Why Direct Mail Beats Email, Eight of Nine Ways

Digital ads grab attention quicker, but that’s about all, says a new Temple University study.

Physical mail pieces hold attention longer, cause a greater emotional response, and are more memorable according to this neuromarketing study.

Not only that, the study shows that direct mail is perceived as more valuable, and even plays a more direct role in purchase decisions.

Nothing could make the US Postal Service happier, as a third of their revenue (about $20 billion) last year was from ad mail.

Temple connected lab subjects to eye tracking, fingertip sensors for heart rate, respiration, sweating, and even used MRI’s to reveal brain activity.

Study subjects examined a mix of 40 email and physical advertisements.

Granted, email and postcards scored about the same for engagement, accuracy of remembering the ad, and subject’s willingness to pay.

However, direct mail was the clear winner in a number of areas.

MRI scans found that looking at a postcard you hold in your hand lights up parts of the brain associated with desirability and value – far more than email does.

Direct mail cards were also more quickly and confidently remembered.

All of this confirms the same findings in an earlier study done by Royal Mail in the U.K. in 2009.

How can you use these findings?

The one thing these studies prove is this:

You should be testing direct mail.

Do your own testing. Everything varies by industry.

And you’ll certainly get better results with better data and smarter use of it!

Vary the color, shape and use of white space.

With direct mail, when people call your tracking number or go to a specific web page, you have concrete proof of a response.

Use sequencing. Add direct mail at different points in your marketing sequence.

Do people respond better to direct mail after they get an email or vice versa? How does this fit in with other media channels, such as TV or social?

Are you using this information to your advantage?

Contact National Auto Data for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.

We’ll examine every inch of your marketing goals, look at your competition and tell you something new.

Call us today at 866-363-9578 to get things started.