Does your Direct Mail Need Bright Shiny Objects?

direct_mail

The wisdom from Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten may be a new treasure to some—but it is worth sharing (see – I already have the first rule down):

Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush.

Now that I am immersed in the world of commercial printing and direct marketing, I can apply the same, simple approach I learned from Everything I learned in Kindergarten, to find ways to attract and engage someone using a direct mail piece. So let’s Robert Fulghum-ize direct marketing and call it: Follow the Bright Shiny Object.

We are creatures drawn to see, feel and touch.  We want the soft surface.  We will run our fingers over a texture again and again—as if stroking it might bring it to life. In a world of ‘the nine second attention span’ (okay we might be down to seven), getting and keeping someone’s attention is the secret sauce of engagement. Engagement includes the attraction of touch.  Recent studies confirm that the media of the message shapes how a brand is perceived and remembered. The stock and quality of the paper can create a lasting impression. Heavier matte paper reflects luxury and refinement, with it’s smooth surface and tangible weight.  A coarse paper made from recycled content may reflect environmental awareness and sustainability. Recent studies prove that people simply enjoy reading real paper. This video from Sappi North America illustrates this concept further:

We want our clients to remember our brand, our message and to take action.  If we are going to engage our clients beyond digital, let’s give them something to remember.

As you work through the creative brief, allow budget and time for the bright shiny object. Add foil. Add a die cut. Add Spot UV. Weave these elements in as an integral part of the design, seamless in execution. In the end, it is all about the time the client spends with your brand, and what they remember and whether they take action.