The death of print has been greatly exaggerated. Print is still very much alive. Newspapers, magazines and books are still sold and read. In spite of traditional communication going digital, print is far from done. Print advertising is any advertising printed on paper including newspapers, magazines, booklets, flyers, direct mail or any other printed medium. Print advertising dates back to early Egyptian times. Print advertising appeared in newspapers and handbills in 17th century England. Modern print advertising started in 1836 in La Presse, a French newspaper. So what are the benefits and means of print advertising?


Print advertising is permanent. Television, radio and internet ads pass by though print stays on the page. Every time reads look at the page with the ad, they see the same thing. As long as the publication remains in circulation, the ad remains in circulation. A magazine ad can be seen for months or even years before it’s thrown out. No other advertising method provides that much longevity from a single investment.

Print publications that consistently deliver high-quality, reliable content develop credibility with their readers. Businesses can leverage the “halo effect” to use the credibility of publications to their own advantage to promote their own business. Readership is mostly longstanding and loyal.


Print advertising, specifically magazine advertising, generates the best results across 4 of 5 components of the purchase funnel, the process customers go through form initial brand contact to buying decision. The purchase funnel consists of brand awareness, ad awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent. Magazine ads perform equally in message association to ads in other media, but provide the best results in purchase intent. Print advertising ROI outperforms television and internet advertising.


Print readers are more engaged. Television viewers and radio listeners are more passive. The reader of print publications makes a conscious decision to pick and open the publication and engage with the words and images. The reader must physically turn the pages, look at the material and decide what to read. 79% of newspaper readers respond in some way to ads they see such as clipping coupons, visiting websites or making purchases.


Because of the rise of digital media, bargains are to be had in print advertising. Because of the erosion of readers to digital sources, print readership is down bringing down advertising rates. Though people are buying and reading print mediums, offering better rates to reach their readership. And most print mediums are also producing digital editions. So print advertising usually includes digital editions so you can reach both print and digital readers. Advertising rate cards reflect a publications print and digital rates. Rates depend on the publication, demographics, circulation, number of insertions, quantities and other factors. You can also request special ad positioning. This brings greater visibility to the brand. And most publications can help you create the ad for little or no cost.


Print advertising can be more targeted. To survive, many print mediums are focused on niche markets of different demographics and locations. You can target your advertising dollars toward the demographics and locations that are your primary markets. Newspapers target specific areas. Magazines target specific markets and demographics. Trade publications target specific industries. There are over 1,600 paid circulation newspapers and thousands of additional local weekly papers in the U.S. There are 160,000 magazines in the world. There are countless demographics and markets that you can target.


Direct mail is one of the most affordable and cost effective methods of print advertising. Most of the costs involve buying mailing lists, printing and mailing. You can buy targeted lists to target specific demographics and locations of your primary prospects. This increase your ROI. A typical response rate is 1-2%. Your mailing cost, conversion rate and total sales will determine your ROI.


As the growth of digital continues, print readers and rates will continue to erode. Though print mediums are also producing digital mediums to combat that and offer both. People are still going to want newspapers and magazines in their hands to read. As long as the cost to print can be covered with print advertising, print mediums will continue to print. Once it is cost prohibitive, print mediums will go all digital or fold.


So now you know the benefits of print advertising and the many ways to do that. Are you doing that? Why not? Print advertising is another way, if not the best way to promote and grow your business. Let me know if I can help. Here’s to your business success.


We write this blog to help small business owners with their dilemmas, because that is what who we are, and those are our clients.

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