In the previous blog, we have extensively discussed how different principles and ideas of behavioral psychology can be effectively employed in direct mail marketing campaigns for better customer response, engagement, and conversion. Since the domain of behavioral psychology is vast and there are still many things left to explore, therefore we will continue the same discussion in this power blog as well.


Authority: As a Tool of Persuasion


Human brains are wired to follow and act upon the instructions given by authoritative entities. This means with authority, any business can persuade consumers with a relative ease and can expand their consumer base more rapidly. Delivering exemplary services and products is undoubtedly the most essential ingredient for the establishment of business authority. However, some other elements can also facilitate in establishing it. For instance, direct mail marketing can be employed this purpose.

Building a Strong Brand Identity

Brand building is one of the major goals of any marketing outing. Building a strong brand identity is not only good for excelling better than your competitors, but it is also very important to institute your authority among the consumer base. How quickly a consumer can recall your business name tells you how impactful your brand is.

To craft authority through brand building, one can use the tried and tested method of direct mail marketing. Reach out more frequently to your intended consumer base through targeted mailing lists. Moreover, send small gifts (mugs, caps etc) embedded with your brand or business name, slogan or motto along with your direct mail to get into the subconscious of your existing and potential consumers.

Share Your Opinion

Having a strong, unequivocal and principled opinion on different contemporary issues also conveys a certain image of a business and that helps in cementing its authority. However, make sure that you are not going overboard in airing your opinion. For instance, it’s always better to refrain from commenting on delicate religious or political matters. Nevertheless, some commentary on pertinent ongoing social issues in your direct mails will certainly impress the recipients and intuitively aid the business in maintaining a position of authority and respect.

Abstain From Trying to Please Everyone

Psychology also tells us that an individual can’t make everyone happy around him and the same goes for businesses. Whether you are dealing with automotive accessories or selling insurance plans, you will always have strong critics and worrywarts who would do never sway by your services and products. Don’t exhaust yourself in winning over them because it can only affect your progress and growth.

However, it is important that you have established a certain set of values in your business operations and you follow them relentlessly. It’s also important to regularly remind your target audience of the business principles you stand for through direct mail. Standing for what you believe will always earn your business respect and authority.

Moreover, don’t bend your rules and beliefs when you are reaching out to new consumers because hypocrisy is always loathed whether it’s reeking from a person or a business.

Social Proof: An Important Factor in Earning Customers’ Trust


‘Human is a social animal’, another clichéd line but still speaks the truth. It’s a fact that majority of our actions and behaviors are derived from our social settings. “Social Proof” is one such psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others to devise their own response correctly.

Social proof is another psychological tool that is effectively exploited by businesses in their marketing campaigns to earn consumers’ trust. In comparison to large conglomerates and brands, small ventures sometimes need more social proof to convince consumers about the legitimacy of their expertise and quality of their products. Direct mail marketing, a go-to promotional tool for such ventures, can also help them in this regard.

For instance, you can enclose signed consumer reviews in your direct mail when reaching out to new recipients. You may succeed in generating good lead with the help of ailment mailing lists for your drug store if you are adding a couple of reviews of your existing patient consumers in the direct mail.

Besides that, you can use also use numbers associated with your business to provide a social proof to your prospective consumers. How many consumers you have served, what are your retention rates and other such statistical information can also help you in proving your expertise to the consumers. Expert opinion and various certifications can also be treated as a social proof and can be enclosed in your direct mails.

Use of Negativity Bias to Provoke Consumer Response

Negativity Effect or negativity bias is basically just a psychological notion. It suggests that the human brain is wired in a way that takes things with negativity more seriously. Things with negative attributes have a strong impact on human behavior as compared to any positive item of an equal scale.

Psychologists think that negative, pessimistic thoughts are more closely associated with fear and hence they elicit a strong response from humans. If we look into this aspect from a marketing point of view, one can use it to motivate consumers to take a desired action. For instance, draw a very bleak picture of a vehicle that has not been serviced in ages and marinates it with some framed facts in your direct mail, if you are running a marketing campaign for your automotive servicing center.

Likewise, occasionally sketching worst-case scenario for your consumers on your direct mail to push them to take the action you want (avail your service or product) is a constructive use of negativity bias. However, don’t devise your whole campaign around this psychological notion because the human brain is a unique thing. Stuffing too much negativity in your direct mails can also result in a rebound from consumers.

Reward Facilitates Costumer Motivation


Every human being loves to be rewarded in one form or the other. Rewards, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, help in motivating people in general. The younger lot has a bad reputation for doing anything just for reward, but the truth of the matter is that every individual is motivated by rewards, irrespective of his age. This is the reason why we have a concept of prizes and trophies.

In terms of consumer-company relationship, the factor of reward holds great significance. There are several ways to use this psychological reinforcement in your direct mail for the benefit of your business.

Send Reward Coupons to Loyal Consumer Base

Make a list of top consumers that have brought most of the business, and reward them with discount coupons. Customers will definitely feel elated after receiving a thank you note and a discount coupon in their direct mail. Moreover, this exercise will also aid you in establishing the brand of your business.

The same plan can also be executed to target your inactive consumer base. You can send out a greeting mail along with a discount voucher. This gesture of generosity from your side will certainly motivate many inactive consumers to resume business with you.

A Side Benefit of Rewarding Your Consumers

By rewarding your consumers through direct mail, you are actually developing an interactive communication channel with them. Constant two-way communications are always good for any venture. From time to time, you can also plug some promotional information in that communication without annoying your consumers.

Recency Illusion: A Psychological Notion to Intrigue Consumers

Recency illusion is a notion that a thing that is new to me is new to the world as well. We often experience it when we learn a new word and it starts to appear in front of us more often.

In terms of marketing, recency illusion can be exploited to draw consumer’s interest. The ‘uncanny’ nature of recency illusion intrigues consumers and an intrigued consumer is always considered valuable for business. It is quite wonderful that we can also utilize this psychological notion in direct mail marketing campaigns as well, let’s have a look.

Mortgage mailing lists provide you with the recipients that are first time home buyers. For them, many things are happening for the first time. You can create recency illusion through this information to get their interest in your product and services relevant to their needs. For instance, without implying that they are first time movers, you can talk about the struggles of moving from one abode to another.

In a similar fashion, you can use the information of different targeted mailing lists to create recency illusion in the minds of your prospective consumers.

Fear as a Marketing Tool

As we have discussed in the section of negativity bias, fear is one vital factor that shapes human behavior. Psychologists are in agreement that majority of our actions are motivated by fear instead of incentive. So, clever use of fear in marketing campaigns can help in generating greater consumer response.

For instance, if you are targeting your potential consumers through ailment mailing list to sell medicines and remedies of different medical conditions, you can include some hard facts and other fear-inducing information in your direct mail.  For example, you can warn your consumers how leaving a certain medical condition untreated can bring about adverse affects. You can also substantiate these warnings by different statistical figures.

Similarly, if your venture deals in different insurance plans, you can inform your consumers how having no premium is not a good adulting decision. You can also set up your argument with the help of anecdotes and real life cases.

By the look of it, using fear might appear as a ridiculous promotional idea to elicit consumer response. However, it is commonly used by many ventures to spread awareness and to provoke consumers to take action.

Prefer Emotional Appeal Over Material Appeal

In broader context, we can say that human behavior originates from a set of emotions both positive and negative. For marketers, it is an art to dress the selling commodity with the cloak of positive emotional appeal.

While it’s important to communicate the features of your product or service to the consumers, it is equally or rather more significant to use emotional appeal to kindle more consumers. Psychology says that even the most rational and practical decisions are prompted by an underlying emotional appeal to some extent. Let’s see how direct mail marketing can be used to generate emotional appeal for a product.

If you are reaching out to prospective consumers that are into old vehicles through automotive mailing lists, a nostalgic anecdote in your direct mail can do wonders for you. Similarly, if you are targeting people to promote your gym facility or fitness plans, then it is important to use a tone of aspiration in your direct mail to provoke positive and motivating emotions in them. You can also use personal testimonials along with visuals (e.g. picture of a person before and after weight loss) to move your prospective consumers.

In the same manner, you can tag an emotional appeal to market anything by eliciting appropriate set of emotions.

Concluding Remarks

In this two-part series of power blog, we have broadly discussed different psychological principles, findings, and their association with advertising, particularly with direct mail marketing. Altogether, we have discussed more than a dozen theories of behavioral psychology. Moreover, we have also talked about how they can be effectively utilized in direct mail marketing.

It is also important to note that different targeted mailing lists play very significant role in successfully executing these psychological motifs. Many targeted mailing lists are available with different subtypes from any experienced mailing list broker. You can use any of the relevant targeted mailing lists to exploit any of the psychological principle(s) that are discussed here.

At the end of the day, the essence of any promotional activity, whether it’s direct mail or digital ads, is to reach out to more consumers to get more business. These two power blogs have also discussed the same thing but with the tangent of behavioral psychology. Click here for Part 1 of this topic.