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How to Close the Loop Between Print and Web Advertising


Print and digital can work brilliantly together and it is often when they are pulling in the same direction that the most effective campaigns are created."

-Jane Hudson, Forever Creative, 2012

With the widespread use of smart phones, QR codes, text-to-like codes, and other interactive media, you can get instant feedback just as easily from a print advertisements as you can from advertising on the web. It’s actually significantly more effective to use both digital and print advertising, as long as the two are designed to work together.

Here are a few things to include in ads for the most effective combination of online and print advertising:

  • Unique URLs allow you to track the hits from each ad separately so you can identify which are the most effective by tracking analytics such as website views, click-through rate, and sales.
  • QR codes are also extremely useful because they allow potential customers to scan print advertisements or products with a smartphone to get more information by watching a video, receiving a text, or being linked with your company’s page.
  • Short Social Media Page URLs can also be placed in print advertisements to increase your online reach by encouraging new consumers to follow or like your page online and create a long-term relationship with them, rather than a single sale.
  • Coupons or Offers for a free sample or download in print ads are a great incentive for customers to visit your site. They may even be willing to share contact information like an email address in exchange for your offer.

One example of a technique for effectively combining marketing strategies is to offer a few variations of a print ad, each emphasizing a different area of your company’s product or service. For instance, one ad could highlight the savings you’ll get if you buy the product now, while another can emphasize the high quality and long life of the product. These ads would be placed in separate magazines directed at each market segment. Customer who follow the unique links in these ads by scanning a QR code with their smartphone can be directed to specific landing pages that focus on their interests, increasing the chance of a sale.

Don’t count print media out yet. Try out some of these techniques to get your advertising channels working together. Still have questions...feel free to reach out to us at 814.596.0020!