Cross-marketing your offline and online efforts taps into a broader audience than just relying on one approach. Much is made of the impact of digital marketing, but we can't forget the continued importance of print advertisements. Connecting print ads with your digital content provides that bridge to bring more people to your website and social media.

Direct Mail
A brochure or postcard in the mailbox holds an advantage over an email marketing campaign as it actually gets in front of your audience - they may even put the ad up on their refrigerator or throw it on their desk for future reference. An email can easily get lost in the masses, be deemed spam, or it is an easy click away from going into the digital trash can forever.

If you're doing targeted advertising, then the majority of people that receive the print ad have some interest in your product or service. If they have no interest in your digital content, then they still have enough information from your print materials to follow up with you about your products and services. If they are somewhat tech savvy, then take the opportunity to lead them your way.

A personalized uniform resource locator, or pURL, printed on the ad gives people an easy way to follow up on your information and offers. This is the digital equivalent of "For more information, click here." The PURL will direct them to a landing page on which you have information relevant to your print ad.

While useful, you'll want to entice the person to put down the ad and get onto their computer. One approach is to offer something only available to someone receiving the ad, such as:

· Go to your personalized site, "," for a 10% coupon off of your first purchase
· Follow this link to learn how you can save up to 15% on your next print campaign
· Visit our website to download a free resource on tips for effectively marketing your services

When you offer a takeaway that has value to your target market, people are much more likely to visit your website.

Business Cards
The lowly 2-inch by 3-inch business card has been around for decades and it still serves a useful purpose in your marketing plan. Tie it into your digital marketing efforts and you'll find it creates an effective way to drive interested consumers to your website. Print a QR (quick response) code on your business cards that contains a pURL. When scanned with a smartphone or tablet, the QR code can take people to:

· Your portfolio with detailed case studies and work samples
· Your Pinterest site full of lifestyle photos displaying your products and services
· Your Facebook page with posts about your company's involvement with community events
· Your LinkedIn blog with helpful tips on cross-marketing techniques

Your business card introduces you and your business. Use the QR code to direct people to a location where they can learn more about you and what you are passionate about.

Brochures and Fliers
Printed ads that talk about products and services can quickly become a recycling-bin item if your audience doesn't have a reason to hang onto them. A popular type of content now is the "How To" video. Companies create YouTube channels with a collection of videos that cover everything from basic auto repair to home DIY projects. Direct people to these videos from your brochures and build a loyal following of people who come back to see what else you can teach them.

Videos that walk people step-by-step through a task or project will help get your brand noticed. A brochure that presents a product with links to videos demonstrating how to use it most effectively helps people see how it will benefit them. Even more helpful are videos of unique ways that the consumer can use your products that they may not consider. For instance, look at the number of videos available online that show unique uses for Duct Tape.

Using the Hashtag
Another way to tie print advertising to the digital world is through hashtags. Hashtags are a way to create an online conversation that interested people follow. Short life span ads such as event promotion, seasonal brochures, and special promotion fliers are good venues for hashtags. Printing a message to "see us at #Print14," "follow us at #summerfoodideas" or "watch us at #fixitnow" encourage the Twitter savvy consumers to join in on the conversation.

Effective Marketing Plans
An overall marketing plan that incorporates print and digital efforts targets your audience in the most beneficial places. You'll create connections to the consumer with little to no online interest as well as those tech savvy mobile power users. Don't leave any market untouched by integrating both offline and online marketing techniques.

About John Foley, Jr.
John Foley, Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team consult with print and mail companies on sales and marketing techniques, write strategic online marketing plans to get them on a path to marketing success, and John speaks frequently to print, mail, and fulfillment providers about integrating technology such as QR codes and pURLs into their products and services. interlinkONE offers a QR code creation and tracking tool at, as well as marketing and fulfillment software that integrates pURLs, print, and digital campaigns at Learn more about John at, and his companies at and