Friday, November 4, 2016

DM Rocks

Last year,
Canadian ethnographer Arnie Guha studied ad consumption.

First, he analyzed videos of the movements of recipients' eyes as they scanned direct mail (DM), email and ads on Facebook. Then, he analyzed two weeks' diary entries made by the recipients.

Guha concluded: DM rocks. Among his findings:

Direct mail is part of consumers' daily routine, "a routine so engrained and imbued with sentiment that it is often ritualized." The daily mail sort takes about five minutes and happens in the same part of the home. Consumers open and read personal mail first, and set aside direct mail that begs to be read for later. This ritual "presents a unique opportunity for brands looking to form relationships with new customers," Guha says. Email and Facebook ads, in contrast, are consumed without ritual.

Direct mail is valued. Consumers are far more likely to notice, open, read and enjoy direct mail than digital ads. They consider it less interruptive and a good way to make them feel valued. “In an age where person-to-person communication is being phased out, it is good to know some services still come from the hands of another human being," Guha says.

Direct mail is preferred. Consumers are more likely to associate feelings of happiness, excitement and surprise with direct mail, while finding digital ads annoying, distracting, disruptive and intrusive. That means direct mail isn't just for response-driving, but for deepening customer intimacy and communicating brand values.

Direct mail is "art." Consumers keep direct mail, display it in areas of the home, and share it for months at a time. Catalogs are kept in the living room; mailers and coupons on the fridge; menus in the kitchen drawers. Digital ads, in contrast, simply vanish.

Direct mail is a go-to source of information and inspiration in the early stages of the buying journey. Consumers in all age groups respond to it by making both planned and unintended purchases, in-store and online.

LEARN MORE. Check out
The 3-Minute Guide to Direct Mail.
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