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  • Writer's pictureSarah Butler

Print Advertising - 6 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Advertise In Print Publications

The world of advertising has changed dramatically in recent years as our lives become increasingly digital. Print ads in newspapers and magazines are fast becoming a thing of the past as the circulation of these publications dwindles.

The rise of digital and social media has left print advertising looking old and out of place in this new, modern world. In fact, as an advertising medium, print is reaching the end of its useful life cycle — it’s due to die out soon. That’s why so many businesses are cutting their print advertising costs and instead investing in more cost-effective forms of digital marketing that get results.

Read on to discover why you shouldn't advertise in print if you want every dollar you spend on advertising to have a tangible ROI.

1. Print ads are too expensive

Print ads are expensive. Really expensive. In fact, they are one of the most expensive forms of advertising available.

Print advertising is generally sold as flat rate for a publication based purely on size and colour of the advert. Think about that for a second: You’re not being charged based on the number of conversions your ad gets (or in the digital world how many times your ad is clicked).

Not only do you have to pay to have your ad publishes you also have design costs, which are usually more than digital ads due to their complexity and specifications.

2. Print ads are slow and inflexible

We have seen the state of our world change at an unbelievable pace over the past few years. Print advertising (especially in magazines) usually has a delay of days and even months before your ad is printed and distributed in a publication. And once it is done you have no control over it.

With digital advertising your ad can be live in minutes and conversely can be pulled immediately if you require it to be. The content can be modified, as can the audience you target at the touch of the keyboard.

3. You don’t see the results of your print ads

Print ads are meant to generate brand awareness and sales. If they don’t do that, they fail at their job. However, without using something like a promo code (which means having a special offer which you may not want to do) you won’t know if the ads were successful or not since there’s no way to track their performance. In print advertising, there are no statistics to measure how many people saw your ad, who they are, or what they did as a result. It’s invisible. You have no way of knowing if your ad got read, let alone if it got read by the right people.

With digital ads, you can track every click, where the click came from, and what kind of person it was. You’ll get all the information you need to make sure your ads are working.

4. It’s an outdated medium

Print ads were first used in the 1890's by newspapers. That’s a long time ago!. If you want your ads to be seen where your customers are hanging out then you need a modern, contemporary medium to get results.

What’s more, a lot of people no longer read newspapers or magazines. In fact, the number of people reading print newspapers and magazines has dropped significantly in recent years. Many people don’t read print because they don’t have the time. They’re busy, on-the-go people who don’t have time to sit down and read a newspaper. When was the last time you sat down and spent solid time reading a newspaper or magazine? Furthermore, if you did, did you notice an advert and make a purchase as a result? Probably not.

Digital marketing is more effective because it’s accessible to everyone. You can advertise on social media sites, websites, apps, and more using text, images, video, animations... You have more options with digital advertising.

5. Print ads are ineffective

When you put an ad in a newspaper or magazine, you’re reaching a very specific audience. However, that audience is shrinking, so your ad is only reaching a smaller and smaller percentage of people.

Newspapers and magazines are generally read by older people. Younger readers are looking for something different. They want to find information on the go, on their phones. They’re younger people, who are more comfortable with digital advertising instead of print.

Because print ads are reaching a smaller and smaller group of people, they’re getting less effective every year. There are also nothing new about print ads. People are so used to seeing them that they don’t pay attention to them anymore. We’ve seen them so many times that we’ve become blind to them.

When as a small business owner, did you last have time to sit down and read a magazine - to read not only the contents but absorb and then act upon an advertisement in it? Probably a very long time ago right? So why is it any different with the publication you are considering advertising in?

5. Digital marketing is more effective

Print ads are old, ineffective, and expensive.

Digital ads, on the other hand, are new, effective, and cheap. Digital ads are much cheaper than print ads. And depending on how you set the ad up, you can use a Pay Per Click (PPC) method where you only pay if someone clicks on your ad!

Additionally, digital ads are more targeted than print ads. You can put together highly-targeted ad campaigns that are displayed in front of exactly the right people. By targeting your ads, you’re increasing your chances of getting results. Digital ads also have more room for creativity, which you can use to generate interest.


Print ads are old, out of date, and expensive.

Digital ads, on the other hand, are new, effective, and cheap. You can use them to target your customers and see results almost immediately.

There’s no reason to keep investing in print advertising when it’s less effective and more expensive than digital advertising. Instead, invest in digital ads. You’ll reach a wider audience, get better results, and spend less money in the process. Digital advertising is the future of advertising and you don’t want to be left behind.

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