Multi-Sensory Stimulation Techniques Through Direct Mail

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We operate in the world by using our five different senses; taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. These help us to form a complete picture of the world around us, and to engage with items and objects on a greater level. If we can see, smell and touch an item, we’re more likely to remember it and its qualities.

It should be no different with a direct mail campaign. Traditionally, most companies only look for innovative ways to appeal to a customer’s visual sense, and while there is nothing wrong with this, why not look for innovative ways to appeal to the other senses too?

Appealing to a customer’s visual sense with your direct mail campaign

Before we look at the other senses that you can target, it is worth starting with the main one when it comes to a direct mail campaign; visual. While there will be certain visual things you always have to stick to, such as good structure and great copywriting, there are other innovative tactics you can make use of.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a huge new technology. While it has been around for decades, it has only recently started noticing a widespread use for commercial and marketing purposes. Augmented reality, as opposed to virtual reality, is the blending of the virtual world and reality.

It allows users to operate in their everyday environment, while using AR technology to enhance their experience. Companies, such as IKEA, have been using this technology to have customers engage with their brand in new ways.

You are perfectly placed to do this with a direct mail campaign too. Have your direct mail come to life, capturing your potential customer’s attention. This technology is fairly new, so if you make use of this now, you’re sure to impress your recipient.

Envelope optimisation

In many cases, the envelope of your direct mail will be the first thing that your readers will see; it is important that it delivers an impact straight away. This may seem simple but they make a difference either way.

Consider using colours, having interesting content on both sides of the envelope, and using a bigger window to give your readers a snapshot of what is inside.

Appealing to a customer’s sense of smell with your direct mail campaign

Our sense of smell is our most powerful sense, so it makes sense to target it. We also commonly associate smell with emotion and memory; two extremely important things that you want to elicit from your readers with your direct mail. If they can associate an emotional response with your content, and remember it, they’ll be much more likely to convert.

We’ve looked at some of these innovative ideas for your direct mail campaign below:

Including sample products in your direct mail

Including a sample product in your direct mail is a big one. Not only does it give your recipients something free, which they always love, it will allow them to quickly buy into your brand if they like the product.

While this product can be anything, if it has a nice smell attached to it, it will provoke the emotional response as discussed above.

Attaching a smell to your direct mail

To keep things simple, you can simply attach a smell to your direct mail, whether it is through scented paper or simply an envelope that has been rubbed with a particular scent. Of course, you don’t want to use just any smell, and it is important that you do your research to look at how best you’re going to convert your customers.

Is there a smell you can use that directly relates to your products? Maybe you’re looking to sell a certain type of food or flower? If a customer can smell that food or that flower, they’ll be much more likely to go out there and purchase it.

Appealing to a customer’s sense of touch with your direct mail campaign

People love to interact with the things around them, and touch is one of the biggest ways that they can really engage with a company or product. We’ve looked at some of the ways that you can do this below:

Shapes and sample products

Shapes and sample products can also appeal to a customer’s touch as well as their sense of sight and smell. Give them something to play with, an item to explore, or direct mail that they need to assemble themselves.

If they have to physically engage with your direct mail in some way, it will help them to remember it much more than the other pieces that they received through the door.

Using different surfaces and different finishes

Sometimes, the simplest approach can be the easiest and most beneficial. You can make easy changes to your direct mail without incurring huge costs to your campaign. Consider using different surfaces, such as metal or fabric, and different finishes, such as rough or smooth, to make your direct mail stand out from the rest.

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How else can you appeal to a customer’s senses with your direct mail?

The eagle-eyed readers among you will know that there are two other senses as well; taste and hearing. Can you incorporate these into a direct mail campaign too? Yes! We’ve listed two examples below.

Taste in your direct mail

You can include an edible, and wafer-thin flavoured strip into your direct mail, which is highly cost-effective and allows your customers to get a taste of your product. Of course, this only works if you have a product that is edible, but it just shows another way that you can be innovative with your direct mail campaign.

Taking your direct mail campaign one step further

Here at bakergoodchild, we’ve been helping companies with their direct mail campaigns for years, and we know many of the innovative tactics in the book. If you want our help, you can reach us here.


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