The Value of Print in a Digital World

Ever wonder why online retail giants send holiday catalogs in the mail? They see the value of direct mail - and you should too!
The value of print in a digital world
Why do retail giants like Amazon, Wayfair and Shutterfly spend time to design, print, and mail thousands of catalogs when you can search their websites and find the same selection (and more!). Even Google sends out printed direct mail pieces to business customers about their digital ad services.
The short answer: they see value in direct mail.

And so do their customers. A recent study found 81% of consumers prefer to read print on paper over a digital screen.

But why? Is it because print provides context and navigation within a frame of a beginning and end while digital articles contain never-ending links to more information. Or perhaps the comfort of touch, being able to physically move and explore the content.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why print should remain a major part of your marketing and promotional plans.



Regardless of what type of home you live in or what age range you fall in, everyone reads their mail. 

  • 98% of people check their mail daily
  • 90% of direct mail gets opened
  • 64% of millennials would rather scan for useful information in the mail than other forms of advertising
  • 68% of 45-64 year olds favor Direct Mail for receiving promotions from unfamiliar companies

In a world of digital overload, printed pieces can help branded messaging stand out from the crowd. The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, while a direct mail piece is 17 days. Keep your business top of mind in a sea of websites and emails with printed pieces that provide prolonged brand exposure.


Neuroscience research (aka studying the brain and how it works) has shown that paper-based content connects better with our brains than digital, with 70% of people being more likely to remember a brand they saw in print compared to online.

Temple University published more findings about how the brain connects the consumer’s indicators of desire and valuation with messaging, but there are a few key takeaways for businesses.



If Amazon and Google aren’t convincing, what about a business like yours? Published research has shown prospects are 15% more likely to respond to an oversized mail piece, even if they have never done business with you. Even with that fact, the Direct Marketing Association projects the average response rate of direct mail to be between 5-9%.

For nearly 30 years, Moving Targets has helped thousands and thousands of businesses reach potential customers through direct mail. Our own internal case studies show a direct mail campaign can help drive business at a higher than average rate:

  • Texas-based restaurant group sees an average redemption rate of 10-20% monthly across numerous locations
  • New York- based restaurant has see a consistent response rate of 17-23% over several years
  • Western auto repair location combined direct mail with their existing digital ads and found customers who saw both messages visited 30% more than those who just saw the digital ad

In a digital world, information is available at the touch of a screen. But as those quick connections fade, consider how you can build brand loyalty and increase brand retention with the use of direct mail marketing.

To see how Moving Targets can help you create a strong mix of marketing and promotional tactics, give us a call or drop us a note today!

Related Posts