Lessons email marketers can learn from print marketers

Lessons email marketers can learn from print marketing

If you’re a digital marketer like me, it’s likely that you don’t really work with too much print marketing. Our day-to-day tends to revolve around blogging, social media, perhaps some paid advertising like adwords and of course email marketing. It’s not so common for us to work with print marketing like magazine or newspaper spreads. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it.

Jason McMillion, Founder and CEO of Upstain has worked within the marketing industry for the past 17 years and after realizing the gap many marketers have between their efforts and their results, he decided to do something about it.

We sat down with Jason and asked him to walk us through what lessons we email marketers can learn from print marketing.

 

What problem does print marketing pose?

“There is a huge problem within the marketing industry and how we marketers tend to purchase media. We can easily fall into the trap of investing in hopes or guesswork, which mean we pay for zero real value.

For example, when marketers purchase a print ad, like a magazine or newspaper ad, the deal itself includes zero value because we don’t know for certain what the results will be. The only thing you know is that your ad is going to be printed in the magazine. That in itself doesn’t really provide your company with much value.

When you purchase ad space, what you actually are investing in is the hope that someone, anyone, might actually notice your ad, be interested in what you’re advertising, and maybe even one day buy your products or services.

The result? You buy in without real tangible value and the hope of a new sale.”

 

How can we fix that? How can we know what creates real value?

“I’ve been working with marketing for more than 17 years. And for the last 5 or 6 years, I’ve been questioning everything about both my own and other people’s marketing efforts. It’s led me to experience some pretty harsh realizations. For example, it became quite obvious to me that the way most marketers work is based more on hopes and guesses instead of facts and qualitative data.

Realizing this motivated me to change it. I wanted to take out the hopes and guessing and put in some hard facts.

I spent a lot of time researching and breaking down my own marketing and identifying what is actually required to create a valuable ad. I became primarily interested in understanding attention and perception especially upon first contact with marketing or advertising material. This evolved into Upstain and our first impression eye tracking solution.”

Don’t know what eye tracking is? Learn that here.

 

Ok, but what’s the process like exactly?

“So the first step is to identify how much attention your magazine, your banner ads or your social ads are actually getting. This is done by placing your ad into the correct context – i.e. your banner ad on the webpage you want to advertise on – and running a first impression eye tracking test. This will tell you exactly how much attention you ad is generating.

 

Where do your ads ask readers to look?

Source: Upstain.com

 

Because not all ads are created equal

Source: Upstain.com

Once you know this information, you can start improving through testing several variants of your marketing material. It might sound daunting but this part is surprisingly easy. By testing several variants, you can very quickly find the one that draws the most attention – and it’s usually from 25% to over 500% more attention.”

 

What happens if we try eye tracking….and it still doesn’t work?

“Let’s say you tested a banner ad. Our tests show that it only draws about 20% attention (meaning that 20% of the people looking at the webpage notice your ad). This is quite low. So we run a few variant tests and now you get 80% attention. That’s a 400% increase! Almost always this means a lot more sales – and we mean a lot.

 

Test your ads with eye tracking

 

Sometimes however, despite nearly all visitors noticing your ad, your sales don’t increase. I say that’s even better! Now you know for a fact that people see your ad, they understand it, but they are still not buying. The answer is simple: these visitors are not interested in your offer.

In this case you can either alter the offer it or stop advertising in that magazine or website. Whilst this might sound the opposite of what you actually want, it’s a very quick and cost effective way to know what’s not working for your company – and you’ll save a bunch of money by relocating your spend to a more relevant channel.”

 

Do you have any advice for marketers, especially our email marketers?

“Start testing to make sure your ads are drawing attention and bringing value back to your business, both in the short term and the long term. If nobody is looking you can be 100% sure that nobody is going to buy.”

 

Special offer for Ungapped customers: get 2 for 1!

All Ungapped customers are invited to claim 2 first impression eye tracking tests for the price of one which can be used not just for testing mailings but also banner ads. Offer expires November 11th, 2015 so email us and claim your discount!

By Jason McMillion | jason@upstain.com
Founder and CEO of Upstain. After 17 years of marketing, Jason wanted to find an efficient tool for understanding what visitors and customers base their decisions on when reading print and digital ads. Follow Jason on Twitter with @McMillion