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Print Soothes Digital Fatigue


Tired? Drifting back to picking up a book? Ready to unplug? Feeling a new love for paper? You're not alone.


A couple of recent blogs shared by Keypoint Intelligence author Eve Padula

(@epadula) illustrate the powerful impact print and direct mail have in a digitally fatigued world. The challenges faced in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic created a quick culture of work at home, school at home and stay at home – all of which have impacted digital information consumption and screen time. As the year has slogged on with no immediate end in sight, consumers of information have become quite skilled at disregarding digital messaging. Enter Digital Fatigue and its impact on our long-term memory encoding. Have you felt it?


In her blog, Leveraging Print Marketing to Generate More Sales, Ms. Padula points out that the average human attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds today. The human brain responds to the tactile experience of reading in print, which results in more engagement, retention and greater neurological impact of your message. The chart below shows that 64% of recipients will open or mostly open their paper mail, versus 48% opening digital marketing messages.

Print Outperforms Digital in Multiple Areas

According to a Canada Post/True Impact Marketing study, physical print performs better than digital communications in three key areas:

  1. Cognitive load/Ease of understanding

  2. Motivation/Persuasiveness

  3. Attention span (i.e., how long subjects viewed content)

Further findings from the study are as follows:

  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process, suggesting that it is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media.

  • When consumers were asked to cite the brand/company name of an advertisement they had just seen, the recall was higher for direct mail (75%) than for a digital ad (44%).

The shift in how we consume information continues to evolve. With so much digital noise, this is the time to consider utilizing trusted and reliable printed messaging to cut through the fog, differentiate from the competition, tell your story and reach your audiences where they are. According to a study from Royal Mail Market Reach/Neuro-Insight, direct mail is remembered 35% better than social media and 49% better than e-mail. It's a great time to realign your efforts and increase results for your organization, school, business, internal or external audiences through print and direct mail marketing.


At EMCO Mail, we have all the tools and knowledge to help!

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