Many would argue that in today’s digital world, print is becoming less and less relevant.

Possibly in many instances this may well be true. By way of example, many companies no longer send printed invoices. In this instance the desire to send an invoice electronically is driven not by the fact that sending it electronically is likely to have a higher chance that the recipient will pay the invoice, but rather a need to reduce time and costs.

When considering if print is still relevant, we need to look at the purpose of the communication. Is it more – or less –effective and does it impact on the recipient’s intention to take action? Again, looking at the example of electronically sending an invoice, there is the fear that if we do not pay it will result in say our power being cut off. This in itself will force the intended outcome almost irrespective of the communication medium.

So let’s focus on engaging our existing clients. Is print more or less effective than other digital mediums having regard to the purpose of engagement and recipients’ reactions?

Purpose of engagement

We are looking to engage with all our clients in a meaningful way to determine if they are likely to need our services again in the near future.


Open rates of mail are estimated to be 95% plus when a personally addressed piece of mail is received by a recipient. Compare this rate to social media posts that are limited to 7% by Facebook (unless promoted by a paid boost) and industry email open rates of 22% (or even industry leading rates of 40%).

How many times do you throw personalised mail directly in the bin without reading it versus deleting an email based upon the subject line?

Interaction with content

We are all guilty of it – receiving an email, quickly casting our eye over it and then deleting it.

Print engagement is different. When you receive a magazine or newsletter it is tactile. The nature of being able to touch, feel and physically interact with the hard form creates a different interaction. While many forms of print have disappeared, magazines remain on our newsagency shelves in similar numbers.

Even if you are busy at the time of receiving it, you can place it on the desk or coffee table and look at it during your free time. This is more difficult to replicate online as the volume of incoming messages soon pushes older emails down the queue in priority.

[engagement infographic here]

Millennials still read print

It’s a common misconception that consumers, especially millennials, prefer digital to print due to their familiarity with the internet, smartphones and computers.

92% of individuals aged 18-23 have indicated print is easier to read.


There are less distractions when reading print, unlike online material with new email notifications and pop-ups regularly occurring.


There are many other factors that also need to be considered when comparing print and digital engagement.

We invite you to join us online on 24 August 2021 at 2pm in our webinar ‘title’ to discover more about engaging your clients in the most effective manner.