The rise of digital marketing methods has made printed advertising seem antiquated by comparison, but the reality is print can still be an effective way to market and advertise your business. The key is to remain focused on tracking, measuring, and analyzing your performance so you know which tactics are working and which ones aren’t—otherwise, you’ll be in the dark about the effectiveness of your campaign, and you won’t know whether your changes are making active improvements.
In the digital world, it’s easy to set up automated tracking that does the work for you. But since print is a tangible medium, it presents unique challenges. Fortunately, there are still several ways you can measure your impact.
Why Print Is Still Effective
Print is still an effective medium for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s relatively cost efficient, and it’s easy to calculate the cost of a campaign. It doesn’t take a substantial return to make your investment worth it. It also presents a valuable marketing opportunity for demographics who aren’t avid web users, such as elderly populations. Plus, it can be used in combination with digital strategies, making it flexible and serving as a complementary counterpoint to your other campaigns.
How to Measure Effectiveness
With that being said, you can only know if your campaign is effective if you’re able to measure that effectiveness. These are just five ways to do it:
- Generate a custom 800 number. First, you could create a custom 800 number that’s used only for your printed materials. You can forward this 800 number to any other phone number you want—whether that’s a call center or one of your salespeople. The point is to track anybody who calls that specific number to get to your end destination. Depending on what service you use to create the 800 number, you may also be able to record the conversations that come in from your printed materials, helping you gauge the quality of your incoming leads and evaluating your ROI with greater specificity.
- Create unique landing pages. In a similar vein, you could create custom landing pages for customers who have received printed advertising. You could create a unique URL that forwards to your intended landing page, and use it to track any incoming direct traffic (differentiating it from any leads who find the landing page online or through other methods). You could also use personalized URLs to attract individuals to a collective landing page, with signature URL tracking so you can flag each individual visitor.
- Use QR codes or other interactive features. Another option is to make your pieces digitally interactive somehow, calling users to take an action that signals they’ve viewed your printed material. For example, you could generate QR codes that take users to a specific site or trigger the download of an app. You can then use that interactive feature to measure your overall engagement.
- Rely on questions when taking new leads. You could also use the older, simpler method of simply asking your new leads how they found out about you. If you’re accepting leads through a contact form on your website or a landing page, you could make it a required question, forcing users to specify how they heard about your brand with “printed material” as one of the options. You could also have your salespeople run through these questions. Collectively, this will help you determine the proportional impact each of your strategies has on bringing new people to your business.
- Use unique coupon and discount codes. Another older method is to use custom coupon codes or discount codes to bring in new traffic and customers. For example, you could generate a custom code that gives you 20 percent off upon checkout and include it in your printed advertising. After distributed, you can follow up by measuring how many times that coupon code was used to estimate the effectiveness of your campaign.
These strategies, either individually or in unison, can help you track how your advertisements are getting to your customers and whether they’re effective at bringing them to your business. Over time, as you make improvements to your formatting, messaging, and delivery methods, you’ll be able to gauge how effective your planned changes are, and you’ll be able to calculate the overall ROI of your campaign. It won’t take long before you see that print advertising can be just as powerful as digital with the right approach and the right tools.