Mobile navigation


Print marketing: 5 minutes with… Neil Carter

Print marketing and distribution are central to many publishers’ businesses. We grab five minutes with Neil Carter, sales and commercial director at Posthub, to discuss the enduring appeal of print and what publishers can do to improve their performance.

By Neil Carter

Print marketing: 5 minutes with… Neil Carter

Q: What benefits does print marketing have over digital marketing?

A: The greatest benefits print marketing has over digital marketing is its impact and reach. Print has longevity and receives much longer eyeball time than a digital advert. Print is also more engaging than digital and engages the senses of sight, touch and even smell, creating a more engaging relationship with the reader. Printed material is additionally read with little distraction compared to a digitally delivered advert, which also increases its performance.

Q: What trends are you seeing in publishers’ direct mail activities?

A: We cannot ignore the challenging times publishers face to grow, or even maintain their subscription numbers, but as ever, quality content is unsurprisingly King. It needs to be regularly refreshed to create a loyal customer base and indeed to attract new readers.

How the content is delivered is changing. Instead of a monthly publication, would your readers benefit from just 6 issues annually instead of 8 or 10, or a higher quality product less frequently, with potential to increase subscription fees.

Q: What can be done to improve the sustainability of the print subscriptions channel?

A: It’s a process many people and organisations are engaged in. There are various ways that publishers can improve sustainability. These include avoiding materials such as glitter and mixed plastics and glue-dots – as these cannot be recycled. Speak to your printer about their inks, the use of vegetable oil in place of mineral oil. Many of these printers will welcome discussion points around carbon neutrality and ethical paper sourcing and will be happy to share their environmental accreditations.

Q: What can publishers do to improve the performance of their direct mail marketing?

A: Direct marketing results can be improved by following some simple steps:

  • The creation of a unique offer, using unique methods of tracking for measurement. Over two thirds of consumers are incentivised to buy when receiving mail with exclusive coupons or deals.
  • Mail should be professionally designed to ensure it’s as appealing as possible to your customers; you need to stand out from the crowd.
  • Target and re-target your audience; the more specific you can be, the more success you will enjoy – segmentation plays a large part here, along with integration of multiple marketing channels.
  • High levels of personalisation work well, and drive brand awareness as well as quality.
  • Often a customer takes multiple touch points before purchase – utilise follow up campaigns. Bulk mail has a wide spectrum of pricing points dependent on volume, size and weight.
  • Track and measure your investment; tailor it over time to create a winning formula.

Q: What should publishers be doing to improve the cleanliness of their lists?

A: Clean data is crucial; you don’t want any part of your budget wasted on out-of-date / inaccurate addresses. Life happens, people move, get married, divorce, pass away and so on, so it’s important your mailing database is regularly cleansed to ensure it is as up to date as possible. It maximises your spend and reduces the impact of negative feedback from inappropriately targeted mailings.

Q: When budgeting for postage, what things should publishers bear in mind?

A: Magazine subscription mailings benefits from a level of price certainty, with Royal Mail wholesale costs published 12 months in advance. Publishers can confidently plan budgets for activity in the current year, 2023 and the following year, 2024.

Budgeting for postage and Royal Mail increases can impact how many items and the number of publications you deliver within the year. Mail management specialists will help publishers to look at postage incentives. They will have practical sessions with your printer and mailer to look at ways to reduce material costs and optimise production formats, all of which can impact your bulk postage rates.

Q: What’s in the pipeline from Posthub?

A: We are incredibly passionate about post and all things mail! We will be attending several industry events where we can continue to stay close to the publishing sector. In partnership with JICMail, we will also continue to communicate the benefits of posts and the insights from how consumers interact with mailings.

About us

Posthub, part of the Whistl Group, provides mailing solutions for business-to-business and business-to-consumer publications. With access to the UK’s leading mail delivery network and nearly 100 years of combined industry experience, Posthub is a team of client-focused experts.

With a strong base of publishing clients across retailers, eCommerce, trade magazines, and consumer titles, we have the experience to simplify the complexity of mailing data and confidently support all elements of the postal journey from planning to delivery. Posthub provides reliable mailing support so your catalogues, magazines, newspapers, or supplements arrive on time to your audience in the UK or internationally.