importance-of-paperThe Importance of Paper: Everything Old is New Again!

Do you get a little excited when there’s mail in your mailbox?  You’re not alone. Why is it that now, after we have signed up for auto-pay on all of our bills, subscribed to magazines on our e-readers, and spend every spare moment texting or emailing, we are so pleased to see something arrive in the mail?

A 2015 study of 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by Two Sides North America, Inc. sheds some light on that question. The study revealed that a whopping 81% of those surveyed actually prefer reading on paper as opposed to their cell phone, e-reader or tablet. The study also found that 88% of participants felt they could retain information read on paper better than that read on a screen. If you’d like to know more, you can see the full study here.

While technology is certainly a huge part of our lives, it’s clear that consumers appreciate the value of printed paper communication. They may upload 100 pictures to Facebook, but they are still buying prints, putting them in frames, and hanging them on their walls. They may text someone “Happy Birthday,” but then run to the mailbox in anticipation of a greeting from that one relative who never forgets to send a birthday card, and hopefully a crisp twenty-dollar bill (or a five-dollar bill; it’s really the thought that counts, right?).

As marketers, it’s important to pay attention to these trends in what consumers are noticing, absorbing, and responding to so we know how to garner their attention. That said, let’s take a look at why paper still works in today’s digital world…

Not very long ago, an email campaign may have easily gained your customers’ attention and earned the type of response you were looking for. These days, however, the average consumer’s inbox is jam-packed full of marketing messages. All it takes is one online purchase and you’ve inadvertently opted in to affiliate marketing programs that ensure you receive emails from 10 different companies selling similar products. Cutting through that kind of clutter requires something a little different, and these days that means incorporating printed direct mail as well as electronic methods like email into your marketing campaigns. Why? Because multi-channel marketing campaigns are sure to catch the consumer’s eye, no matter where they are looking.

Smart marketers know that old-fashioned paper is a forward-thinking communication method and we need to accommodate our audience’s preference for it in our marketing campaigns. In fact, with the holidays right around the corner it’s a great time to take advantage of that knowledge. Go ahead; send that funny holiday ecard to your family and friends, but make sure you put something clever in your customers’ mailbox too. A uniquely die-cut holiday card with a special offer or sincere greeting will stick out in the stack, increasing awareness, retention and response rates. And that makes everyone’s holiday just a little more exciting.