Direct Mail

I called my mother on her birthday. She was upset that I called.

“You know, today is my birthday” she reminded me, sourly.

“I know, Mom, that’s why I called you and said happy birthday. Want to videochat?”


“Oh, well, what’s wrong?”

“You could’ve mailed me a card…” she said.

This conversation made no sense. I was offering to video chat with her, face to face, or as close to it without actually being there. I sent her dozens of celebrating heart shaped emojis and a gif of her favorite cartoon, Tweety Bird, blowing a kiss. And still, our conversation was over before it began. A card is what she wanted. A card, something that, to most, gets tossed in a drawer or magnetized to the fridge for some time, until it grows too old to be seen anymore. At least, that’s how I felt before I learned the power of Direct Mail.

There are plenty of statistics that display the effectiveness of Direct mail in marketing and advertising. The response rate exceeds those other methods, like emailing, paid searches, social media and general online content. In fact, as of a 2017 report, the Direct Mail household response rate is 5.1% as opposed to email at 0.6% and social media at  0.4%. The other methods aren’t even worth mentioning they’re so low. According to research conducted by the UK Royal Mail, “60% said (Direct Mail) made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on.  57% of respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.” Especially when their name is enhanced, or even simply mentioned on whatever is being mailed. But why?

Emails and online content, although important and a part of our daily lives, are fleeting and forgetful. We scroll and click and scroll and click until we remember why we got online in the first place. What’s important in this world are the things we can’t swipe away and delete.

There is a chemical in all of us called Oxytocin. If you’re a hugger (one who hugs at appropriate times, hopefully), then you are well acquainted with Oxytocin and it’s magical effects on the human mind and soul. When we touch one another, embrace one another or even share a meal with one another, Oxytocin is released into our bodies. It’s known as the “love hormone.” Think of shaking hands with someone you just met, a new friend or coworker or acquaintance, perhaps. Why do we do this? Why must we touch at all? Cultural customs like these stem from a feeling of comfort, a feeling of trust. Oxytocin floods through any child who runs into the arms of their parent after school and gets snatched up and held tightly. It’s not just the embrace, it’s the physical contact that releases this hormone.

Kerstin Uvnas Moberg, a Swedish Doctor and researcher who has helped pioneer research on Oxytocin and has written several books on the matter wrote:

When you were born, oxytocin helped expel you from your mother’s womb and made it possible for her to nurse you..As a small child, you enjoyed your mother’s and father’s loving touch because it released oxytocin in your body. As an adult, you experience the effects of oxytocin when you enjoy good food, or a massage, or an intimate interlude with your romantic partner…”

Keeping this PG-13…Connecting with people doesn’t always mean human to human, but rather, sentiment to human. To think, I deprived my Mother of her Oxytocin fix, and on her birthday. Shame on me.

Direct Mail has more than just the superficial benefits that businesses yearn for. Using Direct Mail is a way to reach people, actually reach them. When you check your mailbox and find that a business, one you may have worked with before, has remembered your birthday, a little, tiny bit of oxytocin is released. In some cases, enough to evoke a smile.

Harvest Print & Marketing Solutions offer numerous tangible ways you can reach your customers –  Direct Mail especially. Something as simple and thoughtful as a “Thank you” card goes a long way in today’s cyber universe, where meaning and sentiment are reduced down to inhuman emojis and gifs. Like our Mother’s, all clients should be respected and appreciated to the highest capacity. They want to hold something that shows them you love them, or, well, really, really value all that they’ve done for you.

Let us, at Harvest, help your relationships grow.


Justin Stalcup
Harvest Print & Marketing Solutions
Communications Coordinator

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