“Technology is advancing every day. Print media is a thing of the past; online marketing is the way of the future.” We’ve all heard something like this. There’s no denying that technology has permanently changed the way we do business, and it will continue to do so.

However, the print industry is far from outdated. On the contrary, it remains one of the most powerful marketing strategies available. Don’t believe me? These three statistics from DMR are sure to push print media back in to your marketing plan:

  1. Response rates of direct-mail marketing have increased 14% since 2004.
  2. 39% of consumers try a business for the first time because of a direct-mail advertisement.
  3. 92% of young shoppers prefer direct mail rather than digital marketing when making purchasing decisions.

Obviously, there is still potential left in the grandfather of marketing. Just like any other tactic, however, effective print marketing requires careful strategy. The most vital aspect of that strategy should be personalization.

Call them by name.

We have all been recipients of an annoying, mass-marketing campaign. Those postcards addressed to “Residents of” are less than effective. Why? We don’t like to feel like we are subject to a mass blast. We don’t want to be just another customer. Let’s be honest—we are entitled consumers and want to be treated as individuals. Therefore, the one-size-fits-all approach can be very ineffective. On the other hand, seeing one’s own name immediately attracts attention. We recognize the extra effort it takes to personalize print media and appreciate being individualized. Simply including the reader’s name creates an organic connection and begins to nurture a relationship.

Don’t stop with the name.

Personalization reaches far beyond the name of the consumer. Today, we can personalize messages with variable data printing (VDP). VDP allows marketers to change elements such as text, images, and graphics from piece to piece without hindering the printing process. For example, you can change the color scheme, addressed name, and even an offer based on the consumer’s interests and buying habits, all without slowing down the printing process. VDP is especially powerful in direct-mail campaigns. CAP Ventures listed four main improvements that occur with personalization:

  • Order size/value increases by more than 24%.
  • Overall revenue grows by 31%.
  • Response rates rise by 36%.
  • Repeat orders go up 48%.

Don’t be fooled—print media is not dead. In fact, the increase in technology may only be revamping it. Personalized print mediums are the bricks of your marketing plan. A house is only as strong as its foundation; be sure it’s solid. Prove to the reader that you’re willing to take the extra step to show you truly care about him. Consumers will recognize your effort, and the results will speak for themselves.