Like almost every industry, the print marketing industry has seen some big changes since the onset of the pandemic, and many of these trends are predicted to continue onwards into the post-COVID era. These innovations include an increase in printing QR codes and business signage, as well as the increased need for direct mail marketing to fulfill the continued customer demand for safe human interaction. If you’re interested in learning more about the post-COVID print marketing trends that are here to stay, keep reading.

Print Marketing to Increase Social Communication During and After the Pandemic

One of the most significant losses felt during COVID-19 was the loss of human interaction. As the world went inside, basic conversations at the store and seeing a smiling face behind the counter became sorely missed. This created a distance between businesses and consumers that people want to stop. One way to do this is to bring the personal touch of community back through print marketing.

Consider the comeback of direct mail. When your customers receive direct mail, it reminds them of that human interaction they have long missed. They feel that someone is thinking about them. This, in turn, brings about more loyalty toward your brand. In fact, 73% of consumers say they prefer receiving direct mail because it offers them the convenience of reading the information whenever they have time. And adding in the additional element of physical mail with their name on it made them feel more special and committed to a brand.

Related: Direct Mail - Stronger Than Ever

Another trend that is proving useful in establishing customer connection is print signage. Since fewer consumers are coming into shopping centers and stores due to COVID, outdoor signage has become more important than ever to keep your business on the minds of your customers. A well-placed and visually-clear sign showcases your business and what you have to offer. This is a great way to remind consumers that your business is here for them, is open, and is ready to serve. 

In-store print signage is also important because it can be used to remind your customers of safety and personal protection while they are shopping at your physical location. You can print custom posters and banners to alert your customers to potential hazards, provide them with warnings, or inform them of any rules you want them to follow. More signs are also addressing a company’s mask policy. This can also provide peace of mind, especially if consumers aren’t sure how they should approach wearing their mask in the store.

Related: Signage for Poles and Parking Lots

Minimizing Contact and Increasing Convenience with QR Codes

Both direct mail and signage can be enhanced through the use of QR codes - which are easily one of the most popular print marketing trends in the last year. QR codes have been around for decades, and their popularity is only growing as people still want to remain safe and contactless. QR codes were previously disregarded because of the trouble consumers had to go through to use them, with little gain in return. However, the game has changed now, and businesses are getting creative with QR codes, giving consumers more reasons to use them.

QR codes work so well today because they minimize contact and allow consumers to carry out a variety of tasks without having to worry about catching or passing on the virus. QR codes minimize contact because your customers don’t have to touch the counter, a pen, or a screen. They simply have to hover their phones over the QR code to get access to the website and menu so they can carry out their activities.

Some examples of QR codes being used to minimize contact include:

  • Restaurants using a menu QR code
  • Galleries and museums showcasing their visitor guide on a QR code
  • Beverage dispensers having a QR code
  • Verifying ID through QR codes

QR codes also increase interaction and build trust. In a 2019 study by Packaging Insights, 65% of users believed QR codes made a brand more authentic and trustworthy. By adding interactive QR codes to your signage and print products, you can track your customers' purchases while talking to them in a more 1-on-1 kind of way. You can also offer them points for scanning the code as part of a rewards program, in a similar fashion to the cosmetic company Benefits. This company offered special rewards to shoppers who scan the QR code at their boutique location. Feel free to do the same to encourage customer interaction and increase sales.

Integrating Direct Mail, Print Signage, and QR Codes Into Your Post-COVID Print Marketing Strategy

In the post-COVID business climate, focus your marketing plan on building trust and creating a connection with your customers while keeping convenience in mind. Once you build a connection with your customers, they are more likely to commit to your brand and become more loyal, leading to more sales. You create this connection by increasing your direct mail marketing and print signage. Also, now that your customers are likely familiar with the use of QR codes, you can use these codes to optimize convenience for the most ROI. 

For help with these and other print marketing strategies, you can count on the team at Ironmark. Our experts are here to get you started on the right foot. Talk to our print experts today to learn more about the print marketing services we offer.


Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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