Print has gotten a bad rap lately as an option within the multi-channel marketing mix. Budgets are reviewed and everyone takes a look at the costs of printing and mailing and gets our their red pencils – or at least the red slash icon on the document tool bar! And postage costs – Oh my, how archaic!

I can think of three very good reasons to keep print in your marketing mix.

1.  Not all your customer and prospect lists have email addresses.

By not being able to contact all customers, you are missing a very large segment and basically choosing not to communicate with over 70% of your customer base.

Often in business-to-business mail lists, only 30% of the records come with email addresses. And even of those, if there are errors, the communication doesn’t get passed on to the correct recipient; they just dead end in the cyberspace junkyard. Now take a postcard and its mailing list. The list can be cleansed with all the up-to-date tools – NOCA, CASS, etc., even then if the recipient is no longer there or gets an offer they are not interested in, the card can get passed along.

2. The Double Hit

 We’ve been testing our lists, utilizing both the email and mail addresses when provided. Here are some findings:

Below are response rates for a campaign that tested mailing a letter package only, an email only, and both:

And here is a sample of a customer file where only 1.7% of the records had verified email addresses:

3.  Timing the Double Hit

Tools abound now to track your mail and get reports when it is being delivered. Use the Intelligent Mail Barcodes and couple it with the many options out there for tracking delivery. Check out USPS OneCode Confirm, Pitney Bowes Track My Mail, and many other proprietary programs provided by your mailing service providers. Find out when your mail is delivered and time your email blasts accordingly. This is what we did in Sample 2 above and the response lift was substantial.

Taking into consideration the cost to both mail and email recipients, this version had the most effective ROI!

So send out those email blasts by the millions, but don’t drop mail from the mix. In many cases, it may still be your best option.

Author: Connie Ehindero is the Production Manager at SIGMA Marketing Group.