How Print Collateral Can Retain Customers in a Digital World

Importance of Combining Print & Digital Strategies

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me: I’m a dog person.

I’m the kind of person who will ask you if I can pet your dog as I pass you on the street or at a brewery. I cry at puppy videos on the internet and follow dog celebrities on Instagram.

So obviously, I have my own dog, and his name is Hank. He’s a 5-year-old mutt that is about as spunky as I am. But as much as I could write an entire blog on dogs (dog blogs!), that’s not what this one is about. Stay with me here, this really does tie into marketing.

For about a year now, I’ve subscribed to BarkBox, which is a cute little box filled with toys and treats that Hank loses his mind over every month. It wasn’t until I started working at Jet, though, that I truly appreciated the company’s print collateral marketing tactics.

Sure, I first got persuaded/suckered into subscribing by a retargeting Instagram post (like I have for many things, mostly subscription boxes), but there’s something we can all learn from the way BarkBox makes its customers feel through what they include in every box — and I can tell you it’s more than just the dog toys and treats Hank loves.

Hank waiting patiently while I open the box he knows has treat/toys for him.

Digital Can Draw You In

I initially looked into BarkBox because it popped up on my Facebook feed. I was intrigued, but didn’t pull the trigger until the Instagram ads kept following me around. That’s called retargeting, folks, and it’s effective.

Eventually, I clicked on the link, and thought “Why not?” Filled out the easy form, checked off a few preferences for my sweet, good boy, and bada-bing bada-boom — I was now a BarkBox subscriber. It all happened so fast I don’t completely remember the details of signing up for this thing, and I think that’s something we can all relate to.

Most of us have the willpower to keep on scrolling or to tell ourselves “no” to the first advertisement. But us digital marketers know (and being in marketing myself I should know better, but I still fall victim to this) that with enough repetition, potential customers can be swayed. In fact, only about 2 percent of web traffic conversions happen on the first visit, so retargeting is an awesome digital marketing strategy for your business.

Digital marketing is such a useful tool to get your first few customers, whether you’re selling dog toys or you’re a brand-new roofing company that needs some clients. Everyone and their grandmas are on some sort of platform these days, and with enough information about your desired demographic, you’re bound to at least get some clicks-to-conversions action.

But you need to have a good product, no matter who you are or what you’re selling. And much like a subscription service, you need to have a reason, or several reasons, people choose you every time. That’s where print collateral can play into your success.

Print Collateral Can Make You Stay

I’m a nerd about all things digital marketing, believe me, but there’s just something about print that feels more personal than anything online. My story is a perfect example — I subscribe to BarkBox not only because my dog loves the monthly goodies, but also because the company includes some really neat print products for me (Hank doesn’t know how to read) inside the box.

Example of print content marketing material that is unique every month. The bite mark in the top right corner is a nice touch.

From beautifully designed leaflets to quick-and-easy, informational rack cards about the products included, BarkBox gets creative with the print products they decide to include in their boxes, and they change them every month depending on the “theme” of the box. They’re fun to read, easy to keep for later and really makes me, the consumer, feel like each box is wrapped with love.

They’re also a great way to lead people to your social media pages and to encourage social media interaction, whether that’s through posting a photo with a hashtag for a campaign or a gentle reminder to follow you on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/whatever the kids are doing these days.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: Don’t swear off print products when determining your marketing strategy. Sometimes, they can be the subtle details that show your customers, clients or whomever that you genuinely care and can convince them to stick with you in the long run, whether you’re a subscription service, a healthcare facility or a small marketing agency in Fort Collins.

Jet’s 10th anniversary in August (and me continuing to throw money at BarkBox) proves that.


Kati Velazquez, Content Manager

Kati loves dogs, researching innovative marketing strategies and writing, so she found a way to incorporate all three of those passions in this one blog.

Hank’s reward for being patient with me to prove my marketing point.

2019-09-24T09:47:14+00:00October 1st, 2019|