Print verses eShots - which is better?

15th March 2017

Printed media v eShots

It is very easy in today’s digital world to get swept along with the latest trends and ideas, particularly when it comes to marketing. Perhaps the greatest uptake on one of these trends has been the eShot – an email with a graphic punch. In many ways, it is not dissimilar to sending a page of your website by email and, of course, it can even be personalised. The cost effectiveness of an eShot campaign – after all, aside from design and coding, what other costs are there? -  can be all too tempting, and can have a blindsiding effect.

For now we want to talk not about cost effectiveness, but actual effectiveness. Your ROI (return on investment) may look good for a digital marketing campaign involving eShots, but is it really the best conversion tool for your leads and contacts? You might think that as a company specialising, amongst other things, in printed media, here at the Entwistle Group we might be slightly biased in favour of its use in marketing. However, that is definitely not that case, but actually the results of one of the largest scientific studies performed on what is referred to as neuromarketing, which have revealed that printed media is still far more powerful than digital media when it comes to engaging effectively with consumers.

Direct mail is more persuasive than digital media

The study, carried out in 2015 by a leading neuromarketing expert, Diana Lucaci, was commissioned by Canada Post. The study was specifically designed to examine the impact of print and digital marketing campaigns on consumer motivation. The results were very surprising, but were backed up by solid research. In the simplest of terms, the study shows that:

direct mail continues to play an important role in the marketing mix, stimulating 70% higher brand recall and driving consumers to act.”

 Lucaci is the founder and CEO of True Impact, a company specialising in consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing research, two topics which sound far more grand and complex than they are. Basically, she studies what makes us ‘tick’ as consumers. We won’t bore you with all the details, but we can summarise the key elements of the results which are most pertinent.

Direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable. The research shows that physical media requires 21% less effort to understand, and creates 70% greater brand recall.

Direct mail is far more persuasive than digital media. For instance, where a 2% - 5% positive difference in motivation between two stimuli is seen as a means to encourage consumers to act, direct mail has a 20% positive difference. Now that is massive, and a clear indicator of consumer behavioural changes.

Believe it or not, printed media gets the message across quicker, which is good news in today’s time-starved environment. One quick glance requires a low cognitive effort, yet creates high motivation.

Across all age groups, it was shown that direct mail is far more likely to get consumers to act and, unlike eShots, passed the required threshold to trigger a response in consumers.

Finally, the study also investigated two areas which are not associated with eShots and other digital marketing techniques – smell and sound. The result showed that:

“‘Sensory’ direct mail outperformed standard direct mail and had a 30 per cent higher motivation score than digital media.”

What about a cross media marketing strategy?

While there is a noticeable trend in the increase of printed media for promotional and marketing means, in no way does this imply that digital marketing is becoming a thing of the past – far from it. There will always be a time and a place for digital marketing, and its cost effectiveness cannot be ignored, even if the results aren’t exactly as spectacular as many of us may wish. However when casting your net far and wide, the Internet is still indispensable.

For many businesses though, the market isn’t global, it Is local or national, and therefore this presents an opportunity for the more personal approach and to take full advantage of a combined digital and printed media (cross) marketing approach. When you consider that variable data printing can add to the effectiveness of physical print – using the personal touch to directly appeal to each consumer as an individual – so maybe now you can begin to get a clearer picture of the capabilities of your next marketing campaign.

Consider Cascade

Here at the Entwistle Group we have developed ‘Cascade’, a highly effective cross media marketing tool which allows you to personalise and automate your marketing and use targeted, relevant and creative communications through a mixture of personalised web pages (PURLs), emails, SMS (text) messages, social media and, of course, print.

Cascade enables you to generate two-way communication with each and every individual customer, allowing you to establish effective relationships. Cascade also offers you real-time tracking to study and use instant response rates for any particular campaign. Where direct mail often targets local consumers, Cascade’s advantage is that it can also automate many of the processes that may be required as a result of a consumer’s actions, from sending follow-up emails to printing tickets for an event, or sending further SMS messages.

With Cascade also enabling you to utilise image personalisation to further maximise response (personalisation has a proven track record), Cascade is definitely worth considering, and we would be more than happy for you to give us a call to talk further about its potential and suitability for your business and any future promotional and marketing campaigns.

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