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The Power of Print Enhancements in Optichannel Marketing

What Is Optichannel marketing?

To understand Optichannel marketing, first, you must know what omnichannel marketing is. Omnichannel marketing is a customer-centric approach focusing on providing a seamless customer experience regardless of the channel.

Optichannel marketing, on the other hand, provides the framework for companies to improve their communications with customers. Using customer data and insights enables companies to use AI to improve communication by only using optimal channels which can drastically improve ROI. These insights can also improve resource allocation and reduce costs allowing for better conversion rates and elevated customer experience satisfaction rates. Optichannel marketing does not mean reducing the number of available channels, it means marketing through your most effective platforms with a unified customer experience across both online and offline channels.

The Power of Optichannel Marketing

In today’s digitally obsessed world, digital marketing is a necessary component to remain competitive. Still, modern-day offline marketing campaigns are created to support or enhance online efforts. The best marketing strategies use a combination of both online and offline marketing channels.

If part of your marketing strategy is to be on as many channels as possible to get the most reach, you will most likely achieve your goal but you’re missing out on optimized ROI. The key to Optichannel marketing is selecting your most profitable channels, optimizing the user experience and automating all touchpoints.

By leveraging direct mail and digital, brands can reach their target audience through strategic physical and digital touchpoints. By aligning your direct mail strategy with digital, you are enabling maximum Optichannel performance. Direct mail combined with digital helps strengthen brand awareness and prompt conversions by continuing to reach your audience at different times within the campaign’s time frame.

Is Print Marketing Dead?

Absolutely not! Actually, completely the opposite. Direct mail works better than ever when combined with online and other offline multichannel marketing. Screen fatigue is real! According to an SG360° 2021, 75% of consumers surveyed reported the number of digital ads they see daily is overwhelming. Print can be a welcomed solution to re-engaging customers.

Print marketing plays a valuable role in the success of strategically planned marketing campaigns. Direct mail has the highest engagement and is the most trustworthy and convenient. Additionally, consumers and businesses would agree that direct mail and print media are viewed as positive brand reinforcements.

Many people may feel like direct mail and print marketing are dead. Digital ads may seem like the best solution to getting the most “bang for your buck”, but with floorboard pop-ups, leaderboard drop-downs and other obnoxious display ads flooding the digital market, consumers have learned to ignore them or use pop-up blockers, automated email filters and other ways to opt out of seeing advertisements.

Used on its own or in combination with digital media, print captures your attention, generates excitement, facilitates customer engagement, and supports mission-critical business activities. In fact, according to a research study done by ANA study participants who sent letter-sized envelopes to prospect lists through direct mail reported the highest ROI of all media in 2020 (112%), followed closely by SMS (102%) and email to prospect lists (93%).

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Source: ANA Response Rate Report 2021

Improve Your Print Marketing Campaigns with Print Enhancements

Print enhancements are used to create visually appealing prints, whether it’s for packaging or marketing collateral. Investing in upgrading your prints with enhancements can transform a simple print project or packaging into showcasing quality products and services, and conveys a premium brand image for your business.

Print enhancements not only provide visually stimulating special effects, but they also add value to your print campaigns, increasing your ROI by providing differentiation and a way to stand apart from the competition. Check out the chart below from a research study NAPCO conducted in 2021 showing how effective the various options for enhancing customer experience through using print enhancements as part of their value-driven strategy.

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Keypoint Intelligence conducted a study titled, Beyond CMYK, where they asked print buyers in the United States and Western Europe about the key factors of importance when buying or designing print. The top factor was print quality, which received a 4.6 on a 5-point scale. Drawing attention to the printed piece and enhancing the brand weren’t far behind.

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Benefits of Print Enhancements

NAPCO Research conducted a research study to define the opportunity print enhancements and embellishments offer print service providers and their customers. The report titled, Adding Value to Printing, focuses on trends, demands, challenges and requirements of brand owners and marketers specifying special effects in their print applications, as well as the actions printers and converters are taking to offer enhanced print capabilities to deliver print with a wow-factor.

The chart below indicates that print customers seem to care the most about differentiating and strengthening their brands. This is key for best practices in print marketing. The study concluded that the top four benefits that marketers hope for are:

  • Giving the brand a premium look
  • Capturing the recipient’s attention
  • Helping the brand differentiate itself and stand out from the competition
  • Enhancing the brand or corporate image

According to NAPCO Research’s Commercial Printing Industry Trends, the average increase in response rates when using personalization in print marketing is 12%. Having unique attributions to further customize and enhance your print pieces is an affordable solution to increase engagement in your Optichannel marketing campaigns.

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Do I Need to go to a Specialized Printer to Add Enhancements?

Technology innovations have made it easier for printers to widen their capabilities for print enhancements. To increase efficiency and reduce production costs, equipment manufacturers are now adding feature packages to digital printing presses, digital enhancement presses and finishing solutions for special effects. Printed materials can also be amplified on digital enhancement devices that utilize inkjet printing heads to create texture, dimensional, and foil effects.

Types of Print Enhancements

There’s no question that print enhancements will come with additional costs to your print marketing and communications campaigns, but that cost comes with added value and there are ways to offset that cost. Direct mailers are more likely to grab market attention and add an element of excitement and interest to your customers about your brand. Highlighting a URL, QR code, bar codes, etc. can easily be overlooked, but when you add a unique texture or special color to help highlight the call to action, it draws attention and makes the connection stand out.

For more information on Optichannel marketing and print enhancements, check out paper.domtar.com.

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