The Copywriter's Crucible

Why Copywriters Shouldn’t Rush to Go Digital Because 60% Prefer Print

It appears as though the printed word is on its deathbed. The Yellow Pages is now more widely used as a doorstop, whilst many newspapers are wheezing their final breaths.

Many expect direct mail to go the same way.

So is learning how to write direct mail, brochures and sales letters a waste of time for aspiring copywriters?

Are people so plugged into the digital world that they won’t turn away long enough to read your printed words?

Print advertising in freefall, whilst internet marketing grows nearly 20%

According to recent Advertising Association figures, last year in the UK press advertising fell 11.8% and TV fell 4.9%. Spending on the internet, however, shot up a recession busting 19.1%.

eMarketer has also poured more fuel onto print’s funeral pyre, with estimates that online spend should grow a further 10% by 2011, as companies chase after eyeballs focused on pixels.

So should your copywriting expertise follow the same trend?

Does print marketing need to be recycled permanently?

60% are more likely to respond to print than email

In the face of such relentless attacks on print, Pitney Bowes has come charging to the rescue whilst sounding its bugle on research of its own.

In a pan-European study it found that 60% of people are more likely to visit a website in response to direct mail, compared to 24% who’d respond to an email or sponsored web link.

This follows on from previous research in which Pitney Bowes found that 73% prefer to receive offers and promotions in the mail, rather than their email inbox.

So, whilst print is indeed expensive and should shuffle its feet in embarrassment at its ROI, Pitney Bowes’ research indicates there’s life left in the old warhorse yet.

In fact, print can be the introduction to digital campaigns, and its ROI can be improved by being more targeted, personalised and relevant.

So copywriters shouldn’t rush to abandon the printed word just yet.

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