How adding fragrance can enhance direct mail

Direct mail presents a rare opportunity to engage your audience’s senses. Take advantage by incorporating a fragrance into your next direct mail piece.

A benefit of direct mail is the tangible value it holds for recipients.

Unlike many other marketing channels, direct mail can be physically held by your audience. And because of this, direct mail marketers have a rare opportunity to create something that will engage their customers’ senses.

One way to engage the senses: add fragrance.

Using scent(s) on a direct mail piece can help draw attention to your piece, engage your audience, and create “staying power”. Not to mention, a sample of a pleasant-smelling product is a great way to demonstrate its value.

Create an olfactory appeal
Whether you’re promoting a product or service, think creatively about the many ways that you can enhance your message with a fragrance.

A practical application is to give prospective customers a sample of the scents available for your product. If you sell a product with more than one fragrance available, include a sample of each one to entice consumers to choose their favorites. To introduce a new fragrance, try sending prospective customers a postcard with a “sneak preview” of the new scent.

If your campaign objectives are to build brand awareness, or if your business is service-based, think about what scents might evoke emotions that customers feel when they visit your storefront or office.

Scents are strongly linked to emotion and memory. In fact, the olfactory system is directly linked to the limbic system, which is responsible for processing emotion. With this, it’s a great idea to use a fragrance to strengthen the emotional impact of your marketing or branding message.

For example:

  • A spa or salon might use an aromatherapy-like fragrance in a mailer meant to build brand awareness
  • An auto shop might use the smell of new tires to help remind customers to schedule regular maintenance
  • A new local coffee shop could use the smell of fresh-brewed coffee along with a coupon to entice local residents to try their blend
  • A nonprofit organization might incorporate the smell of fresh-cut lawn to promote their next golf outing fundraiser


Whatever your business, think creatively about how you can incorporate the sense of smell into your piece, just be sure that the connection to your message and brand is clear. Only use scents that will truly enhance your message, otherwise you may risk confusing — or alienating — your audience.

Do more with each campaign
Direct mail marketing offers a rare and exciting opportunity to engage your audience’s senses. Take advantage of this opportunity by creatively integrating fragrance and giving customers a sensory experience each time they visit their mailbox.

This article is adapted from our eBook, Do More with Direct Mail. Check out the full eBook now to learn about other ways that you can create attention-grabbing, engaging and powerful direct mail pieces.

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