Use Print to Boost Your Online Presence

Everywhere you look these days, you’re bombarded with data about how much money marketers are putting into their Internet presences.

E-mail marketing. Web site development. Search engine optimization. Banner ads. Social networking. This creates the impression that print is irrelevant, but in fact, the opposite is true.  Don’t let the ubiquity of Internet data fool you. Print has power, including the power to drive online activity. One of the most effective ways to build an online presence is to use print.

For example, a survey of 2,251 senior executives, the “BE: USA 2008/2009: The Media Survey of the United States’ Business Elite” found that this elite group was heavily influenced to increase their Web traffic as a result of print. Nearly one in four (23%) was motivated to visit a marketer’s Web site as a result of a local newspaper ad, rising to 38% who were motivated by a magazine ad.

Here is some more eye-catching data:

  • A 2008 Magazine Publishers of America study reconfirms prior studies that show including URLs in magazine ads drives readers to advertiser Web sites. The biggest lifts came in the women’s service, home and travel categories, where ads featuring Web addresses were 98%, 103% and 186% more likely to boost Web site visits, respectively.
  • Seaport Village, a San Diego retail hub, saw a 26% rise in traffic to its Web site right after city officials launched a holiday direct mail campaign steering visitors to the shopping center.
  • A USPS/comScore survey found that people who receive a catalog account for 22% of Web site traffic and 37% of money spent at retailers’ Web sites. In fact, shoppers who received a catalog were twice as likely to make an online purchase at the retailer’s online store.

What does this mean for you? Print matters.

When looking for strategies to boost your Web traffic, get print into the mix. Send a direct mail piece. Use the space on your catalogs, brochures and even invoices to advertise your Web address, Twitter ID and other URLs. Make sure important Web addresses are in your trade and consumer advertising. Find excuses to get them in front of your customers. Take advantage of every opportunity.

Print is highly effective for driving all types of consumer and business behavior, including building your online presence. Use it!