The Neuroscience Behind Direct Mail

Having a letter drop through your door can be quite exciting. It can also create balance from the barrage of 24/7 digital exposure we’re all now accustomed to. Post may be one of the oldest forms of long-distance communication. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for it in the modern world.

According to Ofcom, adults spent 40% of their day in front of a screen during the height of lockdown, so having a form of communication that was purely offline has become a welcomed distraction.

Long-term recognition.

Royal Mail released a study on the impact that direct mail has over email and social media. One of the key findings was the long term memory encoding that direct mail has. Results show that mail activates part of the brain responsible for long-term memory, encoding 49% more information than email and 35% more than social media advertising.

What’s clear is that the impact of direct mail will stick with a customer far longer than social/digital ads.

Mixing your comms is where the magic happens. The same study states that brand recognition in response to social media advertising was higher when someone had seen direct mail first, and they spent longer looking at the ad than those who hadn’t received any mail.

Building the brand room.

‘Brand Room’ is the concept that each brand has a little room in our brains. And so every touchpoint we share with that brand furnishes that room a bit more, affecting our perception of it. As well as furnishing and decorating the metaphorical brand room, it’s also important for marketers to bring their brand to the forefront of peoples minds and in effect ‘turn the lights on’.

First impressions count. We know that direct mail achieves pretty powerful long-term memory encoding. So, when engaging with prospective customers, a targeted mail piece is a good option to consider to start that process.

Touching power.

JICMAIL data shows that 94% of mail is engaged with in some way, and addressed advertising mail is interacted with four times on average.

Mail feels human and real. It’s a tangible form of communication. A separate study by Royal Mail found that 65% of people said they are likely to give mail their full attention. In the same study, 72% of people said they often read and review some of their mail at a time when they can give it their full attention, even if they have already opened it.

Real-life example

Our client, Ipswich High School, chose direct mail to reach and engage with prospective parents. Read the case study here.

The quality of your direct mail collateral reflects the care and effort used in the message. Royal Mail found that 70% of customers said direct mail from companies, makes them feel valued, whereas only 30% said email made them feel valued. The same percentages agreed that direct mail, over email, gives them a better impression of the company that sent it.

GDPR friendly marketing.

Direct mail is the only form of marketing that is targeted to you specifically but in a physical way. Digital marketing requires many more data points than direct mail. It requires someone to have an app, visit your website or opt-in to get communications from you.

Direct mail, is preferred by the consumer for the care and effort that feels like has gone into it. It’s also easier to manage from a GDPR perspective and can feel less intrusive than a weirdly specific ad popping up in your newsfeed.

Clone Media have access to some of the best tools out there, to help make your direct mail campaign compliant with GDPR and have protocols in place to ensure any data we handle is secure and safe.

Want to know how you can engage your customers with clever direct mail marketing?

Contact our friendly team of direct mail and print experts who can guide you through our processes and options for your business.


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