Can Print Marketing Help My New Small Business?

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Do people still read the Yellow Pages? Are magazines dead? Is newspaper advertising worth it? These are some questions you might ask yourself if you are trying to come up with a marketing strategy for your new small business.

The short answer is—Yes! Print is very much alive and viable. Old-school print marketing techniques and mediums such as banners, brochures, and posters are vital for small businesses, even in the digital age.

Why Print Marketing Is Still Relevant

According to a Marketing Sherpa survey, print is the most trustworthy marketing medium. Moreover, Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making, in collaboration with the United States Postal Service, found that printed ads evoke a stronger emotional response than digital ads.

Digital ads don’t have certain key sensory and emotional factors that print advertisements do. Because of this, people spend more time “consuming” print ads and they remember them better.

Consumers can only see and hear digital ads. When it comes to print ads, they can grip the pages, feel the texture, and even smell the material.

This makes the experience more complete. It is why we print out wedding invitations and formal announcements instead of sending ecards. Compared to print, digital marketing can seem impersonal.

Focusing on the Hyperlocal

If you want to make an impact with print, you don’t need to run an ad in a big magazine or national newspaper. Print advertising in local publications can help you drive impressions and awareness.

Ads in local publications are usually much more affordable, so running ads in multiple issues should be cost-effective. If you are targeting older demographics, you can expect great results with the Yellow Pages.

Naturally, you can post ads in magazines and newspapers that are popular with your target audience. For instance, if your business caters to millennial mothers who live in the Bay Area, you can advertise your business in a parenting publication such as Bay Area Parent.

Flyers, posters, PVC banners, direct mail, and business cards are a great solution for small businesses that rely on local traffic. Moreover, you can combine geo-location services and search engine marketing with print tactics to target specific offerings in particular areas. There’s also variable data printing that allows you to run print campaigns with different messaging for different locations.

Reaching Consumers in Rural Areas

About a quarter of Americans who live in the countryside claim that access to high-speed internet in their area is a problem, according to Pew Research Center. So, digital marketing may not be that effective when you are trying to reach consumers who live in rural areas.

People who live in the countryside rely on small-town newspapers for information rather than online portals. In small towns, about ⅔ of residents read community newspapers. Moreover, a direct mail campaign is one of the best ways of targeting households in a specific area.

Advertising Local Events

If you are showcasing a new product line or hosting an event for your grand opening, print marketing can help you attract attendees. To increase attendance, you can send invitations to clients that have opted to receive communications.

Naturally, banners, flyers, and newspaper ads will also work. To track the effectiveness of your campaign, you can start a survey after the event and ask attendees how they found out about it (word-of-mouth, direct mail, billboard, etc.) At the event, you can hand out swag such as calendars, lanyards, cups, and t-shirts.

You can also get a display stand and advertise your event at similar happenings in the area. To grab the attention of passers-by, you can use pull up banners. Traditional print marketing channels are one of the best ways to promote local events.

Building a Loyal Customer Base

Most small businesses depend on repeat business to survive. This is something print marketing can help you with. The key is to use the right tactics.

In order to gain repeat customers, first you need to attract them. To convert them, you can use printed vouchers and promo codes. Customers love freebies.

Cross-selling partnerships are a great way to circulate coupons, and chances are you’ll be able to find a non-competing business in your area that would be more than happy to partner up with you.

Brochures, flyers, and catalogs are another great way to distribute vouchers. Once you turn prospects into customers, you can start issuing loyalty cards to encourage them to stay around. About 64% of small businesses that have a customer loyalty program in place report that it has been effective.

Incentives based on visits are a great way to earn repeat business if you’re running a brick and mortar shop. So that people will keep coming back, make all your coupons and discounts time-limited. Moreover, since customers are likely to hold their loyalty cards in their wallets and purses, they will be tangible advertisements for your company.


When you are launching a small business, you need all the help you can get to attract customers. Print marketing will help you reach even more members of your target audience and develop a deeper bond with customers in your area. The right blend of print marketing and digital marketing will lead your business to success.

The views expressed by PulseBlueprint’s contributors may not align with PulseBlueprint’s own views or the views of any PulseBlueprint team member. Want to publish your story on PulseBlueprint? Here’s a step-by-step guide.