Realizing Real Value in Print Ads and Listings
In certain circles, discussing the benefits of print advertising might garner the same reaction as claiming dinosaurs still roam the earth. While digital ads, consumer reviews, mobile apps and online search predominate as preferred channels for advertisers, a sizable group of consumers and small businesses still rely on print advertising.
A closer look at the numbers reveals that print still delivers remarkable value. This is especially true of print ads in mailers or directories that are directed at local audiences seeking professional services, skilled tradespeople, and specialty goods. Print advertising also enhances other marketing vehicles. When integrated strategically with social media, digital display, and other channels, print advertising helps drive stronger results.
The same is true of printed directories containing display ads. In a natural disaster or personal emergency, online services may not be available. A Thrive Analytics Local Search Survey of 2,004 online respondents from August 2013 found that 70 percent of consumers would be extremely likely to reference a print directory in these situations.
Compare the Cost Per Lead From Print vs. Other Channels
The 2015 DMA Response Rate Report shows the response rate of direct mail outperforms all digital channels. With a house list, direct mail has a 3.7 percent response rate, and 1 percent with a prospect list. All digital channels combined (email, social media, paid search and display ads) achieved a much lower 0.62 percent response rate. The same study found the cost-per-acquisition for direct mail ($19) to be competitive with email ($11-15) mobile and social ($16-18), paid search ($21-30), and display ($41-50).
Some services and products, especially those involving higher price points, customization requirements, or special skills, require the consumer to research and compare potential vendors. Many demographics (e.g., 40 and older) are more comfortable using print than online searches or review sites for big-ticket items and services. Other populations (rural area residents, lower income) may not have reliable access to online resources.