10 Ways to Incorporate Direct Response Marketing with Print Media

Guest Blog Post by Nick Rojas
@NickARojas

Direct response marketing is all about getting a customer to respond to that call to action.

Because online CTAs tend to be easy to link to and fast to fill out, there's a lot of focus on routing customers through the online funnel to get a response ASAP. But this leaves out the wide and interesting world of print media, where getting direct responses is not only possible, but possibly much more interesting. Check out these 10 tips for upping your direct response game with printed materials.

1. Create Your Templates:

Templates are very important to creating top-notch print media…but they are often assigned to lower-level employees or pushed through development at high speeds, when they really need some tender attention. Here is where you need to create a template that is useful for your company, captures customer attention, and – hopefully – can be used across a variety of mediums and materials. Plus, that same template may be useful years down the line if the design is a success, so template building is certainly worth the time and consideration.

2. Match Your Brand Designs:

Matching brand design can help you save time and ensure that your brand carries well across all marketing content. Worried about the colors, slogans, or images you should use for direct response advertising? Turn to your brand logo for inspiration. Customers should be able to recognize your company just by looking at the design of your ad: That's where good branding starts, and it's easier than ever with today's online printing tools.

3. Always Personalize if Possible:

Personalization gets a lot of attention as an online feature…less so when it comes to print. This gives you a valuable opportunity, because people won't be expecting as much personalization in letters or ads they get. If you can target online ads or emails based on customer histories, why not do it to other content as well? Responses are much more likely if you are advertising something you know the customer will be interested in. The downside? Personalized mailers, etc. are going to be more expensive.

4. Avoid Sensory Overload:

This is one common fault of modern print ads and mailers – they go all the way when it comes to bright primary colors, shouting sentences, and big images. Do you know what a customer's common response to this is? Tossing the ad in the garbage. People don't like sensory overload, so seek a template that is interesting, not overbearing. Keep your images and text simple and neat, with a focus on your value offering and the benefits of responding.

5. Seek Out Simpler Materials:

If you want to save money while still making an impact, consider the materials you are using for print media! Sometimes flyers made out of cheaper or recycled material can look great – and impress your customers – while still saving you money. Don't use envelopes or flip-open mailers if you don't need too, either. This is a handy, cost-effective way to stand out.

6. Put Something in Print that Customer's Can't Get Elsewhere:

Always offer value with your content! When it comes to print media, you have a lot of options in terms of coupons and even special website URLs for a code that no one else knows about. The goal is to create physical materials that people want to take away, or at least remember.

7. Print Materials for a Variety of Purposes:

Don't use just one type of print media! If you want a lot of responses, print out materials that can be used many different ways. For an added bonus, print something that can fulfill several different roles based on how you use it at trade shows, in the mail, on the bulletin board, etc.

8. Include a Call to Action:

Hopefully, this is an obvious step – but the call to action can sometimes take second place to how print media looks. If your goal is responses and leads, then the call to action has to take priority. A simple URL works well here – and QR codes, despite having left their zenith behind, are still acceptable solutions. You can also include a mail-back form, but the goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to fill out your forms.

9. Don't Avoid Online Information:

Speaking of URLs and QR codes, you don't need to constrict your print media information to only offline information about your company. Today's consumers are a savvy bunch: They are interested in knowing about your online presence. Always include online profile information to encourage people to explore your brand and get more responses from them.

10. Always Be Thinking of New Tricks:

There is some incredibly creative work going on in the world of print marketing right now. If you want people to pay attention, you will have to get creative with your advertising. Think of a unique spin for your brand and then start inventing!