Review your print materials

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Many new businesses and startups forget about print marketing, focusing instead on the digital side of things. While the latter can prove successful and is becoming ever more important, that doesn’t mean you should forget about print. You should work to make sure your offline marketing material is as good as your online material.

Jargon: Before you invest in print, make sure you understand the lingo. There is a lot of industry jargon about print, from varnishing to stock – and if you don’t know what they are, ask. Your designer or printer will throw these terms around at you, and it can be confusing. Unless you understand them, the final product will be way off your expectations. So, take a little time to learn about print jargon, and you will get better results.

Audience: It’s vital to understand who will be reading your flier or brochure. Create buyer personas so that you can talk to them in a language they understand. Focus on their pain points, and figure out what pushes their buttons. This stage will take a while, so a lot of research is critical, from general demographics to surveys and ultimately a complete identity.

Message first:  Before you get carried away with design ideas, ensure you know what you want to say first. The copy – the words you use – on your flyer is probably the most important aspect. It will drive the reader to take action and find out more. So, plan out your copy and make sure it is compelling, clear, and concise. Once you have your message in place, you can think about the overall design.

DesignIt’s never been easier to try out poster and flyer design yourself (though we, of course, recommend hiring an expert, like us!) but don’t forget that your brand image is at stake. Unprofessional fliers will not attract the right kind of attention and could make you appear lacking in credibility. Sometimes, it’s worth hiring a professional designer and working with a printer rather than printing the pamphlets on your home printer.

Measurement GoalsHow are you going to tell if your printed marketing is a success? Sure, you might get a flood of new orders or hits on your website. But how can you say another factor isn’t contributing to the success? Tracking your print materials is vital, and there are a few ways of measuring the impact. Remember QR codes? While many marketers look at them with disdain these days, they can help you track your print marketing performance. You could also use time limited offers, with special codes that the customer must quote before getting their discount.

Measure the impact:  When you invest in a large print marketing campaign, you have to be ready to deal with all the new interest. Make sure there are enough people to field calls; hire a call center if needs be. Finally, ensure you have enough product – or time – to handle the new activity. Offering fantastic deals is all well and good, but you must have the capacity to deal with them, too.

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