Social networks have allowed us to feel connected to things and people from all stages of our lives; talking to ‘friends ‘who exist inside a digital vacuum that we haven’t physically laid eyes on in years. Perhaps it’s those conversations and moments that have given us the perspective to evaluate and appreciate the tactile and sensory relationships we have in a non-digital environment. Grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, meeting a loved one for a drink, opening an actual real printed birthday or thank you card. These moments are treasured all the more in comparison. Lorrie Bryan, Connect Magazine contributor, has offered up this once printed now digitalized perspective for you:
Something old, Something New
The Intimacy of Print
By Lorrie Bryan
Social media has transformed birthdays into big deals. It’s not unusual for friends and family you actually haven’t spoken with in years to join the birthday frenzy, posting wishes, songs and photos on your Facebook or Instagram pages. But most people still find birthday cards that arrive in the mail far more engaging than a hasty social media message or e-card. In fact, despite all of the recent changes in the way we communicate, most of life’s more cherished messages are conveyed in print, and perhaps tucked away to be held and admired over and over again.
Wedding invitations are no exception. Despite the popularity of Evite and other online invitation sites, when it comes to the big day, nothing says “big” like a beautifully engraved invitation. Casual weddings and wedding websites are on the rise, but formal wedding invitations – with their cottons, foils, and multiple envelopes – are more popular than ever.
The much-loved wedding website “The Knot” reports that the average cost for wedding invitations in 2013 was $450. Prices range from about $2 each for digitally printed invitations available through online websites to $10 or more for beautifully engraved invitations from a storied stationery retailer like Crane & Co.
Why does this pricey tradition persist? “When the recipient holds it, he or she can feel the richness of the paper and the detail that went into the printing,” says Katie Lacey, president of Crane Stationery. “We live in an instantaneous, electronic age, and so knowing someone took the time to put a personalized piece of paper in the mail leaves a lasting impression no email or text message can compete with.”
The fact remains that, while digital messages often are fast and fleeting, print done right lingers to engage again and again. Marketing experts say the key to using print effectively is to use it creatively.
“While print is in a rapid state of evolution, it remains an essential part of most integrated marketing plans,” says Crystal McKinsey, founder and CEO of the integrated marketing communications firm McKinsey Development. “You can touch it, feel it, distribute it and share it in a way that is more tangible than digital outreach. The key to successful print inclusion in marketing plans today is creativity. Print pieces that are unique, interesting and on brand with the rest of your integrated plan are more likely to gain a response. Instead of sending out a direct mail piece with push messaging, consider mailing an invitation to visit a personalized URL that hosts content enticing enough to inspire the next user action, for example.”