• Nick Lees

The Split Is It: How to Leverage Digital to Improve Your Print Campaigns

(Originally published at Western States Envelope & Label. Authored by Nick Lees and Spencer Ho)

Several recent studies have shown that pound for pound print advertising may be more effective than digital advertising, which is great for print. But one unquestioned advantage in digital is the ability to gather data and tweak and improve messages in real time, one of the many reasons it is often more cost effective.


To tip the scales back into print’s favor, digital marketing expert Nick Lees suggests that printers and advertisers leverage the advantages of digital to create more effective print campaigns:

“I'm currently running dozens of ad campaigns on Google and Facebook and split-testing hundreds of ad variations. This ongoing tweaking allows me to continually improve messaging and results for clients.”


This obviously isn’t something you can replicate with print media, but it is a process that you can leverage to improve and optimize your direct mail and other print media ahead of production.


Imagine being able to consult with your clients on design and copy, in a way that's affordable, customized and backed up by data. Imagine being able to tell them which wording and graphics will garner a better response in their target market.


You can do that with Facebook ads by A/B testing design and copy variations and discovering which versions resonate most with your audience. Before printing the direct mail pieces, you can display the graphics and copy as a Facebook ad to a small sample audience. Facebook will break down the data for you, but the main data point I’d focus on is Click Thru Rates (CTR).


CTR is the percentage of users who click on an ad. Higher CTRs show that an ad grabbed their attention and interest and motivated them to take an action that took them to an outside website. Accordingly, ads that have higher CTRs should be the ones adopted in a direct mail campaign.


Split testing trial runs generally come in at under $50 in ad spend, so you can easily build the price into the cost of the service or offer it as a free perk.”


This is just one of many strategies for leveraging digital media to improve and complement your print advertising. A good digital marketing specialist can also help you collect and use valuable data from QR barcode links in your direct mail and catalogues, re-market to your mailing list with Google and Facebook ads and build your mailing list with online signups.

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