When deciding how to spend your marketing dollars, it would help if you could get a little bit of reassurance that you’re doing the right thing—something (anything!) that would reduce the gamble and shows that one marketing channel is more effective than another, right?

US and UK Studies

In years past, a couple of studies have been published which found that people preferred direct mail over digital.

The UK Royal Mail’s The Private Life of Mail analyzed the reasons for the resurgence of direct mail and why it still works. They concluded that though the internet has changed the face of marketing, “What digital media hasn’t changed is people. Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.”

Further, 57% of respondents in this study said that direct mail makes them feel more valued. It creates a more authentic relationship. Sixty percent said that, when done well, mail advertising make a last mental impression on the receiver, making it easier to recall later on.

A similar study, Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response, sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, found that postcards create a more substantial and enduring effect than digital.

And get this: it found that 79% of postcard recipients act immediately, compared with only 45% of email recipients.

For a lot of people, these two studies are sufficient proof that direct mail outperforms digital and thus is the obvious choice. But there are people who simple won’t be persuaded by anything less than actual scientific proof.

Well, it exists. And we can thank the Canadians for it.

Recent Canadian Study

Canada Post partnered with a neuromarketing research and strategy firm to understand “the neuroscience behind the response-driving power of direct mail” for its reports, A Bias for Action.

The study relied on brain imaging (analyzing changes in the patterns of brain waves) and eye-movement tracking to measure a person’s engagement with various kinds of both digital and direct mail.

The results show that direct mail is easier to understand and remember than digital media. This is based on scientific evidence that shows that direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process and provides for a 70% greater degree of recall than for digital.

Oh, but it gets even better: It found that direct mail has a 20% higher “motivation score” than digital. Motivation is “the feeling of wanting that drives urges and decision-making.” It’s a measurement that correlates with future behavior, such as buying decisions and action.

And, if that were not enough, the findings also shows that people visually process direct mail quicker.

So, the message gets in quicker, stays longer, and creates greater want and thus, action.

Thank you, science!


Speaking of science, great-looking, effective postcard campaigns needn’t be rocket science. At www.prospectsplus.com/pei you can design and mail one using your own design our one of our customizable postcard templates—all from the comfort of your laptop.

Or, save time. Call the mad marketing scientists at Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109. They’ll design your card and even create a targeted list and mail it for you, too.


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