Catalogs are more effective in leaving a psychological impact than digital advertisements. When a consumer flips through a catalog, they’re more likely to imagine themselves possessing a product, which increases their likelihood of making a purchase.
Neuroscience also corroborates that physical ads are often more effective than digital. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and Temple University, physical advertisements stimulate an area of the brain, which causes potential buyers to consider the product’s value and whether they want it.
Catalogs also stimulate more senses than digital ads. For example, digital advertisements reach consumers on an audial and visual level, but catalogs can be seen, felt, and may even have a subtle print smell. According to USPS and Summit Research, these different senses create more emotional associations, increasing the likelihood that someone will make a purchase.
Additionally, USPS and Summit Research indicated that people are more likely to connect positive emotions to catalogs because people frequently flip through them for entertainment and relaxation. Catalogs even reduce the anxiety associated with receiving a bill in the mail.
Although physical mail has shown to be highly effective in many demographics, they’re especially effective in attracting millennials. The same study conducted by USPS and Summit Research indicated that millennials care more about physical mail than other demographics and are more likely to spend time reading their mail, including catalogs. Millennials are a critical target age demographic, so appealing to them through catalogs is essential.