4 Marketing Materials You Probably Don’t Use (But Should)

If you’ve been in the business world for longer than five minutes, you know there’s been a huge debate about marketing strategies—a debate that’s proven the power of print marketing in today’s digital age. Yet many businesses have used the same marketing strategies for the past decade, whether that’s a repetitious direct mail campaign or a boring product brochure.

Corporate identity example
photo credit: Behance

But if you’ve been stuck with the same routine for a long time, you may be ready to switch up your strategy. And you just might be wondering, “Are there other print marketing options I can try?”

The answer is, absolutely! Print design covers a huge spectrum of products, so chances are good that there’s always an innovative promo piece you haven’t found yet—and it just might be the one that helps your print marketing campaign take off.

Here are 4 great pieces you should try this spring:


Billboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are giant highway billboards that can be used for advertising along major thoroughfares, plus smaller variations that are useful for marketing in other outdoor—or even indoor—venues. For instance, you can use a banner at your next tradeshow to help your booth stand out.

Many business owners hesitate to use billboards for online brands. They think a physical ad on a bus or building won’t be helpful. But the truth is that billboard advertising is one of the most effective and rapidly growing marketing strategies; in 2015, businesses spent $1.4 billion more on billboards than they did just six years prior.

Mini binders

Business binders

Some business owners also resist using binders, which are often too bulky to meet their needs. But printers are creating innovative compact binders, such as slim options with smaller rings and mini varieties.

Print boutique Company Folders, for instance, offers an entire line of mini 3-ring binders that come with all the bells and whistles of their larger counterparts but are only 7″ x 9″ in size. This lets you create an amazing design on the same manufacturing materials as a large binder—poly, vinyl, faux leather, or paper—so you can choose the material that best protects your print marketing materials.

Product sell sheets

Product sell sheets are the long lost cousin of brochures. They offer the same amount of space (an 8 ½” x 11″ sheet of paper), but since sell sheets remain unfolded, they provide a clean and open design canvas that’s great for large, full-color images.

When designing sell sheets, it’s important to consider the type and amount of info you want to include. A collection of sheets could showcase a series of products, or you could place two products on the same page (one front and one back). Another great design strategy is to print a full-size photo of your product on one side and provide product details on the other.

Thank-you cards

Thank you card
photo credit: Michael J / Flickr

While branded letterhead and stationery are popular branding tools, people often forget one of the most important parts of any stationery set: the thank-you card. It sounds simple, but sending a genuine note of appreciation to customers can go a long way toward encouraging them to come back.

This can mean sending a note to a first-time customer to thank them for buying your product, or a note to a returning customer to thank them for their loyalty. The key is to sound professional—business thank-you’s are nothing like telling Grandma thanks for your birthday money. You’ll want to learn the best tactics for writing powerful business thank-you cards, so you can make a good impression on your clients.

Another tip to make thank-you cards even more effective: include a discount or other promotional offer. This puts your money where your mouth is and shows clients that you really care about them, not just their money.

These four print marketing materials may not have been on your radar before you read this article, but they should be at the top of your list now. Leave a comment to tell us about other underrated print materials you love!