From the Editor: Stop Printing? Only If You're Foolish
THE LINGERING economic downturn is starting to make some organizations go a little crazy. Crazy as in proclaiming that departments should stop printing, and rely instead on e-mails, or perhaps tweets. Wrote one university in-plant manager: "We just have been given the results of a task force on efficiencies and waste, and one of the top suggestions was to stop printing." Yes, my eyes are rolling too.
Other managers have mentioned similar "stop the presses" recommendations. The assumption by these organizations is that electronic communications are just as good, and so much cheaper. Well, unfortunately for them, you get what you pay for. Here's how the Email Experience Council sums up the outcome of those e-communications:
• 30 percent of the people who signed up for your e-mail marketing list will not get your e-mails because their ISP will incorrectly block them.
• 85 percent of those on your e-mail list will stop reading your e-mails (without unsubscribing) after the third message. Another 39 percent will either unsubscribe or stop reading your e-mails by the end of the year.
• More than 10 percent of people who read your e-mail on their handheld device will file it away, intending to take action, but never doing so.
As the number of e-messages we receive increases—Forrester Research predicts that by 2014 the number of daily e-mail marketing messages we receive will more than double—so do the chances that individual messages will just be buried and forgotten. And even when your e-message gets read, the viewer may not remember it very long. According to a report by the journal "Psychology and Marketing," individuals have a better ability to recall after viewing materials in print rather than on screen. Brand-name recall was substantially lower for screen respondents.
Knowing all this, why would any organization think it wise to trust the dissemination of its message solely to the Internet rather than producing an eye-catching printed piece that's more likely to be looked at multiple times, and the information retained?
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.