Stacked mail packages in black and pink beside the words "3 Ways Online Course Creators Can Stand Out With Print".

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If there’s one thing 2020 has taught me, it’s that connection is the key to growing a brand and ultimately making sales.

But, honestly, there’s just so much noise online. 

How can an online course creator cut through the noise and create deeper connections? 

One word. 

Print.  

As an online course creator, why would you want to show up in print? 

Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not against digital marketing in the slightest. I’m just pro making your marketing more effective. 

And when you combine print and digital – oooh baby, that’s where the magic happens. 

Even Digital Marketing Guru Neil Patel saysDirect mail is still effective and using it is a game-changer for any serious marketer.”

Here’s the nitty-gritty. 

1. Print is unexpected and memorable — especially from an online business.

In a study done by Canada Post in 2016, it was concluded that including direct mail in your marketing mix generates greater attention, heightened emotional engagement, and stronger brand recall.

On average, people spend 39% more time and attention on integrated campaigns versus their digital-only counterparts. 

2. Print makes your customers feel special and connected.

Customers feel 57% more valued when they’re contacted through mail rather than email alone. Canada Post digs into their study – Breaking Through The Noise.

Side note, I kind of love Canada Post’s marketing insights — #SorryNotSorry 

3. It sticks around — it’s longer-lasting than its digital counterparts.

I love this one.

According to CompuMail, the average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, compared to direct mail’s average lifespan of 17 days.

Like what!? 

That means the average direct mailer lasts 1,468,783 seconds longer. Yeah, I did that math. ?

But seriously, think about the last time you received coupons for a fast food place. 

My husband and I eat out about once a week. Several months back, we received coupons in the mail from Subway. They were awesome coupons. Buy one 6 inch get one free, buy a footlong and get a second for $7. These coupons were good for a couple months. 

We put them in our car. Like right in the little console between the drivers and passengers seats. So every time we were in the car we saw them. We probably ate at Subway 6 times in a two month span. 

We’d be in the car on the way to get the kids after work. We’d realise we didn’t plan anything for supper. So, the age old question of what’s for supper came up. And bam… There were the Subway coupons to solve our dilemma. 

Even after the coupons expired, they sat in our console for a while longer. Effortlessly convincing us to buy Subway 1 or 2 more times before we finally threw them out. So I’d say the mailer did it’s job. 

The point is, mail get’s kept. And seeing a brand over and over again increases the chance of:

  • Making a sale
  • Gaining a quality new follower
  • Keeping your brand top of mind
  • Growing your brand recognition

Just to name a few things. 

And to drive this point home just a bit further, Canada Post tells us 66% of people keep mail they consider useful. If my little coupon story didn’t already illustrate that point, I’ll be sharing an example of how online course creators can take advantage of this as we dig into specific print assets. 

Ok, enough about coupons – let’s talk about print assets specifically for online course creators. 

As we explore these 3 print assets for online course creators, you’ll see how these points tie together to create powerful brand connections.

The first asset an online course creators can use to tap into the benefits of print is, a branded welcome box. 

If you’re selling a high ticket offer — something that’s a 5 figure investment — a branded welcome box is an excellent way to get your brand in your clients hands. There’s so many fun things you can do with these.

  • Brand the box — and use the whole box. Not just your logo on a white box. Imagine for a second that the whole box is your canvas. What could you do with it? How could you make that box a branded experience for your client?
  • Use custom tissue paper — or at least tissue paper in your brand colour
  • Seal items with stickers that have your logo on them.
  • And I could go on.

Let’s go on another little journey here. 

Imagine someone signs up for your 5-figure course. There’s still 2 weeks until the course starts. In their wait, their excitement starts to wane and a little bit of buyers remorse starts to creep in.

A week after enrollment, they check their mailbox and they find a branded welcome box addressed to them. Their excitement is reignited upon seeing the box. They open it. It’s full of curated products, a personal note, everything they need to get ready for the program, and it reaffirms their buying decision by making them feel super important and special. 

As if reaffirming your client’s buying decision and making them feel special wasn’t enough to make a welcome box a great investment, there’s more to get excited about. Your brand is now in the hands and home of your ideal client. 

The welcome box is likely to sit on their desk, coffee table, or counter for weeks. Visitors will ask them about it, they’ll share excitedly. And, without any more work on your part, you’re now reaching a wider audience. Maybe some of their friends start to follow you and you can begin to nurture them in your digital domain. 

Often, client’s who receive these types of boxes will also share them on social media. Cause who doesn’t want to show off a little on social media, am I right? 

All of this extra sharing of your brand is earned media for you. Again, a wider reach for you without any extra effort. 

Welcome boxes, when done right make a client feel like you are catering directly to them, in their space. It’s the perfect way to create a deep connection, reaffirm a buying decision, and extend your reach to an untapped audience.  

Workbooks are the second print asset course creators can use to connect and amplify their brand.   

Workbooks are a great thing to include in a welcome box, but they can also be a standalone asset. 

The best part is, if you’re running an online course, you likely already have workbooks created. The content is already there. The only thing left to do is optimize them for print.

Again, I’m not knocking your digital assets here. Just showing you how you can expand on their value. 

Let’s explore some common scenarios that happen with digital PDF workbooks. 

  1. Your clients download your workbooks and they remain in the abyss of their downloads folders like forever….

OR

2. They print the workbooks off themselves on their office printer. Meaning, you’ve just given up control of how your brand shows up. Hello black and white prints with uneven white borders.

Printed course materials are an opportunity for you to show your clients what your brand feels like through – paper choice, full colour prints, and a tangible asset. 

Another opportunity for you to express your brand exactly how you intended. 

And much like a welcome box, your brand is now in your customers hands and homes. Ready for them to use each week throughout your course. Ensuring that your books will stick around for at least the duration of your course, but likely longer. 

This brings us to one final print asset for online course creators and that is – thank you cards. 

Thank you cards are the simplest way for online course creators to show up in print. 

You can send them either right after purchase, or upon completion of your course. If you’re really ambitious, maybe you send them at the beginning and the end.  

Again the idea here is getting your brand in your customers hands and homes. 

A thank you note will:

  • Make your client’s feel special and important. 
  • Often be displayed in their home sharing your brand with a wider audience. 

I received a custom thank you note from a copywriter I worked with and I proudly displayed it on a shelf in my kitchen for a month. After that I moved it to my desk. Three months later the card was still kicking around. Why? Because it made me feel connected to her as more than just a client. And her actions — sending a custom hand written thank you card — make me feel like I made a friend. Rather than being just another dollar in someone’s pocket. 

One last thing you can do to kick your thank you card up a notch is to make it useful. 

Whether you’re sending it at the beginning of your course, or at the end, including a custom link or QR code to your course login can increase the longevity of your asset. 

If you’re sending it at the beginning, your message might simply be something like: login and get yourself acquainted with the course platform. 

If you’re sending your thank you card at the end, you might want to include verbiage saying: “Don’t forget, you have access to the recordings and resources for the lifetime of this program!” 

Quick access to the course login is bound to increase the longevity of your thank you card because it helps avoid the mess of inbox archives and bookmarks that we all dig through to find that coveted sign in page. 

There you have it, 3 ways online course creators can stand out with printed assets. 

Drop your Q’s in the comments so we can talk about print. 

If you’re itching to discover how best to leverage print assets in your business, head over to the contact page so we can get you booked in for a one on one print convo. I can’t wait to help you discover how you can get your brand in your client’s hands.