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See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me


It seems like we (the entire industry, not just B Direct) has been defending direct mail for years now. It's not that we don't work on email, social media, digital ads, and other electronic communication. (We do). Or that we don't enjoy it. (We do.) It has more to do with choosing the right medium for the right message (sent to the right person with the right offer at the right time).

It's also a matter of touch.

From the time we are infants, we explore our world through touch, through sensations like warm, cool, rough, smooth, flat, bumpy, soft, hard ... You get the idea.

When a person receives an email message, they experience it through sight and maybe sound. (Although we don't recommend pushing unsolicited sound — especially anything intrusive that might embarrass your recipient.)

When a person receives direct mail, they experience it through sight, sound, touch, and even scent. As they tear open your envelope and pull out your content, they are more actively engaged with you and your marketing message than they are if they're simply looking at a screen.

Engaging more of a person's senses means engaging more of their brain. And, that leads to greater processing and greater analytical thinking. As marketers, of course, we're all about the greaters: greater recall, greater response, greater ROI.

The power of touch shouldn't be underestimated. If your budget allows, you can make your direct mail particularly tactile. Of course, sending 3D packages is a wonderful way to encourage your audience to reach out and touch. But, flat mail can be touchy-feely too. Choose unusual paper stocks and finishes, add die-cuts or creative folds, include inserts of different shapes and sizes.

And, if you're a numbers person, here are some stats that help drive home the message. According to the DMA ...

• Only 44% of people can recall the brand after seeing a digital ad, while 75% can recall the brand after receiving direct mail.

• Prospects are 10%-20% more likely to convert with a direct mail offer than an email offer.

79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately while 45% do on email.

• Direct mail generates nearly 40 times the response rate of email.

We'd say, these make up a pretty compelling argument for the power of touch.


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