10 Reasons to be Thankful for Print

Originally published at blog.lsccom.com

New is exciting, but is it always better? Technology has revolutionized reading and marketing, making it easier now more than ever to reach a target audience. However, evidence suggests consumers are not giving up tried-and-true ink-on-paper. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 10 reasons why we’re thankful for print:

10. The Value
One of the main selling points of e-readers is their ability to hold hundreds of books on one ultra-portable device. Why travel with three books when you can travel with your whole library? This convenience, however, comes at a significant cost. Studies show digital readers are three times less likely to enjoy reading and are two times less likely to become proficient readers.

9. Students are Thankful for Print
Even with skyrocketing education costs, 92% of students across the nation would rather purchase a physical textbook over a cheaper (or even free) digital version. Students and professors alike agree there are fewer distractions and students are able to retain more information with print. Many professors even prohibit the use of electronics in their classrooms, leaving students with digital copies unable to participate in discussions.

8. The Emotional Connection
Serious readers are hesitant to make the move into the digital world. According to a Pew Research Center study, 65% of readers prefer to read a physical, printed book– nearly double the amount that prefers e-books. Printed books offer an experience to their readers that is impossible for any technology to replicate. Each time you pick up a book, you are greeted with the cover art of the book. You can feel yourself progress through the story with every turn of the page. Physical materials engage multiple senses, which triggers internal feelings and helps readers to internalize what they are seeing. This applies to all types of media, books and advertisements alike.

7. The Environment
Don’t assume you’re automatically saving the environment by eliminating paper from your reading diet. The Omega Institute rates the resources used to produce a single e-reader equivalent to those of 40 to 50 paper books, and the emissions released producing that same e-reader are equivalent to that of about 100 books. In fact, paper production supports forest sustainability efforts.

6. Print Stands Out
Imagine you are sitting in a waiting room for a job interview. What do you think would impress your potential employer more, reading a book or staring at your smartphone? As amazing as the technologies are, smartphones and tablets are so ingrained in society that they don’t stand out anymore. Books, magazines, newspapers– they’re interesting, they’re conversation starters. Do you read often? How did you come across that book? Maybe you’re reading on a device, but chances are strangers will write it off as scrolling through your social media feed. Be interesting. Read books.

5. Consumers are Thankful for Print
Pop-up advertisements. The bane of every internet user’s existence. Although websites are riddled with such ads, 80% of internet users say they trust printed advertisements more. Note that advertisements are often a company’s first impression on consumers, and poor advertising campaigns can negatively affect a company’s reputation. Marketing is a costly but essential part of any business’s success. To make the most of your investment, consider ditching the virtual advertisements.

4. Print can Support Digital Media
Even if your business has experienced success with a digital marketing campaign, you can still benefit by reinforcing your efforts with print. Placing Quick Response (QR) Codes on printed media allows your clients to reach your website or other digital content instantly with a smartphone. Direct-mail newsletters and subscription boxes are additional options for establishing a tangible relationship between you and your clients. Limiting yourself to one form of media means you are not capitalizing on potential sales opportunities.

3. Direct Mail is More Successful
According to a study conducted by True Impact Marketing, a leading neuromarketing research and strategy firm, direct mail is 20% more likely to encourage consumer response than e-mails. Think about it, ignoring an e-mail is much easier than ignoring that pile of catalogs on the coffee table. Consumers are forced to interact with direct mail, which ultimately leads to greater brand recognition.

2. Print is Better for You
According to a Harvard Medical School study, e-reader screens have proved to be problematic for some users. While illuminated screens are convenient for short reads in low-light settings, for long reading or study sessions the light often causes discomfort and eye irritation. Readers with more sensitive eyes may even experience headaches, nausea, and insomnia. The indirect light of a reading lamp on paper is not strong enough to bother your eyes, and you don’t have to battle sun glare when reading outside.

1. In Vino Veritas
Father of the modern printing press, Johannes Gutenberg, actually modified technology from winemaking machines to mechanize the printing press. Gutenberg adapted the screw press, which was used to juice grapes, to evenly apply ink to paper. So, in a way, every glass of wine you drink is a tribute to the history of the printing press.

Cheers to a happy holiday season!