We use our five senses to experience the world: taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. The more senses we use during an interaction, the more likely we are to remember it. Think back to your strongest memories, you’ll be surprised how many of the senses you’ll remember.

The first Christmas I can remember, I got a giant panda teddy bear that was much bigger than me. I can still smell the fur and hear the crunchy noise it made when I cuddled it like it was yesterday. And I’ll never forget the feel of the big, silky, lilac bow.

So how can marketing stimulate all the senses in the most cost effective way? Well it’s very easy at an experiential event but it’s much harder online – when did you last sniff an email?

TV is still up there as one of the most engaging marketing channels to get this deeper connection through the sense of sight and hearing – that’s why big brands still spend so much money on emotive, immersive advertisements. But it’s not an option for every business.

So if TV is not an option how do you stimulate senses in the home? You guessed it, direct mail.

Before the eye roll and ‘that’s so last century,’ you will not believe what you can achieve with direct mail. I’m not talking scratch and sniff here either. I’m talking about a beautiful, striking piece of mail that stimulates all the senses:

Sight – when it comes to design the only limit is your imagination. There is a way to create any shape and size that communicates your brand perfectly. Look how Ikea achieved this below. Obviously the more complex the cut, the higher the price but a quality designer can create the most beautiful pieces in a simple, cost effective format.

Ikea Direct mail


Touch
– a range of textures can be printed to match any image: the veins of a leaf, the skin of a faux crocodile skin purse, the soft velvet of a chair, the silkiness of a new rouge lipstick or the fur of a teddy bear. The list is endless. Touch is a very special sense and can be used in direct mail to great effect.

touch in direct mail


Smell
– oh yes! You can evoke a strong memory with the smell of freshly cut grass, the sea, even chocolate – including scents in your marketing is not just applicable to the perfume industry. Some of the printed scents are very authentic too and will take your customer back to happier times, connecting your brand with a favourable memory –  gold in any marketing campaign.

chocolate direct mail


Hearing
– we know the power of music, the memories when hearing ‘Mr Brightside’ can give you goosebumps. But going beyond music, everyday sounds can have a big effect on people too. A fantastic travel campaign by Voyanga included the sound of the sea when you listened to the shell. The stunning piece of direct mail, perfect for the travel industry can be seen below.

hearing in direct mail
Taste – samples can be sent of course but what about peel and taste? You can infuse printed strips with the taste of your product. When Welch’s drink tried it, people were a bit concerned about safety of course but of those that did, 59% said they would buy it. Not bad at all.

Usually, companies just appeal to a customer’s visual sense but imagine the response rate if you appeal to all the other senses too? You’ll certainly create a remarkable experience that will elicit an emotional response that will stay with your customer forever.