10 Ways to Combine Print and Digital

Print and Digital Marketing are two very powerful tools when it comes to advertising for a Business. But by learning how to collaborate the two methods together, you can create a louder and more powerful and form of advertising. Combining Print Marketing and Digital Marketing can definitely become a winning formula for any company, as it is the key to combine the two platforms with the right harmony to complement each other.

Below, we have listed 11 different ways on how print marketing and digital marketing are more powerful tools when put together.

1. Personalize your message with variable printing:

printed Digital Thankyou cards

Personalisation is possible online and offline too. The combination of Variable Digital Print technology and better customer data allows us to personalize print collateral. With Variable Digital Printing, you can create personalized print collateral in tandem with your customer’s data and digital footprint. You can also embed tailored, personalized messages in graphics and images. Every page in that next print run can be personalized without slowing down the print process. Why bother? Personalisation delights. It makes the moment memorable for the recipient. It can lead to the irresistible need to share on social media

Now, Imagine

  • Personalised direct mail messages, based on your customer purchase history
  • Personalised consumer packaging. Add your customer’s name to product labels or packaging stickers before delivery
  • Personalised promotional products in an event goody bag, tailored with your delegate’s name
  • Personalised offers in your flyer drop based on your client’s location

Why not use variable printing in conjunction with social media campaigns? Encourage your subscribers to sign up for free goodies and offers on the social channels they follow the most.

2. Combine print & digital with graphic design:

Have you invested much design time and creative energy in your print campaign graphics? Translate this valuable content into online graphics. Great online graphics mean more clicks – and that’s where we can really help you shine.

Create custom graphics and a campaign template that bring the same message across every online platform, whether it’s your website banners, slide-decks, social media ads or blog posts. It works both ways. Bring a consistent visual identity from your online world to your offline collateral.

Have you invested in great visual content on your website? Like an amazingly useful infographic or a clever blog or quiz for example? Incorporate this into your print material too.

An infographic could work as event signage, window display banners and posters. To make your images shine, both online and offline, remember, image quality, resolution and size is key.

3.  Make it shareable on social media:

Have you a good following on social media? Would you like to grow it? Use Social Media as the perfect springboard for launching your printed marketing campaigns and vice versa.

  • Tell your prospective customers about the new catalogs, offers, packaging or coupons heading their way using social posts
  • Generate a campaign hashtag and use it in print. Another simple way to link with digital campaigns. Hashtags should be short, sweet and simple so readers can easily remember them. Hashtags help your audience dip into the conversation, join a community or access more entertaining and educational content online with your hashtag. This is their virtual rallying point
  • Insert social media buttons, short URLs and social media handles in your printed materials. This includes business cards, flyers, brochures and POS

Make it easy for your audience to connect with you online. Earn yourself more followers, direct them to competitions and gain more Likes.

4. Use QR codes & personalized URLs to track media crossover:

 

QR code

Build a trackable bridge between printed material and online channels.Use QR codes and personalised URLs to enable recipients to jump from your print marketing into your landing page. All they need is their smartphone.

Recent research shows the smartphone is the primary device for Irish consumers above laptops and tablets – 86% own or have access to a smartphone. Encourage your audience to scan QR codes by embedding them in your printed material. Deliver deeper, more interactive information via print this way. And sell more if your website is e-commerce enabled.

Go one step further. Generate personalised or varied URLs on your printed material to help you track different customers in each segment or territory.

Now you can cross-pollinate and harvest some interesting data like:
    1. who picked up your printed material?
    2. when they did it?
    3. where they went to next?

You can also get really creative with QR Code design. Take it one step further and use Dynamic QR codes. These can be edited at any time, even after printing.

5. Combine the power of direct mail with email:

A direct marketing campaign works better when you continue the conversation online and vice versa.

Why Direct Mail?

Printed direct mail is a great way to re-connect directly with clients in the real world. A novel, tactile way to delight millennials who live in data filter bubbles online. A creative, imaginative and personalised printed mail campaign delights your recipient. Get past all those inbox spam filters with a useful, good-looking document. But once you’ve got their attention, be sure to backup your offers and news with online content.

Deliver your recipients with:

    1. Easy ways to buy from page to screen. Send them to a landing page that converts
    2. Take them to a video that entertains or demonstrates your product
    3. Give them something fun to do like a Photo caption competition on Facebook

Why go with Email?

Use emails to deliver the same message online when you need to reach more people, more quickly and on mobile. Cover vast geographic distances at a lower cost with email. You can convert your direct mail graphics into email flyers and vice versa.

