The science of touch

A compelling marketing solution is right at your fingertips.
This story is part of our series about how haptics—the science of touch—can enhance your marketing. View other stories in the series or subscribe to Pop from Sappi today to receive an email when we post more.

Standing out in a cluttered digital marketplace is no easy feat. The answer? Give your digital marketing a hand.

Of our five senses, touch is one of the most important. It dictates how we perceive the world around us, influencing emotion and decision making. Incorporating this underutilized sense into your marketing strategy just makes, well, sense. Here’s why: Touch triggers a reaction. We begin to feel like we own whatever is in our hands, and research shows that makes us value it more.

To better understand this reaction, we partnered with renowned neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, an expert on haptics—a.k.a., the science of touch. We learned that when companies create high-quality printed pieces that people want to keep, the messaging becomes a part of a customer’s daily life. This contact builds a strong emotional connection between customer and brand—one that customers become loyal to, and that keeps them interested in seeing more.

The media used to showcase a brand has a powerful impact on how consumers react to it.

Percentage of people influenced to make an online purchase as a direct result of receiving mail.
Source: Mail and Digital Part 2. Quadrangle & Royal Mail MarketReach, 2014.
Increase in the percentage of people from the previous year who were motivated by direct mail to donate to causes online.
Source: Donor Confidence Survey. Campbell Rinker & Dunham + Company, March 9, 2017.

The world’s most highly regarded brands have picked up on print’s potential for conversion. They use the power of touch in communications that are beautiful, effective and uniquely theirs.

The World Wildlife Fund, for example, started to publish a print version of its quarterly magazine World Wildlife. Through thoughtful design, first-class printing and fine paper, the nonprofit’s magazine was able to make a visceral and personal connection between customer and conservation.

“We created World Wildlife to make the world’s species and places more tangible—to put them directly in people’s hands.”
Terry Macko, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, World Wildlife Federation
"The Neuroscience of Touch" is our original printed piece on the power of paper, but we've since made room for our new book on haptics. Luckily, you don't have to miss out—download the digital version of our original book today.


Physically holding something makes us feel like it’s ours. And it’s harder to send something we value to the trash.