How print rocks your brain

How print rocks your brain

Want to double the impact of your marketing? Add print to your mix of media and messaging. Boom!

Print burrows its way into the brains of your audience and seduces their synapses in ways that digital media can’t equal. In a world that seems to be dominated by digital marketing, print is the savvy marketer’s secret weapon.

Why is print so strikingly effective?

Physical marketing pieces appeal to multiple senses, including sight, touch and even smell. That makes them more memorable and gives them a lasting emotional impact. Because of this, they are powerful tools for building trust with prospective customers, donors and students.

Here’s how print appeals to the senses:

Sight: Using striking design and vivid images and illustrations, print media can connect with readers emotionally in ways that digital messages cannot. Uniquely-shaped print pieces and dimensional mailers are also very effective at capturing attention because your brain loves unique stimuli.

Touch: Print materials also have an unmistakable tactile appeal. When you hold a direct mail piece in your hands, you can feel the quality of the paper. Also, print pieces often require a certain amount of interaction: opening up a panel, turning a page or flipping them over to read the other side, for example. They invite engagement. In addition, papers can be coated with different textures and finishes, creating an even more unique, kinesthetic experience for recipients.

Smell: Printed pieces naturally have a slight smell to them from the inks used to print them. Depending upon the type of product you sell, you may be able to add scents or fragrances to your direct mail pieces to enhance engagement. Scents are strongly linked to emotion and memory, making them a potent way to capture your audience’s attention.

Additional benefits of print media include:

A more immersive experience: While readers tend to skim digital content, paper-based reading is slower and more deliberate. It’s also less distracting. That tends to increase engagement and memorability.

Help readers find what they need: Print media is also better suited to communicating longer, more complex messages than digital media. A well-designed print piece can be laid out like a road map with chapters, sections, sidebars and other visual cues that help readers find what they need. It can also give readers a sense of “place” within a physical document that enables them to return to a section and re-read it.

Trying to communicate a longer, multi-faceted message in a digital format can easily confuse your audience. They can only view a single screenful of information at a time, which makes it easy for them to get lost within it.

Cultivating trust: Print pieces tend to be more trusted than digital media. The use of consistent colors and branding, both online and offline, can help you to build relationships and trust faster with prospects.

A longer shelf life: Print pieces have a longer shelf life than digital media. An email can be deleted in a single click. An online ad can be easily ignored. Other distractions are just a click away.

In contrast, print pieces have greater staying power. Recipients often hold onto them or file them for future reference. They may even pass them along to others within their organization, generating even more impressions, engagements and sales.

Research proves the value of print media

A growing body of research reinforces the power of print marketing:

Two U.S. Postal Service studies demonstrate that physical ads are more effective in leaving a lasting impression than their digital counterparts. Participants remembered them more quickly and with greater confidence. They also felt a stronger emotional response to the physical ads.

Research sponsored by the Canada Post reveals that direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media. That means it’s both easier to understand and more memorable. It also shows that participant recall of a direct mail piece is 70% higher than for a comparable digital ad.

Finally, a Bangor University study demonstrates that printed pieces feel more “real” to the brain. As a result, they deliver a stronger emotional impact than digital messages and are easier to recall.

Simply put, our brains love to engage with printed pieces. By including them in your campaigns, your brand will stand out compared to your competitors’ digital-centric messaging.

Contact Heritage today to discuss your direct mail needs.

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