6. Share more documents with e-publishing and digital publisher:

If you create newsletters, training manuals, product catalogs, reports, or any heavy duty printed collateral on a regular basis, this is for you. You can convert printed publications into online documents with our E-Publishing and Digital publishing solutions. Deliver more of your in-depth information, faster and at a lower cost via email and download. Transform your publications into shareable, mobile and trackable content.

Features you can add include:

  • Rich multimedia
  • Video
  • Music and Audio files
  • Links to related web pages and documents
  • Page Links directly to information within the ePublication.
  • Email links for easy communications
  • Internal search. Fast track to pages of interest

Do think about incorporating more of these features into your next Digital Publication.

7. Go mobile with SmartText:

Smart txt

SmartText brings SMS marketing to the next level. Translate your direct mail campaigns from mere text into richer, more interactive graphic text messages. With SmartText, you can deliver promotional messages to your customer’s smartphone as a mobile landing page. Your offers appear visually, embedded and linked to the Internet.

A SmartText contains rich details of your promotion using an interactive mobile page, complete with a call to action. Recipients can click for more details, use “touch to call” or send an email inquiry directly from the page.

So, How does it work?

Design the SmartText Page with your branded graphics and send your text broadcast or simply design the page as you would a flyer and include it as a short link in your broadcast. Bring your message to a thousand fingertips at once with SmartText.

8. Bring print to life with Augmented Reality:

Augmented Reality apps bring print to life in a fun, interactive way. Allow your audience to access more information and view rich media even when they interact with you through print. There are also free apps available for download, and scan your printed image to see videos, call to action buttons, landing pages and other rich media.

Why bother? Imagine turning any brochure, window display, magazine advertisement, business card or leaflet into a window to your online store, video demo or social media pages.

9. Use a Call-To-Action to drive traffic:

 

Call to action

 

Don’t create passive print. Use it to drive traffic to your digital channels. Turn that old ‘Show & Tell’ marketing approach into a “Come And Join Us” moment.
How? Always incorporate CTAs (Call-to-Actions) in your product offer or branded content. Always tell your audience what to do next. Give them the next step. You could also combine printed collateral with social media or e-commerce promotions.

Some examples:

  • Encourage consumers to follow your social media page for a lucky draw
  • Tell them to subscribe to your mailing list, or ‘club’ for regular product offers
  • Include special promotional codes to incentivise online shopping
  • Tell them to download a complimentary guide, game, or to watch a video

Create call-to-actions that take people from print to pixel. Also, open up more online engagement.

10. Venue campaigns

One way to use digital advertising to reach people outside the home is with a venue campaign. In this combination of digital and print marketing, you will ideally start with your digital ad and then follow-up with a print mailer. For example, imagine a college campus on move-in day. There are tons of items a new student entering a dorm for the first time might discover they need or want, and you know this is a group tied to their mobile devices.

A well-time and targeted advertisement for a lamp could easily do the trick. Also, once they’ve seen your ad, you can follow-up with mailed pieces about other items they might need. Venue campaigns also can be used to target concert-goers with mailed pieces about similar concerts coming up in their area. There are tons of opportunities here to capture their interest with an ad and then follow it with your more robust mailed piece.

Create a roadmap for your print & digital strategy

Now you have a veritable dashboard of tools to help you cross the print and digital divide. Turbo-charge your marketing even further with a roadmap. Before embarking on this journey you’ll need a strong sense of direction and a content plan.

CHECKLIST:

Write down your goals, KPIS and priorities. Is it increased website traffic, more subscribers or sales leads?

  • Be clear about who you are targeting. As, this determines your campaign content. What solutions do they require? Is it thought leadership or entertaining storytelling?
  • Map out the digital footprint and of real world user journeys of your target customer. When and where will they be seeing your messages in their day-to-day life?
  • Create a content calendar that integrates print and digital messaging in tandem
  • Agree on the format your content will take. Both online and print. Will you share infographics? Will you create detailed white papers or ebooks?
  • Ensure the information you post is shareable, trackable and easy to adapt
  • Communicate and coordinate within your organisation. Show internal sales teams the complete picture. Allow the sharing of data and feedback across departments
  • Monitor your KPIs regularly and adapt the online message accordingly
  • Listen for feedback and also always provide a point of contact in all your channels. Allow your customers to talk back


Today’s customers interact with dozens of mediums on a daily basis. Your goal, as a brand, should be to meet them at as many of these points as possible. Some will be online whereas others will be offline. Learning to develop effective marketing messages that maintain consistency, regardless of whether the medium is digital or print, is a skill that will take you far.

To know more about printing you can checkout our blog on “11 Tips to Save Printing Costs and Paper Requirements for Businesses

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