The biggest psychological revolution in the past 30 years is the emergence of cognitive science: the study of the brain. And among cognitive science’s biggest discoveries is that about 95 percent of our mental processes are unconscious. I’m not talking about Sigmund Freud’s notion of the unconscious, with its repressed desires and childhood emotional trauma.
Research into the “new unconscious” is revealing how our brains perceive, process and retrieve information. The biggest revelation from a direct response point of view is that people make decisions before they know they’ve made them.
So how does this apply to direct mail? Cognitive science and other psychological research tell us that the physical, nonverbal elements in a direct mail package work because they exploit ways in which the brain processes information.