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How Print Marketing Can Boost Your Ecommerce Business

Date published: March 23, 2019
Last updated: March 23, 2019

Digital Marketing vs Print Marketing: Which is more effective for ecommerce?

Obviously, most people today would say digital marketing is the better option. Digital is accurate, fast and cost-effective. However, it is also intangible, less memorable and impersonal. Though print marketing may be more costly and seemingly outdated, it offers many benefits:

  • The aesthetics of print media connects with your audience’s touch memory (haptic memory). This creates an emotional connection and builds trust in your company
  • Print allows you to see how your visual design looks on different media. Though your colors and logo might look amazing on a computer monitor, but how do they appear in paper and ink?
  • Print shows if your design is appealing enough to engage your audience without clickable components and animations
  • If you create attractive printed material, people are likely to keep them and continue engaging over and over again

So how can you leverage print marketing to boost your ecommerce business?

1. Create product catalogs

Product catalogs are very effective for showing your prospects what you have to offer, and gives you an opportunity to showcase your inventory in a more detailed manner. Many large ecommerce businesses such as Wayfair have started mailing catalogs as part of their marketing efforts. Depending on your budget, you could print many pages showing all your products or keep it short and highlight only your best selling products. However, be sure to focus on quality rather than quantity. Use high quality images and cutting edge designs to make your catalog feel and look high end.

2. Include promotional inserts when shipping

When shipping products to customers, be sure to insert a flyer, brochure, catalog or coupon code. Don’t forget to add a personalized note from a real person in your company. This will make the customer feel valued and enhance their chances of making a repeat purchase. In addition, they are likely to recommend your company to their friends.

3. Distribute samples alongside your print materials

Customers are usually wary about the effectiveness and reliability of unfamiliar products. Offering samples allows prospects to try out products risk-free, thus eliminating any fears they might have. This strategy works well for ecommerce businesses that sell house hold products or food. Companies like GotPrint utilize this strategy by offering a free sample kit containing a variety of printed materials like postcards, business cards, and flyers on their website to increase engagement for first time customers. This strategy is used as a lead magnet to move their visitors one step further to their buying funnel.

4. Give out printed coupons

Everyone loves a deal. Therefore, one of the best ways of grabbing the attention of your audience is by including coupon codes in your marketing materials. You could either place the marketing materials in strategic physical locations or send them to prospects via direct mail. This strategy provides a compelling incentive for potential customers to check out your website and sign up for your email marketing list.

5. Leverage augmented reality

Augmented Reality (AR) allows you to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital. However, when it comes to AR, most people only know about QR codes which have now become outdated. More recent Augmented Reality Apps such as Layar and have totally transformed how people interact with printed material. By scanning your brochures or catalogs using their phones, prospects can send an email, make a phone call, watch a video, play a game and even make a purchase directly on your online store.

6. Sponsor an event

Events such as conferences, trade shows, seminars and even concerts are great opportunities to meet prospects face-to-face and market your ecommerce business. Such events allow sponsors to set up booths where they can educate people about their products and distribute promotional materials such as mugs, pens, t-shirts and hats. This is a popular strategy for beverage companies such as Red Bull – by giving away free merchandise, they are able to increase brand awareness and give back to the community at the same time.


When implemented properly, your print marketing can be a perfect complement to your digital initiatives. Make sure all your printed marketing materials include links to your websites, social media profiles and hashtag slogans.

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