A couple of years ago, we gave recipients of our newsletter, Insight, the option to receive it electronically instead of in print. We repeat that offer in every issue. To date, 13 of about 500 people on our mailing list opted for the electronic version.
While 500 people is not a huge sample, the experience tells us that many folks still favor printed communications. Maybe they like the feel of paper in hand or maybe they get very little in the mail these days and like seeing something addressed to them personally. Our conclusions may not be scientific—but then again, maybe they are! Some studies show that there is, in fact, science behind the preference for printed material…neuroscience.
These facts from recent research make the point:
- Canada Post conducted a “neuromarketing” study that showed printed direct mail is: (1) easier to understand and more memorable than digital media; (2) far more persuasive than digital media; and (3) visually processed quicker than digital media.
- Direct mail—such as printed newsletters—sends a sensory signal that stimulates a deeper level of engagement than digital messages, making it much more likely to be noticed. Consumers state that they are more likely to notice and read direct mail (53%) than email (26%).
- In the world of advertising, print appears to have a lot of “neuro” swagger as well. A neuroscientific study sponsored by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office found that while digital ads seize attention more quickly, print ads hold attention longer, elicit a stronger emotional reaction, and play a greater role in the ultimate purchase decision.
Here’s what we know: newsletters are still an effective tool to reach current and prospective customers. Though there were claims about a decade ago that print would be all but dead by now, that’s not happening. We produce newsletters for several clients who still favor print for this communication. And we do our own newsletter in print. We also post ours on this website.
It’s not necessary to drop print for electronic newsletters. You can make them available both ways, as we do, and let your readers choose. They’re smart and they know what they want.
If you would like to receive our newsletter insight please send a note to Margie and she will add you to our mailing list!