Fall in Love With Direct Mail All Over Again

I will admit to doing a lot of reading. What can I say, I love it. I especially like to read something and find out that my own views have been verified. So, when I read the Washington Post article “Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.” I was so excited! Here is someone else saying the same things about print that I say every day. Basically in summary, people prefer to read in print rather than digital.

I will admit to doing a lot of reading. What can I say, I love it. I especially like to read something and find out that my own views have been verified. So, when I read the Washington Post article “Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right” I was so excited! Here is someone else saying the same things about print that I say every day. Basically in summary, people prefer to read in print rather than digital.

There are many reasons for this but the top ones are:

  • Easier to read: The eyes find the printed pages less straining to read.
  • Easier to comprehend: There are less distractions when reading print so it is easier to understand.
  • Easier to recall: Readers skim less when reading print versions so they remember more when finished.
  • Feel: Touch is a very important sense. The feeling of different types of paper stock and textures adds pleasure to reading print. You can’t feel digital.
  • Smell: Paper, ink, coatings and binding all add to the scent of a printed piece. You can even add a scent to enhance the printed piece. You can’t smell digital.

Even millennials prefer print. The best part about all of this talk about the benefits of print is that direct mail can take advantage of every single one of the reasons people love print. Direct mail can get pushed aside by marketers looking for the newest channels, but statistics still show direct mail as a very strong marketing channel.

Create direct mail that provides an experience:

  • Reading: Engage the reader with well written copy. Use bold and bulleted text to draw the eyes to important information.
  • Comprehension: Use clear and concise wording, a strong call to action and “what’s in it for me” language.
  • Recall: The most important items to be remembered should stand out. You can use italic, bold and underlining to emphasize what you need the reader to remember.
  • Feel: You can go beyond just the texture of the paper by adding different coatings. From soft velvet to rough stone, there are many to choose from. Get creative.
  • Smell: Depending on what you are offering, smell may or may not be a good fit. Try to think of creative ways to use smell to make your unique direct mail stand out.

Take advantage of the pull of direct mail, with less skimming your message resonates more. You have the opportunity to get someone to act on your call to action right away.

There is no reason why you can’t use direct mail to drive digital interaction too. QR Codes, Augmented reality and NFC all enhance the direct mail experience. The power of direct mail is waiting to drive your marketing ROI to new heights. From catalogs to flyers to samples, direct mail can handle it all and provide an excellent experience for recipients.

Create Powerful Direct Mail Marketing

Increasing your ROI is the goal for all direct mail marketing. So, how can you create powerful direct mail to drive that improved ROI? You won’t believe it is this simple, but just add scent

Increasing your ROI is the goal for all direct mail marketing. So, how can you create powerful direct mail to drive that improved ROI? You won’t believe it is this simple, but just add scent.

Your sense of smell is extremely powerful. A scent can elicit vivid memories that take you to your mom’s kitchen growing up, to the beach or just about anywhere you have been before. Our sense of smell is the most powerful sense, even above sight and sound. The location of our sense of smell, in the same part of our brain that effects emotions, memory and creativity, is the reason we react so powerfully to it.

To harness that power with your direct mail and make people respond is a marketers dream. In order to do that effectively, you will need to take the time to figure out how to tie scent to your marketing message. If you create a message and then incorporate a smell that is not compatible, you have doomed the campaign. They must be symbiotic, both with the message and the visual images.

How can you harness that power for your direct mail? Here are a few things to start with:

  • Identify the message: This is not just conveyed with words, but also with images.
  • Identify the emotion: What are you trying to make people feel?
  • Create the call to action: This needs to be very specific and easy to identify.
  • Create the scent: Now decide what scent will enhance all of the above and drive them to respond.

The first thing to do once you have completed the above is to gather a group of people together to bounce these ideas off of. The group should not be employees of the company. They need to be outsiders who are seeing this for the first time and can give you honest feedback. If any one of the four is out of whack, your mailer will not get the desired response.

Examples of scented mailer ideas:

  • Imagine for a moment that you are a company that needs to sell brownie mix. Of course you will put pictures of brownies on the mailer, but the real good smell of the brownies will invoke emotions and drive the action to buy the mix.
  • Imagine you are a garden center and want to sell more flower seed packets. Add a floral scent to really pack a punch.
  • Imagine you sell a cleanser that gets rid of skunk smell. You can use the scent of a skunk to remind people how horrible it is. I would advise you to use only a small amount. No need to stink them out of their home.

The best part about using scent is that you can use either good or bad scents depending on how you want to spin it. Sometimes the better choice is the bad smell. It reminds people of the bad things that can happen when they do not use your product or service. Do not be afraid to reach a little with your scent connection. Just make sure to fact check it with other people. If it is too far out there, you may lose the desired effect.

Talk to your direct marketing company about what they have created or seen done. To really make the campaign perform well, you need to get very creative. By harnessing the power of scent, you can take your direct mail campaign to the next level. Not only will you increase your ROI, but you can drive social engagement when you capture the attention as well as the imagination of recipients.