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Print is dead! Long live print!

For a long time now, there’s been talk about the demise of print, especially print marketing materials. After all, websites and digital media are quick and easy to update without the Print marketing lets you stand outassociated costs of making changes to a printed brochure or leaflet.

Certainly, when I started my copywriting career, it was all about print. I spent three years in-house and then a further four or five years freelance writing brochures, annual reports, leaflets, prospectuses, postcards, banners and everything in between. Then the print side of my business went quiet.

But is print really dead? I don’t think so and here’s five reasons why.

1. Print marketing gets your message heard

As customers’ inboxes become increasingly crowded with marketing messages, it can be a challenge to get heard above the noise. Even the most compelling of subject lines can get lost in the crowd.

While I wouldn’t suggest that you ditch your digital marketing, I do think there’s a strong case for investing in print sometimes.

For my education clients, for example, print is still a hugely effective tool. Potential undergraduates want to sit down with prospectuses and make side by side comparisons about courses, resources, facilities and accommodation. They want to be able to check one programme against another or thumb through printed pages that show them in full colour glory what their life will look like at their chosen university.

It’s the same for companies selling products – catalogues and product guides still have their place because they’re tangible, you can write notes in them, turn down corners of pages and interact with them in a way that just isn’t possible online.

2. Print marketing offers something digital can’t

I’ve had quite a few brochure projects to work on recently, each for clients that are aiming towards the high-end of their niche markets. There was a real pleasure in seeing my words set against vibrant colours and gorgeous designs. These clients understand that being able to give their customers a brochure that they could take away and enjoy at their convenience would help them stand out from the crowd.

Although interesting finishes, high quality paper and striking colour schemes do have their price, a brochure can be a great way of creating marketing that your customers want to keep and refer back to time and again.

3. It’s great for your credibility

It also helps to establish credibility by showing that yours is a business that operates in the real world as well as exclusively online. A well finished, gorgeous brochure can help you communicate your professionalism and boost your reputation.

4. Print marketing is harder to ignore

If you’re like me, I bet most of your snail mail these days is bills and takeaway menus. While I get HUNDREDS of marketing emails every day, I always open and read my post. I can’t help it, I experience a little frisson of excitement when an envelope addressed to me pops through the door, even more so if it’s handwritten or has a little handwritten note inside.

Print just isn’t as easy to ignore as email marketing. After all, an email is easily deleted.

I have a friend who is a busy marketing manager. Although she files all email enquiries from potential suppliers, she says it’s the print marketing that grabs her attention because it’s unexpected and she can pore over it during her coffee break away from the computer.

5. You can add a personal touch

Use print marketing to thank your customersPrint can get you in front of your customers and, because of digital printing, it’s no longer necessary to pay for large print runs.

Of course, print marketing doesn’t just have to be about brochures. Even a postcard or a hand written card thanking a client for their business can help you stand out as running a business that goes the extra mile for its customers.

Once a customer has made their purchase, follow it up with a thank you note, seasonal brochures or discount vouchers. Ask them for their date of birth when they sign up to your mailing list and then surprise them with a card on their birthday or at Christmas. These personal touches are all excellent ways to make a lasting connection with your valued customers.


Print may have been struggling to breathe for a while but it’s far from dead. I, for one, am enjoying its new lease of life. Have you made use of print recently? What did you do? Do you think it paid off? I’d love to hear your experiences in the ‘comments’ section below or over on my Facebook page.

Cube photo credit: Brett Jordan via photopin cc

Thank you photo credit: Jon Ashcroft via photopin cc

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Emma Heasman

Emma Heasman has been an in-house and freelance copywriter for the past 13 years and launched The Freelance Copywriter in 2003. Ever passionate about copywriting, she now works with small businesses to help them write copy that speaks to their ideal customers. Connect with Emma on Google+

2 Responses so far.

  1. Steve Hill says:

    Hi Emma,

    Love your blog post and writing style. I personally think utilising all forms of marketing is prudent. Many people will ignore Print but love e-mail and then there are others that have the opposite viewpoint.

    Social media is likely to become even more popular than it is now in the future as well.

    I went to add you to my circles on Google+ however the link in your bio does not seem to work unless I am having one of those days. I will do so from the tab at the top of your page.

    By the way I saw this post on Facebook originally.

    Have a great day,


    • Emma Heasman says:

      Hi Steve

      Thank you so much for your comments. I agree that utilising all forms of marketing is prudent.

      Thanks for the heads-up about the link in my bio – I’ll check it out now.


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