Increase Direct Mail Response with Behavioral Science: Part One
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Are you ready to skillfully apply the principles of human behavior to your direct mail marketing messages to gain a competitive advantage? Since people default to hardwired behaviors without giving them a thought, we can use that to drive them to the response we want. We will use those behaviors to trigger them to buy our product or service leading to better direct mail results.
In part one of this series, we will focus on the decision-making process and how we can use it to convert more sales with direct mail. First of all, behavioral scientists have found that people use both the rational and emotional parts of their brain to make decisions. Buying decisions are made first by emotion and then later justified with rational reasons.
So, your takeaway is to create your direct mail messaging to first grab their emotion and second give them rational reasons to justify the purchase. The reason for this is that our brains process emotion faster. As you are writing your copy, keep in mind that emotion drives action and reason leads to conclusions. Basically, emotion drives purchasing.
Knowing this, how can we create the emotion in our direct mail to get them to purchase?
- Showcase how they will feel to save time and effort by using your product or service.
- Tell a story about how someone’s life improved by using your product or service.
- Choose pictures and colors than elicit the emotion you are trying to generate.
- Make them feel special with your special offer just for them.
- Emphasize that by buying your product or service they are joining a large group of happy people.
- Point out a painful situation that can be avoided by using your product or service.
These are just some of the ways you can create emotion in your direct mail. Better prices alone are not enough to motivate a purchase. You need emotion to drive it. You are using emotion to make a connection with your audience. By doing that you make them more open to buying from you.
Use a story to paint a picture of what it is like to experience using your product or service. Show the problem they have that you are solving for them. Choose your wording carefully. You want words that help them envision the wonderful outcome making a purchase will be. You want to acknowledge their fears, struggles, dreams or desires where what you are selling becomes the solution.
Use images that show a person eliciting the emotion you want to generate. Our brains respond as if we are experiencing that emotion which is exactly what we want to do in our direct mail to drive purchasing. Once you hook them with emotion use rationale to give them the reasons why they should buy. This will give them a rational explanation for their emotional purchase.
Finally providing reasons to buy is critical if you want your direct mail to drive a purchase. Gain a competitive advantage with the double whammy of emotional trigger followed by rational reasons to buy. Creativity should be flowing now. Have fun with your direct mail.
Not sure if this format will work for you? Test it. Do your normal direct mail piece to half your list and try this formula for your other half. See which one gives you the best result. Don’t be afraid to try new things, you may find that they work better than you could have imagined. Are you ready to get started?
In part two of Increase Direct Mail Response with Behavioral Science, we will discuss loss aversion techniques.
Summer Gould is Account Executive at Neyenesch Printers. Summer has spent her 31 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as the industry chair for San Diego Postal Customer Council. You can find her at Neyenesch’s website: neyenesch.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.