From ground-breaking research in the emerging neuromarketing field to old-fashioned consumer preference surveys, study after study has shown how and why print continues to get results.
Target Marketing, "Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016," April 2017
- 69% of respondents either increased or maintained their use of direct mail during 2016, a level comparable with results from the past five years.
- The continued strength of direct mail is also reflected in personalization's continued use: Recipients react well when offers are clearly tailored to them.
Target Marketing, "Media Usage Survey 2017," February, 2017
- 52% of marketers surveyed use direct mail for customer acquisition, and 51% use it for customer retention
- 28% of marketers surveyed use print ads and 18% use printed insert media (such as package inserts and free standing inserts) for customer acquisition
Thurman, Neil, "Newspaper Consumption in the Mobile Age: Reassessing multi-platform performance and market share using 'time-spent.'" Journalism Studies, February 2017 (a UK Study).
- Print newspapers are read for an average of 40 minutes per day; online visitors to the websites and apps of those same newspapers spend an average of just 30 seconds per day.
- 89% of newspaper reading is still in newsprint, with just 7% via mobile devices and 4% on PCs.
Benchmarketing, "The ROI Study: The impact of newsbrands on ROI," 2016 (UK study)
- Adding newspapers to a campaign increases overall campaign effectiveness.
- Newspapers "supercharge" the effectiveness of other media when they are included in the mix, with improvements in ROI ranging from two times (for TV), four times (for online display) to 10 times (for radio)
Chyi, Hsiang Iris and Tenenboim, Ori, Journalism Practice, "Reality Check: Multiplatform newspaper readership in the United States, 2007-2015," published online July 27, 2016.
- Study of 51 major newspapers indicated that the (supposedly dying) print product reaches far more readers than the (supposedly promising) digital product.
- Despite the industry's focus on digital, US newspapers' print product remains the primary revenue driver.
Dovetail Partners, Inc., "Contrary to Popular Thinking, Going Paperless Does Not 'Save' Trees," February 2016
- Avoiding use of paper may well result in significant loss of forest land in North America
- Increased wood demand can slow the loss of forest or even lead to expansion of forest area
Fluent, "The Omnichannel Advantage," May 2016
- In terms of retailers' marketing channel reach, print ads are topped only by TV ads, and tied with online ads for second place.
- When consumers are engaged with their favorite retailers through more channels, they make purchases more frequently.
MPA The Association of Magazine Media, "Magazine Media Factbook 2016/7"
- Magazine readership grows long after publication date
- The #MM360 Brand Audience Report shows 6.2% average performance growth in 2015.
National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), "United States Forest Inventory and Harvest Trends on Privately-Owned Timberlands," June 20, 2016
- Between 2008 and 2013, forest growth on privately-owned US timberland exceeded harvest by 40%.
National Consumer Law Center, "Paper Statements: An Important Consumer Protection," March 2016
- Significant gaps in Internet access may hinder the ability of some consumers to use digital statements; plus, statement notifications can easily be overlooked in a deluge of email.
- Consumers value the physical mail piece as a record-keeping tool and reminder to pay.
Nielsen Scarborough, "Newspapers Deliver Across the Ages," December 2016
- Newspapers reach 69% of the US population in a given month.
- 81% of monthly newspaper readers engage with the print product, with 51% reading print exclusively and 30% reading both digital and print.
Pew Research Center, "Around half of newspaper readers rely only on print edition," January 2016
- In three markedly different US metropolitan areas, 46 to 53% of readers of the local daily newspaper did not access the paper online.
- Print remains an important part of the newspaper business model, as more than 75% of newspapers' advertising revenue comes from print.
Pew Research Center, "Book Reading 2016," September 1, 2016
- Printed books remain much more popular with Americans than digital or audio books.
- Fully 65% of Americans have read a print book in the last year, versus 28% that have read an e-book and 14% that listened to an audio book.
Princeton Survey Research Associates International, "Financial Statements Survey," June 2016
- When it comes to financial statements, paper is still popular: 54% of American adults get a credit card or checking account paper statement by mail.
- For those who prefer paper, loyalty is fierce; 46% say they would not switch even if they were charged extra for mailed statements.
Target Marketing, "Media Usage Survey 2016," February 2016
- 75% of respondents report using direct mail; of these 69% are holding direct mail spending steady or increasing it.
- Print is still popular for customer acquisition: 58% of respondents plan to use direct mail for this purpose, 25% plan to use ads in print publications, and 23% plan to use insert media (package inserts, free standing inserts, etc.).
The City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA), "2016 City & Regional Magazine Readership Study," April 2016
- 76% of readers still have the old edition of a magazine in hand when the new edition arrives
- 68.4% of readers purchase products and services from ads seen in publications
The Paper and Packaging Board, "Paper and Productive Learning: The Second Annual Back-to-School Report," 2016
- 64% of K-12 teachers feel students comprehend and engage more when reading on paper.
