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Digital Without Print

Yeah, yeah, I know. Print is going away. It’s a dying breed. Digital is the way to go. Digital marketing, that is.

Digital implies email, website, social media and mobile marketing. I know the drill.

Printing material includes posters, fliers, catalogs, postcards, and all of those “old-fashioned” ways of communicating.

Here’s an example of what happens when you ignore one in favor of the other:

A colleague of mine recently told me about a study done by Robert G. Magee of Virginia Tech. This study was to test the effectiveness of both print and online versions of the university’s alumni magazine on open rate and recall. Half received a link to the online version; the other half received the print version.

Those viewing the online version remembered it 49% of the time vs. 82% for print.

The open rates were 77% for print and only 49% for online. People who viewed the print version recalled more articles that those who read only the email version.

When asked which delivery method they preferred, 63% of subscribers said print vs. 26% for online; the remaining 4% said “both” or “neither” for this magazine.

Yes, in some cases digital alone is less expensive. But when digital is your only form of communication, you are sacrificing quite a lot.

Print drives your online engagements. Just look at the numbers above if you’re not convinced.


  • Stands out;

  • Is remembered more often; and

  • Is better understood.

Want to quibble? I can quibble with the best. Please do!

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