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Evoking the Five Senses in Your Direct Mail Piece Can Increase ROI

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


Studies in business mailing list marketing over years have shown the more a marketer evokes all five senses through a direct mail campaign, the higher success level that campaign will see.  Marketers are off and running with this idea and have incorporated nuts, popcorn, frozen custard, candy, fruit, spices, hula-hoops, coffee and even rubber chickens into their mail pieces.  As with any type of marketing there are some factors to take into consideration when using a special item in your mail piece such as those listed above.


1. Sight is most important.
When you’re marketing through direct mail, it has to get opened to get noticed.  This means it has to appeal visually to the target audience and be relevant.  This is why dimensional mail can work wonders in B2B.  Bigger is usually better!


2. Smell is the second most important sense.
The idea is to have people come into the prospects office and ask “What smells so good?” Every time they are asked they will think of you, your company and the product/service you are introducing.


3. Taste is critical.
If it looks good and smells good, but tastes bad, you likely just lost the chance for a sale.  Make your product unique to you or your region and, if you can, crave-worthy.


4. Touch is not as crucial.
That being said, make sure you don’t have a sticky, gooey, or weird texture to your mailer or product.  It can turn people off.


5. Sound matters, but not as much.
Unless you are selling hi-end stereo equipment or a sound-related product, sound is typically the least important of the five senses.


Beyond the sensory component, which can be the payoff to the campaign, other elements like ads, email, web/landing pages, social media, digital, trade show/events need to have an integrated and cohesive look and feel for maximum ROI.  PR can play big into your success if done correctly.

The business mailing lists you use for all media, especially more costly dimensional sensory-mailers, need to be accurate and include an offer that resonates. Many marketers prefer to drive prospects to campaign-specific landing pages where they can gauge activity and test different offers, among other things.


These types of campaigns do work.  But remember that you can’t forego testing just because you have developed clever packaging.  Also, don’t forget to include key drivers to response within your campaign, including URL’s you can track and measure, a letter and brochure included within the dimensional sensory-mailer to tie it all together and follow-up by your sales team or distributor network.