New Vericast Study Finds Consumers Have an Emotional Connection with Direct Mail Ads

by | Mar 29, 2024

New study indicates direct mail drives consumer purchases. Consumers trust direct mail ads, look forward to receiving them, and are interested in making a purchase after seeing one

A new consumer survey and strategic industry data analysis conducted by Vericast illustrates why print advertisements remain in style. They play a critical and emotional role in how consumers choose to engage with and purchase from brands.

Vericast’s Direct Mail Influence Study builds upon findings from studies conducted for the United States Postal Service (USPS) by Temple University. Vericast, in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics, recently surveyed nearly 2,000 adults to further understand consumer behaviors and the use of direct mail.

Analyzed by Dr. Martin Block, Professor Emeritus in Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University, Vericast’s research supports that print is alive and well. Specifically, people are:

  • Creating an emotional connection with direct mail ads (1 in 3 respondents feel this way)
  • Finding print ads trustworthy, with 58% of consumers saying this about direct mail
  • Spending an average of 1.6 minutes with a direct mail ad
  • Saving direct mail ads to refer to later (88% of respondents)
  • Likely to buy (50%) after seeing a direct mail ad  

“My assessment and conclusion of the study finds that consumers who use print ads are happy, confident, and consistent. Why is this significant? Years of conducting and reviewing this type of research shows a predisposition for happier people to shop and spend more,” said Dr. Block. “The concurrent validity demonstrated across separate studies conducted by Vericast and the USPS supports the continued need for media plans that include direct mail messages to optimize consumer engagement. What gives print ads their edge, according to the studies, is they are more effective at leaving a lasting impression.”

Survey highlights to support this include:

People experience more emotional reactions to print ads

  • 53% say they look forward to receiving direct mail ads vs. 38% for digital
  • 47% say direct mail ads give the impression the advertiser is more genuine
  • 54% of millennials and 61% of millennial parents say the ads they receive in the mail feel more personal than digital ads

Consumers enjoy spending time reading through print ads

  • 82% of direct mail readers look at advertisements at least once a week
  • 72% regularly read or look at ads in the mail, with Gen X leading at 78%
  • 54% find reading through mailed advertising enjoyable, rising to 61% among millennial parents
  • 49%, especially parents (55%), consider direct mail a part of their shopping routine
  • Nearly half of respondents (48%) agreed they spend more than a minute reading a direct mail ad

Interest in making a purchase after seeing a print ad is high

  • Half of respondents say they typically choose to buy after seeing a direct mail ad, while 43% say they do this after seeing a digital ad
  • Direct mail drives purchases with 61% of consumers being likely to use direct mail ads to research products to buy and/or plan their purchases ahead of time

More information is absorbed from print ads and people often have better recall

  • 64% say direct mail is easy to use to compare products, services or stores
  • 60% say direct mail ads make it easy to remember when they are ready to make a purchase, while 44% feel this way about digital ads
  • Almost half of respondents say direct mail ads are their preferred media for learning about products and services
  • 55% indicate they pay more attention to direct mail ads as opposed to 39% saying this for digital ads

To learn more, download Vericast’s Direct Mail Influence Study.

About Vericast
Vericast is a marketing technology company that provides a data-rich approach to influence consumers and drive meaningful commerce. We power smarter activations for more than 15,000 clients in consumer packaged goods, financial, grocery, restaurant, retail, and more. Our decades of experience, advanced technologies, and broad solutions portfolio help companies reach audiences with precision and scale.

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