Print Media, Far From Irreverent

Print, printing, blog, bloggins

We’re hoping most of you remember this: that thrilling moment the Sears catalog showed up on the front doorstep!

Immediately we started planning what we wanted for our birthdays and Christmas, and we’d draw big circles around our choices or dog-ear the pages for future reference.

And it was also something we enjoyed with our parents and grandparents. (The Sears catalog dates back to 1894, when founder Richard Sears illustrated the cover of the first edition, declaring it the “Book of Bargains: A Money Saver for Everyone.”)

Due to increased production costs, shipping expenses, and a change in general consumer behavior, the Sears catalog was discontinued in 1993.

Come to think of it, there really aren’t any more “Big Book” style catalogs anymore, are there? Websites have replaced catalogs, and it makes perfect sense. Websites are cheaper to build and maintain, and their very nature of the “here and now” make product or service updates available almost in real time.

So has the internet replaced print media? Is there any value at all in printing advertisements, postcards, brochures and fliers?


Just think of what shows up in your physical mailbox everyday. Coupons for pizza, the greatest new deal on a cell phone, and a new gym that just opened up around the corner.

We call most of it “junk mail,” but every once in a while, something catches our eye and we actually read it. Better for the advertiser, sometimes we buy it. But what does the exact “every once in a while” equal?

The fine folks over at marktinghackz had this to say:

It can be very hard to estimate what the response rate might be on some campaigns, so it is helpful to keep in mind what the industry average is. The industry average response rate is around 2.6%. Keep in mind though that is just an average. If you count on getting a response rate of 2.6% you might be really disappointed when your response rate is possibly as low as 0.2%. Also take in to account your product or service. If you have a high-end product or service then a 0.2% response rate might be average for your industry and still a very good response rate. Keep in mind that these statistics are the industry average.

So the simple math tells us that if we’re lucky (and hit the average of 2.6%) we’re going to sell to two (maaaayyyybe three) people out of every hundred we send to.

That seems pretty bleak, doesn’t it?

But online marketing has its drawbacks, too. Did you know that in 2013, 84% of all email traffic was considered spam? That means slightly more than four out of five emails was instantly discarded. If you have a strong spam filter on your computer, your number might be even higher. (Check how many emails a day go straight to your spam folder. You probably never even saw these.)

Now think to when you’re sifting through that piece of physical “junk mail.” Admit it, you at least glance at the name of the store or the offer on each piece of mail. (We all do, we’re just waiting for that gold nugget of a deal to fall into our laps.)

So what are we saying here? Is print more valuable than email? Or do the mighty interwebs trump print ads?

We’re not saying either.

In the wise words of Ivan Levison at, “My advice? Keep on testing email but don’t neglect the proven, money-making power of a letter package or self-mailer!”

(And we know Ivan, he knows his stuff.)

So if we can help with any of your print needs or challenges, please feel free to email us right here!

From the Kinetica Print family, to yours, we wish you a Happy Easter filled with family, friends, and memories!