Create a Sensory Mail Experience

March 2021


What is Sensory Direct Mail?

Sensory direct mail is a physical delivery that creates the opportunity to enhance the experience the recipient will receive by including relevant sensory elements. By incorporating sensory elements into the message, you could deliver something different into the homes of your audience for a truly memorable brand experience and bring the message to life.

People by nature, value what they touch. As humans, our skin is our largest organ and touch can be one of the quickest and most vital ways to provide a wealth of information to our brain. This means with sensory direct mail you have the ability to get as creative as possible with your direct mail item, to make your business stand out from the number of other advertising messages we see every day. By creating an interactive experience, your target audience is invited into the conversation with your direct mail message, which is likely to lead to a long-lasting brand impression. With direct mail, items are targeted and delivered to your selected audience. How your brand is first presented, could play a key role in your message recall and campaign response.  

Sensory mail is a smart, fun, and tactical way of creating a standout experience with your target audience, from the moment they receive your direct mail message through the letterbox. With direct mail, you can enhance your audiences experience in a number of different sensory ways as there are very few restrictions on how creative you want to be. Your only restriction could be the available budget. To give you some examples of the sensory opportunities available with direct mail, we have outlined some for you:

Creating a Sensory Experience, with Direct Mail

  • SightDirect mail as a channel can be very effective. As we are now in the modern world and over 93% of UK adults now own an internet-connected device(Source:National Statistics), you have the opportunity to include digital links so your printed media can come to life. The design is considered the most important and the simplest way of grabbing customers attention by creating a visually unique piece with colours, images, text, and graphics.

  • Touch - Using different textures, weights, and materials can hugely impact how consumers look at your brand and its quality. For example, silk paper could represent a professional, luxury company. You could incorporate a removable coupon the size of a business card that they can take with them, this gives the feeling that they already have money in their pocket.

  • Smell - If relevant to your message, scents can be ingrained within the paper to create a more emotive experience. ‘scratch and sniff’ is a paper infused with capsules that release a smell each time it is touched, Food scents, perfume, environmental to name a few.

  • Sound - Much like smell, sound can also bring out emotion. Sound clips can be used to grab and keep the attention of your audience. As it is not commonly used in mail adverts it will be an enjoyable surprise. With this, you could record a message or your own jingle to give it a personal effect.

  • Taste - This is another overlooked sense when it comes to marketing mainly because it best fits those who can actually offer edible products. Best utilised if you have a catering or food-based business, for product launches small samples can be included within the mailing pack such as wafer-thin strips or more commonly know as 'Peel and taste strips'.

Combining the Senses, It Just Makes 'Sense'

Sensory experiences are crucial for creating that ‘real-world’ connection. With this in mind look at the opportunities to include sensory connections with direct mail for senses like touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. Behavioural science has shown that subconsciously that positive sensory experiences can influence behaviour.

So the more senses you can evoke, the more powerful the subconscious behavioural impact. In 2020 8.4% of all advertising mail drove traffic to companies websites, (Source:JICMAIL)  this could have only been accomplished by successfully engaging, at the very least one of the 5 senses.

Be mindful of your message and the target audience you are looking to connect with, as you may not need to use all the senses at once, just the ones that are appropriate to your brand. For example, a coffee or chocolate brand is most likely to benefit from a sample for taste or an embedded scent within the paper.

Posthub offer consultative and practical advice for all aspects of a direct mail campaign. 

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