Give your readers a tangible reason to love you: Use real paper!

I don’t know if you’re like me, but every day I empty my mailbox.

I open the lid, take out the contents, and sort through every single piece. Some quickly get tossed. Some I wish I could toss. And some entice me to open them—maybe because I can see it’s a rare letter from a friend. Maybe it has the telltale signs of a birthday card. Or maybe it just looks too good to ignore.

 But for some reason I just can’t describe my relationship with my email inbox in quite the same way. Maybe you can relate…

Unlike my physical mailbox, my inbox is always overflowing and overwhelming. It’s always impersonal. And clicking “trash” is just so much easier than walking an envelope over to the recycling bin.

And that, friend, is why I still love print as a marketing tool. 


From neuroscience research to behavioral studies to carefully monitored outcomes of direct marketing initiatives, there’s tons of data suggesting print deserves a place in your overall marketing strategy.

Consider just a few of these persuasive facts and statistics:

  • 73% of households read or scan the direct mail advertising sent to their homes.1 Beat that, email!
  • Brand recall was 70% higher for direct mail than digital advertising according to recent neuroscience study. The same investigation found direct mail to be 20% more motivating than digital advertising.2
  • Physical ads have been shown to spark a greater emotional response.3

And that routine I follow every day at my mailbox happens every day at our office too. Which makes print a promising tool for reaching both businesses and consumers (like donors).

In fact, Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing, even suggests that the reader-comprehension and recall advantages print has over digital might make it a better choice for detailed documentation sometimes needed in B2B marketing.4


In 2015, I interviewed Michelle Sanders Brinson of the Nashville Rescue Mission for our podcast, Driving Participation. Dating all the way back to the time of mimeograph machines, the Nashville Rescue Mission has used a regular newsletter as a fundraising and friend-raising vehicle.

In an age when other organizations were ditching print newsletters in exchange for more “cost-effective” electronic ones, Michelle led an effort to refine and enhance the Nashville Rescue Mission’s approach to its print publication—even making the controversial move to a full-color printing job. Today, the organization mails an eight-page newsletter incorporating a whopping 800-900 word feature article twelve times a year in a #10 envelope.

And people read it.

Not only do they read it— they give. The newsletter hit it’s $1.6 million fundraising goal three months early—and that’s not counting any online or in-kind donations that the publication inspired.

$1.6 million+ in gifts from a print newsletter.

While it’s true that the organization invests $250,000 in producing the newsletter, its measurable outcomes are clearly worth the investment—not to mention the intangible rapport it builds with Nashville Rescue Mission’s people!

The takeaway: you can’t just look at the cost of print without considering its rate of return. Maybe you should put that print newsletter back on the table!


Now that I’ve sung the praises of print, don’t get me wrong. There are tons of times that digital marketing makes the more sense—like for time-sensitive messages, breaking news and audiovisual content. In fact, to many people you’re only as real and relevant as your online presence suggests.

But despite the society’s growing reliance on electronic devices, clearly digital alone isn’t the answer. It’s time to rethink ways to incorporate good old-fashioned paper and your friendly postal carrier into a multichannel approach.

Do you want to stand out in the information influx? For one-of-a-kind creative, give us a call at 267-468-7949 or drop us a line at!



  1. United States Postal Service. (2017). The Household Diary Study: Mail Use & Attitudes in FY 2016. Retrieved from
  2. Canada Post. (2015). A Bias for Action: The neuroscience behind the response-driving power of direct mail. Retrieved from
  3. Dimoka, Angelika, Vo, Khoi D., Venkatraman, Vinod, and Pavlou, Paul A. (2015). Understanding the Effectiveness of
    Physical Mail Communications Through Neuroscience.
    Center for Neural Decision Making, Fox School of Business, Temple University. Retrieved from
  4. Dooley, Roger. (2015, September 16). Paper Beats Digital in Many Ways, According to Neuroscience. Forbes. Retrieved from