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Total recall

Advertising mail more memorable than digital, study finds

Digital ads
Advertising mail is more likely to be remembered and spur consumer purchases, new research suggests.

Consumers are more likely to remember advertisements they receive in the mail than ads they see online, the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported last week.

The study reinforces previous industry research that highlights the enduring value of advertising mail, which accounted for $20 billion — or 31 percent — of USPS revenue last year.

“[C]ompanies that want to generate a more accurate memory of an ad, for better recall during a purchase, would be served best by physical ads,” the report stated.

The OIG, an independent agency that audits USPS, worked with Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making. Researchers studied people’s responses to physical and digital media, including their ability to recall the products advertised.

Physical ads trigger brain activity responsible for value and desirability for featured products, which signal a greater intent to purchase, the researchers concluded.

USPS leaders emphasized the effectiveness of advertising mail, as well as efforts to help businesses use mail to link digital and physical content, during the recent National Postal Forum.

Additionally, in a series of new videos, the Postal Service showcases Hammacher Schlemmer, Sterling Jewelers and other companies that successfully use mail to promote their products.

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