The Psychology of Direct Mail

Survey Reveals People Look Forward to Getting Physical Mail
Good news for direct mail printers: recent research reports that mail offers positive psychological benefits to recipients and that people look forward to receiving it each day. According to the USPS Market Research and Insights Report, “COVID Mail Attitudes,” 65% of consumers surveyed say receiving mail lifts their spirits, with 54% of respondents indicating that mail helps them feel more connected. (More than 1,000 adults participated in the on-line survey.)

Print providers can cite this research to customers to promote the value of using the mailbox to reach clients and prospects. Sharing that people welcome and look forward to reading mail may convince marketers who are considering direct mail investments.

Using Psychology Improves Direct Mail Results
Direct mail gurus often cite brain science and psychology principles when offering recommendations for creating direct mail pieces that resonate with recipients and deliver desired results. What follows is a short compilation of psychological direct mail strategies for print providers to recommend to customers and consider in their own direct mail promotions.

1. Keep messages and offers simple.
People are hardwired for expending the least amount of effort. According to the Principle of Least Effort, if there’s more than one way of completing a task, then people will typically go with the least demanding option. Reading long, wordy copy takes effort. Using clear language and short sentences will ensure marketing messages are read and understood

2. Make it memorable and interesting.
There’s no such thing as a captive direct mail audience. If the piece doesn’t grab the recipient’s attention, it’s going into the paper recycling bin. Because the brain likes puzzles, humor and emotional engagement, consider using these elements in direct mail. Another for method capturing attention is storytelling — people remember stories

3. Know your audience.
Create special offers for customers based on past purchase history. Suggest new items they would like — this builds loyalty. Digital printing’s ability to print variable text and images supports the production of personalized and versioned direct mail offers.

4. Be Repetitive.
Repeating a phrase, product or brand name throughout marketing copy increases the probability of the message sticking. Likewise, repeated exposure to the same (or slightly different) message gradually increases like-ability over time.

5. Avoid Overload.
The brain cannot process too many messages or images at the same time. Make sure that you leave white space and use concise copy so that the brain can easily process your  message.

6. Demonstrate Credibility.
People crave evidence when making decisions. Direct mail offers that include statistics and testimonials are more likely to be believed by recipients. Keep in mind that while statistical evidence can be a credibility builder, it should also illustrate a relationship. People will remember the relationship rather than the actual number. It is context that makes statistics and testimonials helpful in persuading people, so be sure to use them correctly in your messaging.

Ricoh Dealer
The goal of any marketing campaign or strategy is to influence a consumer to make a decision that benefits a business, company or organization. Incorporating psychological principles into direct mail offerings can motivate customers to respond to the offer.

Ricoh Business Booster Community has engaged NAPCO Research to provide our members with this ongoing series of advisory articles on the COVID-19 pandemic. For daily reporting on economic, legislative, safety and human resource news, as well as government agency announcements, visit the NAPCO Media and SGIA COVID-19 resource Channel. Please e-mail any questions, comments, or ideas for future content to lcross@napco.com.

Uncategorized