5 Steps Towards a Successful Print Campaign

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Good planning and preparation can make a huge difference when it comes to running a print campaign.  Putting aside some time to define the objectives of a campaign; and benchmarking your current position so you can understand the effectiveness of a campaign, is time well spent.

Here are our tried and trusted 5 steps to delivering a successful print campaign.

1) Set A Baseline

In order to fully understand whether a print campaign has been successful, or not; you must first measure and understand the norm.  I.e. what are your average sales figures for the time of year, what’s your average website traffic and amount of social media interactions, or footfall to your establishment etc.

It you are measuring physical footfall to a premises then you may need to spend some time counting visitors to work out a daily average, prior to running a print campaign.

Management reports can give you useful sales information.  Google Analytics and other monitoring software can be used to generate reports giving you details of normal website traffic and social media activity.

If the aim of your campaign is to capture data to build up your contacts database, it would be useful to audit your existing mailing list first so your data is clean and you have an established spreadsheet or database for adding new contacts to.

Work out how many sales or enquiries you expect to generate from your print campaign then set a realistic budget based on the predicted response.  You need to at least cover the costs of your campaign and ideally generate a profit.

2) What’s Your Call to Action?

The most important thing to consider when planning a print campaign is ‘What do you wish to achieve?’

Set clear, specific goals for your print campaign for example;

  • Increase sales of a new or existing product or service by X%
  • Generate X amount of enquiries and/or sales appointments
  • Build brand awareness among a specific demographic
  • Drive volume sales during a certain time period i.e. Christmas, Summer etc.
  • Expand your business in a particular sector, or introduce it to a new market/s

Once you have a clear objective for your print campaign, make sure your creative tells people how to respond.  There are many different ways you can do this, but limiting response mechanisms to 1 or 2 clear routes means your print won’t be confusing or overwhelming.

If you are including an offer on your print you’ll probably want to make it time-limited to encourage take-up and make it easier to track responses to your campaign once the offer period has expired.

Phone Numbers - When including a phone number on print; make sure it is clear and easy to read.  Dial the number on your artwork before it goes to print to avoid a wrong number being printed (even if you know the number really well!).  You may also want to consider setting up a dedicated phone-line or telephone number to receive responses from your campaign.

Email - If you want to be contacted by email consider setting up a specific email address that is relevant to your print campaign e.g. summerspecial@pepper.co.uk, christmasprint@pepper.co.uk or postcardoffer@pepper.co.uk.  Make sure the email address works and the person receiving emails knows how to process them.

Website - To direct visitors to a specific page on your website make sure you use a unique URL or sub-domain e.g. www.pepper.co.uk/postcardoffer.  This will make it easier to track how many people have visited a targeted page on your website via website statistics software like Google Analytics.

Vouchers & Coupons - Your print could include a physical voucher to be redeemed online or offline for example; in a shop, restaurant or leisure outlet etc.  Vouchers and coupons are a great way of physically tracking a response to a campaign.

QR Codes - A unique QR code can be quickly and easily generated for your creative and linked to a destination website page of your choice.  As suggested above; you might also like to consider setting up a unique URL so that visitors to a specific page on your website can be tracked.

Social Media Accounts - If one of your goals is to increase your social media network, be sure to include relevant social media icons on your print.  A great deal of people are now familiar with the more common social media icons and the convention that your business can be found on those networks.

3) Measuring Success

Tracking and measuring the performance of a print campaign is really important as it allows you to work out the return of investment and whether or not your campaign achieved its objectives.

Having benchmarked your statistics prior to a print campaign running, it should be easy to tell what impact your campaign has made.

You’ll be able to monitor things like; whether you have received more telephone calls, enquiries or website visitors.  Look out for spikes in your sales figures or a larger than normal amount of new customers after or during your print campaign.  Vouchers and coupons can be recorded as physical evidence of a direct response to your campaign.

If you included unique URLs on your print, you’ll be able to track visits to dedicated website pages via Google Analytics.  Monitoring software can also be used to gauge response to your brand and/or offers on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook.

4) Sprat to Catch a Mackerel!

Depending on the goals set for your print campaign you may not necessarily see a direct increase in sales.  Indeed your campaign objectives might be to increase brand awareness, fix appointments or target a new market sector.

With effective measurement in place you’ll be able to see the success of your print campaign via different statistics other than sales.  For example; establishing appointments gives you a opportunity to present your products and services to a potential client.  Initial enquiries generated from a campaign that do not convert into sales straight away, have led to an initial relationship being formed between your business and a prospect who may go on to buy from you in the future.  You may have captured valuable contacts data for people who have registered an interest in your business.

Even in cases where someone has not responded to your print campaign, they have encountered your brand.  This means they are more likely to response to future brand touch points presented to them.

5) Refine & Fine Tune

By measuring the performance of your print campaigns (the successful ones and the not so), you can learn from them and fine tune your future campaigns.  Disregard the things that don’t work, do more of what did work, try different sales messages and offers or focus on a narrower demographic so your next campaign is more targeted.

Overall, maintain a consistent brand identity throughout your creative to build brand awareness and recognition.  Make sure that future campaigns follow the steps outlined in this Blog and ensure that staff are briefed on any print campaigns and know how to respond appropriately when responses come in.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Why not tell us about your successful print campaigns?  Maybe you are planning a print campaign and would like some advice – don’t hesitate to get in touch and feel free to ask us if you have any questions.

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