Direct Mail is over 500 years old, so it’s no surprise people have been dazzled by advancing communication techniques in the centuries since. Whilst everything around us has changed, Direct Mail has been the constant that whilst always evolving, has continued to be a mainstay in our day to day lives. Digital advances over the past few decades have been staggering and without doubt exciting developments; changing the way we talk to each other and also respond to and engage with companies forever.
So why is it the eldest of today’s marketing channels remains the most effective after all this time? Well, the answer to that question can be scientifically explained after a Temple University neuroscientific study found that Direct Mail is the most effective marketing method for engagement time, recall and purchase.
In fact, during the in depth study, Direct Mail topped 8 out of the 9 categories researched. Whilst Digital Ads captured the consumer’s attention quicker, Direct Mail held the consumer’s attention for longer as well as having a more prominent role in affecting the decision to purchase.
Here comes the science…
The study consisted of showing a mix of 40 email ads and postcards to subjects, using 3 monitoring techniques to measure the effects of each: MRIs performed scans to monitor brain activity, eye tracking to gauge visual attention and fingertip sensors to measure sweating, heart rate and respiration to track emotional engagement.
The experiment found that postcards were actually superior to email ads in four of the nine categories measured:
- Engagement time
- Emotional reaction
- Building subconscious desire for a service or product.
As expected, email ads topped just one section; focusing a consumer’s attention. The methods were tied level in; engagement, memory retrieval accuracy and purchase and willingness to pay.
Interestingly, the MRI scans revealed that the ventral striatum of the brain, in simple terms the brain’s control centre for desirability and value, was most stimulated by the postcard ad. The findings showed quite comprehensively that Direct Mail advertising has a longer lasting and deeper effect than digital advertisements on influencing desire for products and services. The evidence is also supported by a similar neuromarketing study carried out by Royal Mail in 2009, in which that also found Direct Mail advertising stimulated deeper brain activity than digital advertising.
At Herald Chase, we would always encourage (where possible) a healthy mix of offline and online efforts that harmonise with each other to curate the consumer experience. Sometimes however you just can’t argue with science and science states, that Direct Mail should be the fulcrum of your marketing activities, with digital and online efforts playing extremely significant supporting roles.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog piece on Direct Mail. If you would like to talk to us about your marketing campaigns, feel free to contact us on the office number: 0118 474 888 or alternatively email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Sources: DM News, Marketreach UK