The Right Mix: Blending Print and Digital Strategies for Marketing Success

Topics: Marketing Fulfillment: Best Practices

We're becoming more wired each day. But don't discount the power of print collateral and direct mail as a productive, ROI-boosting part of your marketing strategy.

"Many fish bite if you got good bait," wrote songwriter Taj Mahal in "Fishin' Blues." But many marketers may really be singing the blues if their tackle box lacks a holistic marketing plan­. The best strategy blends digital and online tactics with traditional offline marketing.

An experienced marketing fulfillment partner can serve as your savvy charter captain, creating and executing an approach that will consistently command customers' and prospects' attention.

Print Produces Powerful Results

Despite claims to the contrary, print continues to get results. In fact, recent research indicates that direct mail works best for new prospects. That's because it consistently ranks as the most trustworthy source for marketing information, as well as the least intrusive and most private medium. Some more stats about the power of print:

  • Consumers open 75 percent of direct mail, and 63 percent of them read its contents. Meanwhile, typical email open rates hover around 25 percent, with click-through (read) rates at around 5 percent.
  • Direct-mail responses average 3.4 percent for business-to-business mailings and 4.4 percent for business-to-consumer mailings, versus 0.12 percent for email.
  • Direct mail boosts ROI by 20 percent when it's part of an integrated campaign, according to a 2012 United States Postal Service study. The research found direct mail also increases the lift of local ads by 44 percent and bolsters online campaigns by 62 percent.
  • 65 percent of consumers of all ages have made a purchase as a result of direct mail, according to the Direct Mail Association Factbook for 2013.

Clearly, print is alive and well. However, its higher costs make the medium most effective when combined with email or social media as part of coordinated multichannel campaign.

Making the Connection

So here's your challenge: If both print and online channels can deliver results, how do you strategically marry them in a way that maximizes your investment?

The key: Leverage data-driven insights to determine the most effective mix of offline and online channels. An experienced fulfillment partner can help you design a program that allows you to track response rates of each channel to refine your campaign's metrics, and then you can adjust your strategy accordingly. The result: A more cost-effective spend of your marketing fulfillment dollars.

For example, a fulfillment provider might suggest using unique tracking techniques like PURLs and QR codes to integrate new technologies with traditional marketing. PURLs, or personalized URLs, are abbreviated, catchy, easy-to-type URLs that take consumers to a specific online landing page (e.g., the Super Duper Sushi Palace could offer readers ""). They're perfect for printing on personalized print media that's sent via direct mail.

Meanwhile, readers can scan a printed QR, or Quick Response, bar code with a smartphone camera, displaying a coupon, a game or maybe just more information about a product or service. QRs take the standard bar code a few big steps beyond: They can store and present much more data, including Web links and geographical coordinates.

Partner With a Proven Fulfillment Provider

Once you understand the potential benefits of a holistic marketing program, you'll want to determine the right mix of traditional offline approaches and new digital channels, such as email, landing pages and social media including Twitter®, Facebook®, LinkedIn® and Instagram®.

An experienced fulfillment partner's insights and expertise can help you strike the most effective balance—in terms of getting a response and holding down costs—between direct and digital channels.

A savvy fulfillment team can also:

  • Help your team determine when audiences are most receptive to email communication
  • Offer key metrics and measurements to gauge the success of specific tactics, whether online or offline
  • Suggest program adjustments based on results or the evolving phases of each campaign

Iron Mountain Recommends:

Explore the Persuasive Power of Print

Print remains a powerful motivator. Research suggests that print messages still drive almost 7 out of 10online searches. Iron Mountain can help leverage the print-to-digital connection through a holistic marketing program to:

  • Better manage your print operations. Know that your materials are on hand when you need them, supporting your sales team and making sure prospects get the information they need quickly.
  • Get a grip on inventory. Iron Mountain fulfillment systems track your marketing collateral inventory and maintain historical data on average daily usage. This ensures cost-effective ordering procedures.
  • Enhance results. Iron Mountain's expert team canhelp you create cost-effective and highly relevant communications that can bring the best possible total return on investment.
  • Add a personal touch. Iron Mountain can customize your marketing collateral in a range of ways, including delivering personalized messages with targeted, print-on-demand content.

When you're fishing for your customers' attention, you need a variety of marketing approaches. By teaming with a strategic fulfillment partner, you can develop and execute a marketing strategy that melds established best practices with new approaches to connect with more customers and better leverage your marketing spend.

Do you have questions about fulfillment service? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain's Fulfillment Services team. You'll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.


Is Your Fulfillment Company Part of the Problem or the Solution?
Is Your Fulfillment Company Part of the Problem or the Solution?

Topics: Cloud Backup | Marketing Fulfillment: Best Practices

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