11 Scientifically-Proven Tips for Promoting Your Business with Print Advertising

A large printer that is printing out colorful images.

Promoting your business can be fun. Though, like all good things it requires effort, a strategy, and the right tools.  While it’s true that we’re living in a modern era where digital tools like social media, web marketing, and email are all essential to a business’s success, print advertising still plays an integral role. In fact, continued scientific research is helping to prove that print ads may actually be more effective in some ways, establishing greater trust, better recall, and a stronger emotional connection with customers and prospects – especially when used in conjunction with other types of multimedia marketing as part of a multifaceted campaign.

Do you use business cards? That’s print advertising. When attending a tradeshow or event, do you show up empty-handed – or do you bring along brochures, pamphlets, a banner, and other marketing pieces. Do you send direct mail to your customers? How about packages? And when you send those packages do you include a mailing label with your logo or thank you for your order card? All print advertising!

Want to know how to market your business effectively using print advertising? Looking for some low-cost ideas?  Here are 11 helpful tips.

  1. Business cards are still essential
  2. Print media is still effective
  3. Outdoor advertising works
  4. Start with local advertising and then branch out
  5. Go from local to global with postcards
  6. Car magnets offer free marketing everywhere you go
  7. Direct mail provides strong reach
  8. The right labels can make for great marketing
  9. Greeting cards are the gesture that delivers
  10. Office stationery, calendars, and meeting materials
  11. Branded products

#1 Business Cards Are Still Essential

Everywhere you go is a new opportunity to promote your business, so always be prepared with a business card. At a restaurant, walking the dog, heading into a meeting, if you’re interacting with people (and you should be), you might find that your business can help them, in fact, you need to. You sell amazing products and services, right? Then other people need to know about them – and when you tell them, produce a business card.

A custom business card, featuring your logo, title, company name, and contact information, presented distinctly and professionally, will ensure you’re there when a prospect needs you. Business cards help to present you as an established organization and are one of the most essential tools in your print advertising portfolio.

# 2 Print Media is Still Effective

This can include publishing an article or ad in a newspaper or magazine. Featuring your content in printed news outlets relevant to your industry is a good way to strike within your niche. Readers of print media will tend to digest this ad or article a bit better than they would viewing it in digital format, and it could resonate longer. Just make sure that you are presenting quality materials to your target market.

#3 Outdoor Advertising Does Work

Outdoor advertising is a great way to interact with your community, but you can also travel to other cities or towns to expand your reach. It shows initiative handing out flyers, hanging door signs, and giving out related materials. You can also put up yard signs; just make sure you get permission first in the areas you are posting. Host events during nicer weather and show people what you and your business is all about. You can take advantage of billboard marketing in a prime location too. Utilizing car wraps or car magnets with eye-catching company info can also reach a large outdoor audience; there is an entire section on car magnet marketing later on in this article.

#4 Start with Local Advertising and then Branch Out

Know your customer demographics like age, interests, family type, income range, and so on. The more you know about your customer base the better you can tailor your marketing campaigns through any type of media, and that includes local advertising with printed materials. By knowing what customers you wish to target you can visit events and establishments where they hang out. You can also host these events within your community. Hand out flyers, leave marketing materials at popular places, place door hangers around the city, and put up signs – you can start in your local area and then move beyond your city or town. The message will spread, because word of mouth is a powerful tool. On your print advertising pieces, you should also include where customers can find you online, this will help to expand your reach far beyond your local campaign – sharing news of your business in other cities, states, and even countries.

#5 Go from Local to Global with Postcards

Postcards deserve a category of their own. You can include anything on postcards for your business, who you are, services you provide, special offers and discounts, upcoming sales, industry events; it’s up totally up to you.

 It’s true that postcards are great for local advertising, but they can also promote your business globally. You can target local hangouts, either leaving your business postcards in high-traffic areas or hand them out personally. All things have the possibility of fast-tracking from local to global in a short amount of time because these print postcards will undoubtedly include your website and social handles. People can share about you and help spread the word.

You can also send postcards in the mail to prospects and returning customers, and include a discount or promo for them to use. When shipping packages, include a postcard with some interesting or pertinent information about your business.

If you hand postcards out at tradeshows or fundraisers, this gives people from all over an opportunity to take a look at your business. They can hold onto the postcard and take it home while they’re considering you. Your unique postcard will act as a continued reminder.

Some fundraisers and events have the potential to get a lot of press, so you’ll want to be there with print postcards in hand. A physical reminder is more personal and tends to carry more clout than a digital notification, but because you include web links on these materials, prospects will get to see your online ads too.

