Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response, sponsored by the U.S. Post Office, used eye-movement tracking and biometric measurements such as heart rate and respiration to gauge attention and emotional engagement with both digital and direct mail. It then used magnetic resonance imaging to capture participants' brain activity when asked to recall a particular ad. http://1287170585.rsc.cdn77.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3Stages_EmailMkt_Branding.png
Further, today's consumer is connected 24/7 and attention spans are divided across multiple mediums -- web, email, mobile apps, texts, TV, radio, etc. Direct mail pieces received directly to homes or businesses break through marketing silos and require a dedicated pause to consider compared to the many thousands of on-screen messages we receive any given hour. Consider how unaffected you are as a consumer when you receive spam emails -- it's a quick click to delete without a second thought. But we're receiving less physical mail than before, and are therefore less likely to dismiss mail as quickly as we used to.
A simple and cheap postcard that incentivizes and encourages people to follow you on a certain social media platform, hosting an online sale with coupon codes that are distributed via mail, using QR codes to unlock small freebie items, or giving additional entries into a contest hosted on your business’s website are all great methods that not only give your direct mail a strong call to action, but drive traffic to your online footprint as well, which will only continue to grow in importance through the years.
In contrast, the European Union's "Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive" restricts websites' ability to use consumer data much more comprehensively. The EU limitations restrict targeting by online advertisers; researchers have estimated online advertising effectiveness decreases on average by around 65% in Europe relative to the rest of the world.:58
Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer's birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization. (A restaurant might send an email to customers on their birthday offering 50% off an entree,) Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty.