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Study Shows Direct Mail Is More Memorable Than Digital Advertising

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

For any eye care practice, making an impression with your marketing is key. Your patients are bombarded all day long with advertising on their phones and computers, in their car and at home. Which of these ads creates the most lasting impact? The answer might surprise you.

According to a study by the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University's Fox School of Business, "participants spent more time with physical advertisements, showed more desire for a product seen in print and were more stimulated by physical ads than by their digital counterparts."

The researchers used neuromarketing ("an emerging field that combines neuroscience and psychology to answer questions about consumer behavior and advertising phenomena") to explore how consumers consciously and subconsciously processed and engaged with physical and digital ads. Essentially, they measured eye movement, heart rate, respiration, brain activity, and more to discover which ads produced the most emotional engagement. One week later, they tested memory and willingness to pay with the same participants. The results were fascinating.

Key results:

  • Participants spent more time with physical ads

  • Participants recalled physical ads more quickly and confidently

  • Physical ads elicited a stronger emotional response

  • Participants showed greater subconscious valuation and desire for products and services in physical ads

Of course, digital advertising certainly has its place. Research indicated that the participants showed more "focused attention" to the digital ads. The most effective eye care practices are going to take an omnichannel approach by using both digital and physical ads to attract and recall patients.

However, direct mail and other print advertising materials have been proven to have "a more pronounced emotional effect on consumers" and a deeper impact on a consumer's memory.

Click here to learn more about the methodology and results of this study.

Contact if you'd like more information on the Opti-Port Direct Marketing Program.

Reprinted with permission of, a resource for business knowledge and insights.


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