Submitted by: Ulbe Jelluma 23/11/2016
We’ve written a number of times about the effectiveness of triggering multiple senses in for example a mailing. In Germany, the second edition of a book dedicated to the use and effectiveness of the ‘haptic’ effect was recently published.
The book, with the English title Touch, is one of the first books dedicated to the use of sensory print advertising and written by a German specialist in this domain Olaf Hartmann. It covers the use of various haptic elements in mailing, merchandising, packaging, print advertising brochures and leaflets. And shows many examples and cases of the use of the haptic dimension. One of the key points that explains the effectiveness of sensory use is the notion that “Good is, what feels good”. The sensory effect is a prime reaction that comes prior to evaluating the content. One of the test described in the book covers a puzzle made of very smooth paper compared to the same puzzle made with a rough surface paper. When asked what kind of people were expressed via these different puzzles the answers were very different. The smooth paper puzzle people were seen as friendly and co-operative, whereas the people involved in rough paper puzzle were more excited and even hostile.
Using haptic elements in the communication can definitely have an effect of the response of consumers. A recent case from a German cruise line company AIDA, (not to be mistaken for what has been a leading principle in communication: Awareness - Interest - Desire - Action), shows that when using haptic elements the effectiveness was much higher. Measured by the number of bookings, the haptic mail piece generated 30% more bookings than the non-haptic control group.
The aim of the mailing was to address AIDA clients with an offer to book a trip. For measurement purposes an A/B split was used. The control version of the mailing consisted of an envelope and a leaflet that was mailed to 30.000 clients. The sensory version included the same leaflet and a miniature towel with a scent of after-sun lotion. This version was also mailed to 30.000 people.
As Olaf Hartmann says:” it is crucial that the mailing used multi-sensory stimuli, as this is the driving force behind purchase behaviour. The effect increases when the sensory information is relevant to the buying motivation, in AIDA these drivers are enjoyment and excitement”.