- 74% of students in grades 7-12 and 82% of college students use paper to prepare for exams—using materials such as handwritten notes, flashcards, worksheets, handouts, and study sheets
Toluna Inc, "The Attractiveness and Sustainability of Print and Paper – The U.S. Consumer's View," July 2016
- 79% of consumers want the option of receiving paper bills and statements, as it provides a more permanent record.
- 77% would be unhappy if they were asked to pay a premium for paper bills and statements.
United States Postal Service and the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC), "Political Mail and Millennials: Young Voters Paying Close Attention to Direct Mail," May 2016
- 42% of Millennials prefer direct mail political ads to online ads
- 40% of Millennials thoroughly read political mail, versus 18% for non-Millennials
Yuill, Nicola and Martin, Alex, "Curling Up With a Good E-Book: Mother-Child Shared Story Reading on Screen or paper Affects Embodied Interaction and Warmth," Frontiers in Psychology, 15 December 2016.
- Mother-child interactions are warmer when mothers read to their child from print versus from a screen.
- Mothers in the study overwhelmingly expressed a preference for reading on paper; children were more evenly split in preference for paper versus screen.
Canada Post, "A Bias for Action: The neuroscience behind the response-driving power of direct mail," July 2015
- Direct mail is far more persuasive than digital media: it has a 20% higher motivation response
- Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process and elicits a much higher brand recall than digital media
- Consumers are more likely to notice and read direct mail (53%) than email (26%), and 92% of consumers say they get ideas for household shopping trips from printed flyers.
- 70% of consumers are curious to find out what's in their mailbox, 84% will open mail if it looks interesting, and 74% notice advertising in direct mail
EPA, "Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013," July 2015
- 63.3% of paper and paperboard products are recovered for recycling
InfoTrends, "Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth," December 2015
- 66% of direct mail is opened; of that, 82% is read for a minute or more.
- 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.
London Economics, "Managing money online—working as well as we think?" February 2015
- People understand information better—and make better choices—when they receive transactional mail such as bank statements in print versus electronically.
- People are more likely to take action when they receive information by post versus e-mail.
Millward Brown Digital, "The Print Campaign Analysis Prepared for MPA," September 2015
- Compared to other platforms, print advertising led to the greatest increases in the metrics closest to purchasing behavior, brand favorability and purchase intent: 7% points higher than those for Online and 3% points higher than those for TV.
- At all exposure frequencies, ad awareness was higher for print than for other platforms.
Quad Graphics, "Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse," December 2015
- Millennials read direct mail: 82% read direct mail from retail brands, 79% read direct mail from grocery stores and 69% read direct mail from clothing and accessory stores.
- Millennials love catalogs: 50% look forward to receiving them, 40% buy more when they get one, and 49% wish more of their favorite companies had one.
Two Sides, "Reading from Paper or Reading from Screens. What do Consumers Prefer?" May 2015
- 88% understand, retain or use information better when they read print on paper compared to lower percentages (64% and less) when reading on electronic devices
USPS Office of Inspector General, "Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response," June 2015
- Physical ads have a longer lasting impact than digital
- Physical ads trigger greater brain activity responsible for value and desirability for featured products, which signal a greater intent to purchase
USPS Office of Inspector General, "Will the Check Be in the Mail? An Examination of Paper and Electronic Transactional Mail," February 2015
- Most consumers prefer to receive paper bills by mail, even if they want to pay online
BrandSpark International, "Ontario Consumers Prefer Traditional Print Flyers to Online Version by a Significant Margin," plus Infographic, November 2014
- 78% of consumers prefer printed flyers, versus 6% who prefer email flyers and 16% who prefer online flyers
Dovetail Partners, "Tree-Free Paper: A Path to Saving Trees and Forests?" August 2014
- Efforts to protect forests primarily through non-market forces could, in fact, result in forest loss
Gfk, Starch Syndicated Research, "Print Magazine Ads Motivate 35% of Readers to Take Action – Unchanged Since 2010," April 2014
- Magazine ads motivate consumers, creating deeper connections with brands and a greater likelihood to buy
Harris Interactive, "Most of Us Ignore Online Ads", February 2014
- 82% of Americans ignore online ads
- Only 35% of Americans ignore newspaper ads
Nielsen, "Touchpoints Shopper Survey," September 2014
- More than 50% of all US shoppers use print at least once a week to seek product and sales information. This is nearly 20 points higher than the next-closest digital touch point, emails
Pew Research Center, "A Snapshot of Reading in America in 2013," January 2014
- Few readers have abandoned print for e-books: 69% of adults read a book in print in the previous 12 months, while 28% read an e-book and 14% listened to an audiobook
- 75% of consumers still prefer promotional content and coupons from traditional print media, such as magazines, newspapers, inserts and flyers
- 81% would not search for promotions and coupons on a retailer's mobile app
Womensforum.com, "Supermarket Moms Survey," January 2014
- 89% of moms who shop at supermarkets are regularly influenced by coupons; print ads (78%) and supermarket circulars (65%) take the lead in how they find these coupons