media, direct mail has a 20% higher motivation response.

Your business determines what the ideal response is for your customers to take. It could be calling you, visiting your store, shopping your online store, sending an email, texting your staff…any direction you choose with direct mail will give you a higher likelihood of getting that response out of your audience. It has been documented that, 78% of consumers react to direct mail immediately if they are interested. Plus, even if they’re not ready to commit right away, 44% visit the business’s website and 34% search online for more information about the product or service advertised.

If you mean it, print it. If you want your advertising to be effective, allocate a portion of your budget for print. If you want to increase brand recognition, print it. If you want influence over your audience, print it. If you want your message in the minds of potential customers, print it.

Tap in to our natural tendency to read and comprehend printed material. Become part of your consumers’ daily ritual to the level where there is no question about who to do business with. When they’re faced with a need or a problem that your business solves, you will be on their mind.




1   https://www.bl.uk/history-of-writing/articles/where-did-writing-begin#:~:text=Scholars%20generally%20agree%20that%20the,(present%2Dday%20Iraq).