When customers of Bibliophilic Excursions open their monthly subscription box, they find not only the books they’ve been promised, but also a few personal touches. To the presumed delight of their subscribers, sisters and co-founders Yvette and Erika Walker also include a thank-you letter printed in-house on their HP inkjet printer, a personalized bookmark printed with Vistaprint, and a card requesting an online review — which Yvette says has led to an uptick in positive feedback. The sisters also print promotional postcards to entice new customers.
“Print materials differentiate us,” says Yvette Walker. “We don’t have the marketing funds to saturate people with expensive digital ads. Print makes being a small business owner accessible.”
For Bibliophilic Excursions and small businesses like it, business cards, postcards, coasters, and even customized tissue paper can create memorable connections and authentic experiences that simply can’t be replicated in an email. These printed materials are critical to capturing attention and building long-term relationships at a time when consumers have so many choices and are inundated with digital messages everywhere they go online. The average person is exposed to 1,000 banner ads, emails, texts, notifications, social media posts, and other digital messages every day.
A recent HP survey of North American small business owners and their customers found the average person receives 43 promotional emails a day — and ignores more than 80% of them. Meanwhile, 53% of people are more likely to read information from a business when it’s handed to them versus sent via email.
“Print can bring ideas and brands to life in a way that technology can’t,” says Deepak Masand, global head of print marketing at HP. “When business owners focus exclusively on digital marketing, they’re missing out on the power of print.”