Want to try print marketing? Here’s how to do it right

August 13, 2018

Do you want to try print marketing but you’re not sure where to start? Print marketing is a powerful way to grow your business, whether you’re looking for ways to market your startup or you need to boost sales for an established business. In fact, print is one of the best ways to promote your business – just consider these print marketing statistics:

There’s no question print marketing is effective, but if you’ve never tried it before and you’re not sure where to start? Not to worry – this guide will walk you through the basics of print marketing so you can develop a print marketing campaign that’s designed for success!

 try print marketing

1. Set print marketing goals and budget

Your print marketing goals will inform your decisions as you plan your print marketing campaign. General print marketing goals might be to:

  • Attract new customers
  • Sell new products or services to existing customers
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Introduce a new product or service

Once you have general goals, you should make them as specific as possible. For example:

  • Spur $10,000 in new sales
  • Attract 50 new customers
  • Generate 100 new leads for your sales pipeline
  • Earn a 20% return on investment (ROI)

Measurable goals make it easy to evaluate the success of your print marketing campaign and set benchmarks for future marketing efforts.

Once you’ve established your goals, you should set a budget. There are no hard-and-fast rules for how much you should budget for a given print marketing campaign; the number should be one you’re comfortable with, and that gets ample reach to generate enough response to make your campaign profitable.

For example, if you print 10,000 postcards and assume a two percent response rate (which is lower than average, but generally a safe assumption), you’ll get 200 responses. You can then figure out the value of those 200 responses and subtract the cost to print and mail your postcards to estimate your campaign profits.

Here’s how that might look if it costs $4,000 to print and mail your postcards and each sale is worth $100:

200 responses X $100/sale = $20,000 gross - $4,000 investment = $16,000 profit

Of course, you’ll also need to consider your cost of goods sold. In this scenario, if your cost of goods sold is $50 per sale, that would reduce your profit by $8,000 – and still leave a healthy $8,000 profit for your campaign.

If your estimates meet your goals, you have a workable budget!

 poster printing

Poster for Long Beach Records

2. Choose your print marketing products

The best print marketing campaigns incorporate multiple channels: direct mail, print display and outdoor marketing, for example. Your audience will help you decide which marketing tools to print.

Consider these questions:

  • What’s the best way to reach your audience?
  • What places do they frequent?
  • What routes do they drive?
  • Which events do they attend?
  • Are there any non-competing businesses that share the same audience you can partner with?
  • Are you targeting consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B)?
  • Do you see customers face-to-face? Or is all business conducted remotely?
  • How are your competitors reaching customers? Are they doing anything you can emulate? Are they missing any opportunities you can take advantage of?

Once you have a good idea of where you can reach your customers, you can decide how you want to reach them.

Here’s a matrix you can use to print the right marketing products for your audience.


Marketing Tools


Direct-mail postcards (sent to house list, mailing list generated by demographics, or via EDDM Every Door Direct Mail)

Sales letters




Greeting cards/Invitation cards


Print Display and Leave Behinds

Business cards





Hang tags

Table tents


Rack cards



Wall graphics

Window clings

Yard signs

Door hangers





Memo pads



3. Create your print marketing design and copy

By now you know how and where you want to reach your audience. The next step is to develop your print marketing tools. Start by writing your copy. Good print marketing copy ideas include:

  • Command attention with an interesting headline
  • Create desire by listing the benefits of your products and services
  • Deliver a time-limited special offer to motivate responses
  • Include a call to action that tells customers exactly what to do next to take advantage of your offer

Once you’ve written your copy, you can design your print marketing tools. Good print marketing design ideas include:

  • Excellent visual flow from headline to the offer and call to action
  • Attention-getting images that reinforce the message
  • Large, easy-to-read fonts and a clean layout with white space to separate visual elements

If you’re not a graphic designer, you can hire a professional designer or use free print marketing templates and a free online design tool to upload your own logo and point-and-click your way to a professional design.

In addition to crafting postcard copy and design, you should consider adding a way to measure response: a coupon code, for example, or a custom URL.

 business card printing

Business card for D & S Auto Repair designed by GDesign

4. Print marketing products at discount prices

Print marketing represents an investment with an expected return, and you can maximize that return by printing premium marketing tools at discount prices. Look for ways to make your marketing tools stand out. For example:

  • Oversized postcards, posters, flyers, and other marketing tools stand out from the competition
  • Special paper stocks, such as velvet with soft-touch coating or ultra postcards (which are triple-thick and feature an attractive band of edge color) have powerful visual and tactile impact
  • Quality printing influences customer decision-making, as they equate the quality of your printed materials with the quality of your products and services
  • Printing on recycled paper stock with soy inks (which produce more vibrant colors than petroleum inks) can make you more attractive to environmentally-conscious customers
  • Finishing options such as a high-gloss UV coating and perfect bind booklets can enhance your visual appeal
  • Higher quantity typically means a lower price-per-piece so that you can get more bang for your marketing buck; at the same time, there are options for low-volume printing, such as short-run poster printing

No matter what you’re printing, be sure to find a balance between quality and price so you can print affordable print marketing tools without sacrificing visual appeal.

 die-cut flyer printing

Die-cut flyer designed by Kruhu for Stone Roastery

5. Distribute your print marketing tools

Once you’ve finished printing, you need to get your print marketing tools in front of your audience.

Direct-mail makes it easy since the Post Office does the work (in fact, you can even have your printing company handle the addressing and mailing, too, so it’s hands-off once you submit your artwork).

Print display products can be placed in public locations such as community bulletin boards and in partner establishments, handed directly to potential customers, on countertops, windows, and doors, and even placed in packages you ship and customers shopping bags.

Outdoor marketing should be placed in strategic areas. Banners, for example, can be placed along busy roadways; while door hangers can be distributed in targeted neighborhoods. You can have employees distribute your outdoor marketing tools for you, or you can hire a company to do it.

Promotional products can be distributed to partner establishments and handed to customers at the point-of-sale. They can also be given away at events.

Consider the best places to distribute your print marketing products, then create a plan to put them in front of a targeted audience.

Print marketing isn’t difficult, but it pays give yourself a strategic advantage by thinking through every aspect of your print marketing campaign to ensure it will help you achieve your goals. Get started today with discount printing services!

Brian's picture

About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

What is the PsPrint Blog??

The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.