Written by Bill Michael
eMarketing Manager, Xerox Corporation

Celebrating 75 Years of Xerography

Today, October 22nd, marks the commemoration of a momentous event – one that forever changed the landscape of how business would be conducted for decades to come. 75 years ago today, on a Saturday afternoon in a second story apartment in Astoria, Queens, a patent attorney named Chester Carlson created the world’s first dry copy. His invention would eventually lead to the formation of Xerox Corporation.

Carlson’s xerographic process is still at the heart of most office printers and copiers around the world today, dramatically impacting the way businesses operate and we communicate. It can be argued that the digital age, and the easy access to information it enables, began with the xerographic process. A recent Mashable article discussed this very notion, attributing Carlson’s innovation to the rise of modern computing. Ironic, then, that many of print’s naysayers proclaim the fall of Carlson’s xerography to come at the hands of the computing era his innovation helped pave the path for.

But don’t worry, writes Patrick Henry of WhatTheyThink: no matter what its critics say, print is doing just fine. In fact, 76% of small businesses state that their ideal marketing mix is a combination of digital communications and print.

To commemorate 75 years since the first xerographic image and to celebrate what the next 75 years brings, here’s 5 reasons why print should be part of your marketing mix today:

1. Print Provides an Opportunity to Differentiate

  • According to ABM, 96% of media users still read trade magazines to keep up on what’s happening in their industry, with 45% saying they read a print magazine at least weekly.
  • The United States Postal Service found that 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it is delivered, with 77% sorting it immediately.
  • via DMNews, roughly 80% of all physical mail is opened, while the open rate of emails is only about 20%.

2. Print is Viewed as Trustworthy

  • According to a Print In the Mix survey, 56% respondents say they found printed material to be the ‘most trustworthy’ of media channels.
  • The same survey found that nearly half of the respondents said they’ve retained a direct mail piece for future reference, and 17% regularly do so.
  • A study by VTT found that consumers trust advertising in print media more than any other media.

3. Print Delivers Results (Think Lead Generation!)

  • Print delivers a higher response rate compared to email. The CMO Council found that the average response rate for emails is 0.12%, whereas the average response rate for direct mail is 4.4%.
  • According to Mail Media Centre, while 11% of marketing emails are opened, the opening rate is 91% for prospecting direct mail.
  • According to Printing Industries of America, print catalogs carry an average cost per lead of $47.61, whereas the average cost per email lead is $53.85.
  • A survey by Print in The Mix found 79% of consumers act on a brand’s direct mail piece immediately

4. Print Helps to Connect the Online and Offline Worlds

  • Printing Industries of America found that 67% of online searches are driven by offline messages, with 39% of shoppers making a purchase.
  • Shoppers who receive a direct mail piece directing them to an online site spend an average 13% more than those who do not receive a printed piece.
  • Websites supported by catalogs yield 163% more revenue than those not supported by catalogs.

5. Print has a Proven, Loyal Following

  • Consumers expect Direct Mail, as 33% of those surveyed say they’d have a negative view of a brand not offering printed communications.
  • Survey by Two Sides found that 70% of Americans prefer to read printed paper over a digital screen, with 67% preferring the feel of print media.
  • When it comes to transactional statements, Two Sides found that 64% consumers wouldn’t choose a company that didn’t offer a paper bill option.
  • 75% B2B professionals read magazines on weekly basis, with 68% choosing to read niche publications specific to their industry.