#6 Car Magnets Offer Free Marketing Everywhere You Go

If you own a car and have a local business, then car magnets will ensure you’re always advertising around your city. Car magnets are even more effective if you do a lot of traveling. If you buy from a reputable company, car magnets will safely adhere to your car or company truck for a promotion that goes everywhere you do. Some businesses like to use car wraps, but those can get expensive, and stickers can cause damage to your vehicle – car magnets in many cases are your best option. You’ll actually look forward to high-traffic areas and busy parking lots when incorporating car magnets into your marketing. If you have many employees, offer some type of incentive to get them to use them on their cars. Some businesses even offer an incentive to customers to put them on their vehicles. They are also great for companies that use cars or trucks as a direct part of their business like landscapers, moving companies, or shippers. How will you use them?

#7 Direct Mail Provides Strong Reach

Direct mail marketing is a way to reach customers in a more personal way – though, it can become impersonal real quick if you’re not careful. Take for instance your envelopes – it’s pretty easy to spot boring, lifeless junk mail, so try to make even your envelopes stand out.  

Hand addressed envelopes have a much higher open rate than those addressed by machine, so depending on how many people you are sending to, you may want to try this. For larger direct mail campaigns, you likely can’t address each envelope by hand, but things to add to your envelope may include custom address and return address labels and even customized seals.  Featuring a logo, company name, a graphic or picture, pleasing fonts, foil printing, or other unique customizations on your envelope labels is a good start to getting potential customers interested in your direct mail piece. You can also include company contact information, your web address, and even your social handles. If it’s a festive time of year, you can try using themed labels like ones with fireworks for the Fourth of July or those with snowflakes or trees close to the holidays – doing this with your stamps can also work well.

While you can use envelopes with address windows to display this information from the inside, address windows tend to be an unwanted mail red flag. The only time envelope windows are suggested is when you have something unique and eye-catching to display from the inside, and even then you’re walking a fine line.

Select quality paper stock for your envelopes. Depending on the voice of your company and how you represent yourself you can try colored envelopes or ones with foil lining.

Direct mail pieces can include greeting cards, postcards, letters, brochures, rack cards, pamphlets, catalogs, and more. If you can send it in the mail promoting your business, it’s all considered direct mail marketing.  Some of these direct mail pieces will not require envelopes, giving you a great opportunity to catch customers with a striking design. Use direct and catchy language, a big enough font so your recipients can read it, and preferably attractive full-color images to command their attention. You can add promotions and promo codes to track the success of your direct mail campaign. Always include strong calls to action, presenting your readers with a clear step they need to take to improve their life through your products and services. You should be catering to your recipients wants and needs at all times.

#8 The Right Labels Can Make for Great Marketing

There are many different types of labels – mentioned above were address and return address labels which can illustrate a very professional business when customized to your specific company branding. Mailing labels that go on packages can also be designed to entice customers and act as a marketing piece of their own to promote future business. Product labels are also essential to many industries. An enticing product label with company branding on your goods will distinguish your merchandise, improve recall of this product and your business, and adds a great visual touch that customers will appreciate.

#9 Greeting Cards are the Gesture that Delivers

Greeting cards can act as marketing pieces too and will also help to promote your business. You can send thank you for your business cards, cards to customers on their birthdays, holiday cards, get well cards, sympathy cards if the situation calls for it, and greeting cards just to say hello. Include your company logo on the card, a personal message, your digital signature, and even a photograph.

You can also choose a die cut card. A die cut card has a section purposely cut out from the front to showcase something important from the inside of your greeting card. You will see circular die cuts, square die cuts, rectangular die cuts, and even more intricate shapes. Die cut cards will beautifully display your company name, logo, promotion, or other important information. It’s never a bad idea to include a promotion in your greeting card.

#10 Office Stationery, Calendars, and Meeting Materials

Post-it® Notes, calendars, notebooks, stationery, and meeting materials like presentation folders will all look great with your company branding. Give customers a visually stunning calendar with your contact information and you will stay top-of-mind all year. Give customers something they can use at home or the office like spiral notebooks, notepads, stationery, or sticky notes – you can even personalize these products with the customer or prospect’s name or a universally pleasing message, then add your company name and info, so they’re reminded each day who provided it.

#11 Branded Products

There are all types of products you can add your company branding to – pens, refrigerator magnets, key chains, get creative and pick something that works for your industry – it’s all in the name of staying top of mind with your customers and promoting your business. Customers will appreciate these gestures and free products they can use again and again.

Scientific Studies

If you want to learn more about the correlation between neuroscience and the effectiveness of print advertising here are some great sources to check out:

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Marco Mijatovic
    September 14, 2018 at 7:57 am

    I was glad to see that you mentioned how business cards are still an effective way for business promotion. Business owners can use this type of advertising to quickly spread the word about their business, especially in their neighborhood.

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