With the rise of faster, lighter, and smarter e-readers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones many businesses have decided to ditch the practice of newspaper advertising, physical book creation, flyering, and other forms of print media in favor of digital media.
So the question is, should we?
The truth is, print advertising is a pain in the rear to design, create, produce, and fulfill on. Lots of logistics, it’s (more) expensive, and it takes up room.
In our experience though, it’s the most powerful selling and conversion tool of all time.
There is a special connection made between print and the reader that’s just different than when you’re reading something on a phone or a computer. It has to do with the physical-ness of the paper, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but reading something printed makes it seem more real.
Let’s talk about a few types of print media that we use in our own company…
- Order forms
- Actual Books
At first, you may not consider a simple order form to be a form of print advertising, but hear me out. It’s all about how you introduce it to the reader.
Say for example you’re on stage and you want people to sign up for your course/product/service… You have a few options to actually make that happen.
Send them online…
I would not recommend this because it’s dependent on a few things. The venue has good internet,, people have their phones/computers, your sign up process is simple, and a lot of luck.
Send them to the back to your staff and collect info…
Again I would not recommend this because it creates a lineup, if you send 30 people to the back of the room but only have to people collect information then you’ll create a line up of 28 people, and for the people at the back of the line they have all the time in the world to reconsider their split-second decision, or worse, say they’ll come back later when there is no line and forget about you altogether.
Give them order forms during the close…
Rather than the above two options, have your staff hand out order forms to the audience as you’re closing, and then you have the ability to walk the audience through each line item. You can have them mark it up themselves with the deal of the day. And then, all they have to do is fill it out their info at the bottom and voila! Just drop it off at the back on your way out and we’ll see you soon.
The act of putting the order form in front of them creates a shorter gap for the person to make a decision, a whole bunch of things kick in like FOMO (Fear of missing out) and all of a sudden 30% of the room has given you their order form with valid CC info.
The order form is the quickest, simplest, and thus the most user-friendly way to have people sign up for your product.
It also works in one on one situations as well. The act of sliding an order form across the table causes the reader to make a decision now rather than later, and since the act of signing up is easy, they’ll make a favorable decision.
Workbooks are representative of a certain type of fulfillment print media. We use them for training so students can follow along easier and write down important notes and diagrams. In your case, you may use them to explain your product, kind of like “the manual” or a how-to guide.
For this you may think to yourself, let’s set up a help page or a PDF and send it to them, they’ll figure it out!
The problem with that is, people download a lot of things. They download recipes, photos, books… When’s the last time you looked at your downloads folder? Mine is a mess, I can’t find anything in there.
So to expect a client to be able to find your help doc is a bit of a stretch. Send it to them in PRINT! Not only does it get a WOW from your client, but it helps them adopt your product more easily because they can reference your guide with ease since it’s in their lap, building the credibility of your product and creating a happy customer.
Plus, EVERY workbook/guide/manual is an advertising opportunity. Reference other products or services, or be blunt and put an advertorial inside the cover. We put an ad for the next level in training on the back of the Fast Track My Sales workbook!
The most powerful of any print media for one reason only. When is the last time you threw out a book?
The act of discarding a book is sacrilegious in our society, it’s like throwing away knowledge. The worst a person can do is just not read your book.
But here is the beautiful thing. Let’s say you send someone your book, and they don’t read it, where does it end up? First, it ends up on the kitchen counter, then maybe the coffee table, then in a friend’s hands who ends up taking it and reading it themselves, OR it’s presence reminds the person to read it until they do. A PDF can’t do that because it’s out of sight. Not so with a book that exists in the physical realm.
And again, your book is just another advertising opportunity to sell people on another product or service, build trust and credibility, the printed words just make you seem like a more concrete and real option than any of your competitors.
For example, My book Suggestology (which I actually give it away for free if the reader covers the shipping costs) is one big sales letter sprinkled with my personal story, exercises, and boatloads of value. It’s sole purpose is to get people to register for my introductory training and have them feel great about doing it!
Anyone who’s ever read my book loved it and ended up doing business with us in some way shape or form in the future. I do NOT give this book away in an e-book form because people will LOSE the PDF and thus the power of the book is lost forever.
So what’s the deal with print then?
It absolutely still has its place in business. The act of holding, feeling, writing on, and touching print media creates this special reaction from your customers that builds trust, credibility, loyalty, causes quicker decisions, and ultimately creates more revenue for your company.