Both business owners and individuals alike continue to feel the impact of increased prices of raw materials stemming from the pandemic and, consequently, disrupted supply chains. Kinks and breaks in the global supply chain mean that the cost of pulp used to produce paper is rising, too, creating major problems for businesses that rely on traditionally stable paper supplies for everything from marketing materials to internal documents.
With costs creeping ever upward, many businesses seek alternatives to paper—both physical and digital.
What Are Paper Alternatives?
Many may think the answer is simple: just use recycled paper. The only snag? Most paper used in commercial printing is already heavily-recycled paper. The next (and only other viable) option is synthetic paper.
What Is Synthetic Paper?
Composed of polypropylene and polyethylene, synthetic paper is a white matte plastic created by die extrusion, finished in a clay coating, or a single-layer substrate created via calendar extrusion and clay-filled. It’s available in a range of colors and grades and is suitable for various applications, just like traditional paper.
Although this “tree-free” paper continues to grow in popularity and is much more durable than traditional paper, it’s significantly pricier and can’t handle laser printing—severely limiting its marketing applications. This brings us back to seeking alternatives. The cheaper, easier solution? Go digital.
Digital Marketing is a Great Supplement to Paper-Based Marketing Campaigns
Paper plays a huge role in many businesses’ daily operations. But as more companies shift to hybrid or remote models, it’s becoming less of a staple—and less impactful in terms of getting in front of customers.
Organizations—independent of their space or industry—simply can’t thrive without a trustworthy online presence. That’s why zeroing in on digital marketing is the smartest decision businesses can make when exploring alternatives to paper and growing their brand. Wise decision-makers who implement the following digital marketing efforts produce less waste and reach more customers.
Instead of trying to reach 10,000 customers via printed pieces, why not try a hybrid approach where you send a smaller number of more targeted prospects a physical piece while connecting with other prospects digitally? Multi-channel marketing efforts are 37% more effective in connecting with your audience than single-channel campaigns alone.
So what are some of the ways you can connect with your audience digitally?
When you mail out a piece of branded content, you can’t track the recipient’s response or interaction; it’s out of your control. IP targeting lets you zero in on your customers via their Internet Protocol Address, or, IP address. Regardless of their location or device they’re using, you can get tailored ads in front of them—perfect for near- and long-term marketing efforts.
Many people are fed up with junk mail. While no business believes their paper marketing supplies are junk, your audience might deem them guilty by association if they’re mixed in with useless coupons and other junk mail. Shift to email marking, not just mail.
Email marketing is the perfect solution for an all-digital or cross-channel marketing campaign. Send emails only to your target customers and follow up with physical mail only if you have reason to believe it’s worth your time, money, and energy. If not, pivot to email marketing only, and redirect your paper costs to digital efforts. Your bottom line (and customers) will appreciate it.
When’s the last time you acted based on a physical flyer or other marketing material? If you can’t remember, your customers probably can’t either. With digital ads, you can serve your target audience the content they need to make a decision about your organization—all with the click of a trackpad or tap of a phone screen. You can then add and track them in your decision funnel, guide them through their journey, and welcome them as a new or returning customer.
Not Sure Where to Start? We Can Help
No one knows when the price of raw materials will decrease—if they do at all. Save your organization time, money, and headaches by incorporating proven digital marketing strategies into your marketing campaigns today.
Associates International can help you develop and implement a cross-channel or all-digital marketing campaign, getting you in front of new customers, and helping you grow your business. Get in touch with us today to learn how.
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