The ‘Print Is Dead’ Objection

If you Google the question, “What percentage of e-mail is spam?” the answers range from a minimum of 88 percent to a high water mark of 94 percent. That is incredible when you think about it. I don’t have a grasp on the number of e-mails that I receive, but I know that when I come in to the office in the morning, there are typically 30 e-mails waiting for me and only 4 or 5 avoid my filter.

A few hours later, I head to the Duxbury, MA, post office and check my P.O. box. Increasingly, it’s spectacularly unencumbered by mail. That’s nice because I hate to see trees die unnecessarily. Gone are the solicitations and colored postcards. Only an occasional paper bill and a check, the local weekly newspaper, and a handwritten letter from my mom and dad remain. Makes for light work and provides no strain on my motorcycle’s saddle bags.

Perhaps one more stop while I’m out and then it’s back to the office where I sit down at my computer and find that while I was gone, 11 more e-mails came in, only one of which is personal. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. And now I am ready for work. Annoyed, but ready for work.

It’s funny to think about what has happened. Our clients have decided to stop mailing. A common objection now is, “Print is dead. We are putting everything on the Web.“ In theory, that works. I mean, if you don’t print and you don’t mail, you’ll save a bundle.


How are people going to find out about your website? Through Facebook? Seriously? Are customers delusional enough to think that their companies are so fascinating that customers are waiting on their every Tweet?

Oh, I see. They are planning to use broadcast e-mail. Perfect! Constant Contact is a wonderful company. I use it myself, in fact. But the definition of SPAM is unrequested e-mail communication and those companies have, at best, an 88 percent chance that the customer is not going to see their e-mails.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
Related Content
  • Steve


    My concern is the younger generation coming into our business and embracing paper communications along with the web-based. Your comment about trees dying unnecessarily is counter to the point of your article. Trees used in paper-based communications provide an economic reason for a forest to exist. Without paper, one could argue that some of these forests would cease to exist, bocoming developments, farmland, or some other money-making use.

    With the millions of trees planted to more than replace harvested trees, I wonder why so many, even in our own industry, ruminate over the demise of a tree. No one I know says that about corn, for example. I can’t see anyone saying as they chomp down on an ear of corn, "I knew you when you were knee high on the 4th of July." Of course, tears would be flowing.

    Everyone should just give the tree-thing a rest. The younger generation we are trying to attract is going to think trees really are in danger. Then where will print be?