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Direct Mail: 4 Reasons it’s the Ultimate Sensory Input Tool

Emotional marketing is certainly a hot topic, and direct mail provides the sensory input to give advertisers the biggest bang for their buck. And when direct mail is paired with digital in an optimized media mix, advertisers get the results they crave and consumers receive an emotional statement that’s difficult to forget. Need proof? This piece from Canada Post titled Smartmail Marketing; the Science of Activation is a great example. Here are a few stats from that piece:
  • Direct mail on its own generates a 29% higher brand recall than digital advertising.
  • Beginning with a pre-roll ad followed by a direct mail piece holds a customer’s attention 57% longer than pre-roll campaigns alone.
  • Combining direct mail with display ads results in a 46% higher brand recall vs. a display ad-only campaign.
  • Overall, integrated campaigns drive 39% more attention than single media campaigns.

But what makes direct mail such an effective sensory input tool? Here are my top four reasons:

 1. It commands attention.

Digital marketing is great at generating brand awareness and introducing your product to a new audience, but it comes with a lot of distraction. Whether it’s a pop-up ad that interrupts the reading of your favorite blog or a banner ad that catches your eye when reading your news feed on Facebook, distractions are part of the digital experience. When you receive a piece of direct mail, you’re more in control of the length of time you interact with the piece.  And, on average, people spend 25 minutes with direct mail.

2.  It’s pleasurable to interact with and read.

According to the Royal Mail, our mood improves by 29% when exposed to a positive tactile feeling. Direct mail certainly fits the bill here, and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Emotional marketing is about connecting with your audience in a real and authentic way.  Direct mail allows you to have their full attention with a tactile physical form of communication.  Adding a textured varnish, an interesting fold, or creating a uniquely sized piece will definitely help your direct mail stand out.

3.  It’s tactile and real, and therefore more trustworthy.

recent study from VVT, a Finnish research company, found that 90% of respondents value direct mail over social media and 63% said they found print ads to be more trustworthy. This study surveyed more than 700 people in 13 countries. Considering this, it’s no wonder 92% of shoppers say they prefer direct mail when making purchasing decisions.

4.  It’s personalized without being creepy.

While a banner ad that calls you by name makes you feel spied upon, personalized direct mail feels friendly and exciting. In fact, it can generate appreciation for the business it represents since many consumers recognize that personalizing print requires more effort that personalized digital ads.

So, next time you’re trying to think of a way to stand out from the competition, consider a media mix campaign that incorporates print and digital—especially personalized direct mail. According to the stats, humans are hardwired to love it!

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