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How Touch Affects Your Marketing

How Touch Affects Your Marketing

Read Time: 7 Minutes


21 Nov 2017

We all know your printed marketing needs to look amazing – but have you ever thought about how it feels? The sense of touch is very important in persuading customers to buy your product: it creates a sense of ownership along with a tactile relationship with your brand.

The neuroscience of touch is really very interesting. As soon as a person touches something pleasant, their subsequent actions are more positive. For example, participants in one study were asked to hold either a hot or cold pad, and were then asked about their investment opinions. Those who held the warm pad would have invested 43% more in the hypothetical situations presented to them – suggesting the warmth of the physical product influenced their mental state.

You can see the use of touch marketing all over: such as when Apple (and, later, other tech stores) took their gadgets out of cabinets and onto shelves so people could pick them up and hold a product in their hand.

Another common – often subtle or subconscious – method of touch marketing is used by hospitality staff. Waiters and waitresses who touch customers on the shoulder are more likely to receive a higher tip at the end of the meal.

It’s the same for your print marketing: what your materials feel like, as well as how they look, will influence how a customer feels about your company. Hand over a cheap business card made from thin office printer paper, for example, and you’ll receive a negative reaction. The flimsy feel will imply to the customer that you are a cheapskate – and it’ll make them wonder where else you would cut corners. A heavyweight business card, however, will signify quality and trust, just by the way it feels.

Don’t Let The Digital Age Fool You

Even today, when digital is king and smartphones are glued to our hands, consumers are yearning for physically printed products. The hardest – yet most desirable – demographic for businesses, millennials, are no exception: a whopping 92% of college students still prefer real books over digital ones.

While digital has made the small business a champion in the global market, there is still much to be said for high quality printed media to push the consumer from the research stage to the purchasing stage. Most people will use online resources for research, but a physical product, such as a flyer through the letterbox, a loyalty card, or a discount voucher can all drive the action to purchase.

As shown in our Marketing To Millennials article, the combination of digital and physical print media has the greatest impact on purchases. Having something in your hand helps to generate a physical connection with the brand or product on offer: you can’t ignore it in the same way that you can delete an email or close pop-up adverts. Even if you’re on your way to put a piece of direct mail in the recycling bin, you still have to handle it – and see it – before that dreadful moment it reaches the trash.

How To Use Physical Print To Your Advantage

To make sure your printed media stands out against the competition, try these few tips:

1) Invest in higher quality or heavier paper stock. The weight of paper can give a lasting impression of how seriously you take your business – and your customers.

2) Try using an impressive, textured finish. Spot UV is a technique which adds high gloss shine to selected areas on your document for a super-luxe, textured finish.

3) Experiment with lamination types: matt, velvet, and gloss all have a different feel to them and can really change the outcome of a product.

4) Make your product interactive: create a fold-out brochure, or a cardboard puzzle with your message on it. Something that requires the reader to actively move with the product will help improve engagement and brand recall.

5) Go smooth with rounded corners on traditionally right-angled products. A round corner on a business card, for example, makes it far more touchable – it’s very tempting for clients to run a finger over the corner – helping to establish that neural connection with your brand.

If you’re still not sure which textures, finishes, or lamination options will make your print media feel as good as they look, order a free sample pack from us. This’ll help you appreciate all of the different options in real life, and really get a feel (see what we did there?) for your perfect touch-friendly media.

Lauren Baldwin

About the Author

Hi! Iā€™m Lauren, the Graphic Designer at instantprint. I like helping customers by creating helpful print and designs tips and guides to make sure their artwork looks the best that it can.