Consumers Response Direct Mail

How do Consumers Respond to Direct Mail?

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Have you ever thought about how consumers respond to direct mail and the impact it has on their brains?

Well this is something Royal Mail has thought about in great detail, so much so that they decided to conduct a study on how consumers’ brains respond to direct mail.

Using one of the latest techniques in neuroscience, known as Steady State Topography (SST), Royal Mail aimed to understand mail’s direct impact on the brain. Below we’ve shared some of their key findings and how you can use them to improve your direct mail campaigns.

People absorb mail and its messages quickly

Royal Mail’s study found that consumers interact with mail and absorb its messages without really thinking about it. They are in a somewhat unconscious state when they are reading direct mail and their brain tends to be using, what is known as System 1. This is basically a fast and intuitive mode of thought that has an impact on decision-making.

Direct mail makes an impact on consumers’ brains

The results from the study also showed a significant change in how consumers react when direct mail is integrated with other media. When combined with other media like TV and email ads, they found that consumers’ brains were much more responsive.

With this in mind, it is important to make sure you carefully plan your direct mail campaigns around your TV and email marketing. The results from their study suggested that sending out direct mail first was the best approach for generating a higher ROI.

Consumers remember direct mail

A final significant finding from the study was that consumers remember direct mail more so than other forms of advertising. 60% of respondents said that direct mail marketing keeps brands in their minds. Royal Mail also found that mail activates areas of the brain that are responsible for maintaining long term memories and that direct mail is better at creating a long-lasting impression than other types of media.

Not only that but because direct mail is remembered by consumers, it is easily triggered and recalled by contact with other advertising methods. This is most likely why they saw the best results and higher brain activity when respondents had seen a TV ad, after viewing a similar piece of direct mail, as opposed to when they watched the TV ad first.


What this study by Royal Mail tells us is that direct mail has a positive effect on the human brain. People find it easy to absorb and store direct mail messages in their brains, so when brands integrate it with other media, there is a higher chance of overall campaign effectiveness.

How did you respond to this article? Hopefully as well as your customers will to their next direct mailshot. To discuss your requirements for direct mail call a team member at Baker Goodchild on 0800 612 1972 today.

Image Credit: Jeth Eriot

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