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Print Advertising: The Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages and Disadvantages of Print Advertising

Wondering if print advertising is worth it?

If you ask a company that already uses print media in their advertising efforts, they’ll tell you, without a doubt, yes. But if you ask a company that doesn’t, they may say no or that they are unsure.

The bottom line is that you’ll need to discover if it’s worth it for yourself. However, before you jump right into taking advantage of print advertising or dismiss it entirely, you’ll want to take a look at the pros and cons of print advertising so you can get a good understanding of what to expect.

Advantages of Print Advertising


Less Competition

Every company is using some type of digital advertising, and chances are your competitors are using the same types as you are.

Not every business uses print advertising though. And in doing so your brand stands out and gains a better chance of getting a response.

Highly Targeted

With print advertising you can target certain locations or mailing routes, certain demographics based on age, gender, income, if they have kids, if they are pet owners, etc., you can target individuals who are just like your most profitable customers, and you can target individuals based on their interests.

Many believe they can’t target their ideal audience using print advertising. However, you can target the exact right audience for your company using print advertising, the same way you create targeted digital campaigns.

Your Audience Prefers It

Print is a crowd favorite when it comes to advertisements. In fact, a study showed that 73% of people prefer receiving print advertisements from brands compared to other channels of marketing.

High Response Rate

Response Rates for Different Marketing Channels

Print advertising and direct mail marketing has an average response rate of 9% while email, paid search, and social media have an average response rate of 1% and online display has 0.3%.

Plus, if you personalize your print advertisements, you could see a 135% lift in those response rates.

Great Return on Investment

With such a high response rate, it’s no surprise that print advertising also generates a great return on investment.

In fact, in a recent study, print advertising proved to deliver a 112% return on investment. That’s higher than email, paid search, social media, and digital display advertising.

Strengthens Brand Recognition

Print advertisements require 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital advertisements, making it easier for your audience to remember your brand and retain the information you share. In fact, when comparing print ads to online ads, 75% of people could recall a brand after receiving just one print advertisement while only 44% could recall a brand after viewing their online ad.

It’s Trackable

Print advertising is extremely easy to track. Using simple tracking methods like QR codes, personalized URLs, call tracking numbers, or coupon codes, you can measure just how effective your advertisements are.

Automated Direct Mail

You Can Automate It

“Set it and forget it” automated advertising campaigns are a game changer for marketers and thanks to solutions like Direct Mail Automation, you can integrate print advertisements into your automated campaigns.

Whether you automatically want a postcard to send to people who leave your website or want to trigger a welcome letter to new customers, you can automate your print ads any way you’d like.

It’s Trusted

People (82% to be exact) trust tangible print advertisements more than digital ads when making a purchasing decision.

People Hold on to Print Advertisements

Emails can be deleted with a click of a button, online ads are ignored, and social media ads are scrolled right over, but print advertisements are held onto for an average of 17 days.

Because print ads have a longer life span than digital, it gives your message a better opportunity to generate a response while also giving you greater brand exposer.



With print advertising, there are countless materials to choose from including postcards, brochures, posters, catalogs, greeting cards, and more! You can even customize your materials and strategy to meet your specific goals while also fitting exactly within your budget.

It Improves Digital Advertising Results

All the advantages that come along with print advertising result in improved digital marketing campaigns when you combine digital ads with print ads. Research has even proven that print advertising increases ROI by 20% when it’s combined with digital adverting.

Disadvantages of Print Advertising

Requires More Lead Time

While email, display ads, and social media are launched with a click of a button, print advertising requires extra time to print your advertisements so you’ll need to consider the turnaround time when planning your print advertising campaign.

Plus, if you’re looking to take advantage of direct mail marketing, you need to account for the delivery time as well.

You Need to Pay Close Attention to Design

Print advertising Design

Printing requires specific art file setup including designing in CMYK and making sure the size of your design is the size of your desired product plus bleed—which is an extra 1/8" on each side where the background of your design will extend. You also need to ensure your design elements, including images, text, icons, etc., don’t run too close to the edge.

If you’re using your print advertisements in a direct mail campaign, you also need to make sure that you either account for envelopes in your budget, or that you include in your design at least a 4” x 2.25” space for the mailing information.

For help designing your print advertisements, you can either seek a professional designer or ask your printer about their free design templates.

Not Ideal for Global Advertising

If you’re looking to advertise internationally, and want to take advantage of print advertising, your best option is to print and mail from within each country you’re looking to advertise in.

Many print and direct mail providers don’t offer international mailing, so you would need to go directly through the USPS or find an alternative option and the cost will be very steep. On top of being more expensive to market outside of your country, you’ll need to keep track of postal requirements for individual countries, as well as keep close tabs on the different demographics and their interests in each country.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Print Advertising: Is It Worth It?

Every advertising channel comes with a disadvantage for example, online advertising is often ignored, people don’t always trust it, and the average response rate is extremely low.

However, every advertising channel also comes with amazing advantages, and by looking at just the few listed above, print advertising is absolutely worth it. While you may have to take a little extra time for planning, print advertising, when done successfully, will bring you impressive response rates and ROI.

If you’re interested in the advantages of print advertising, click below to discover some amazing ways you can deliver your advertisements today!

Deliver Your Print Advertisements The Right Way!

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