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©2019 by Synergy Print Management. 

The Sensory Marketing Experience

What’s all this talk of Sensory Marketing??

Sensory marketing is designed to stimulate the senses! Triggering an emotional response and giving you that feeling that you already have an attachment to the brand or product you’re reading about.

This kind of marketing works incredibly well with print and direct mail. There is an existing affection for print and mail instilled in us but now it hones in on a more personal level, stirring up memories and experiences by targeting our senses.

Clever, eh?

The Sense of Smell

The old scratch and sniff! Used in direct mail and on fragrance cards, scented print has gained a new lease of life with a staggering array of scents and smells. Affectionately named Smelly Mail, your post can smell of muffins, chocolate or even a rain forest. Who hasn’t breathed in deeply at the scent of freshly baked bread? If your local bakery sent you a leaflet or voucher laden with this scent, I defy you not to run out and buy some!

Bulk Cat Litter Warehouse in America went one step further. The mailer was directed at the recipient’s cat! Each mailer was printed on catnip scented paper which the kitties went crazy for and consequently, it piqued their owner’s interest. Watch the video here:

The Old Taste Buds

As a baby, you explore your surroundings with your mouth. Many of us have heard a mother yelling, “Drop it!” as her child tries to eat the sofa or sample the dog’s foot. As an adult, you’re a bit more selective and prefer to exercise your 5000 taste buds on food and drink.

You’ve already smelt the chocolate smelly mail and now you’re feeling a little parched. You spy a flyer with a bright green lime on it splashing into a cool glass of ice water. You look outside. It’s a hot day. You glance back at the flyer. Can you taste the lime drink? Yep. Me too. Although taste is a bit trickier to get on to print, suggestive images coupled with free samples generally hit the spot. Think of an advert for crisp and fluffy golden chips. You can see and taste the tomato sauce already, can’t you? Heinz nailed that one.

Food samples are great. A catalogue company sent out free samples of sun-dried tomato bread bites with each order. I ordered an excessive amount of clothes just for the free crackers! If you have a cat, chances are you have received cat food samples in the post – your cat loves it and you’ve just been sold to by your cat. Again. *Sigh*


One birthday I received a card that yelled at me! Loud cheers and whoops blasted alongside the tinny chorus of Happy Birthday when I opened it. Now the recordings are much better and don’t scare you half to death!

Marketers can use sound incorporated with print to deliver personalised messages to a target audience. Augmented Reality (AR) and QR codes can show images, play videos and music. With AR, you can even climb inside the image itself!


From a timeless matte to super shiny mirror-like gloss, there are lots of finishes and textures to choose from and all can lift your brand and strengthen its message much better than a boring old flat bit of paper.

Most laminates give a durable, touch-it-to-believe-it finish. Soft touch lamination needs to be held to experience its texture. It has a lovely matte finish but feels like a peach! It’s like smooth suede or a rose petal. Synergy uses this effect on our in-house brochures.


If it doesn’t catch your eye, you won’t pick it up. If you don’t pick it up, you’ll miss the smells, textures and sounds. Here is where the design needs to be clever. Think about your favourite book or album cover, your favourite advert. All have been expertly crafted to hold your attention; colour communicates meaning, shapes change our perception, fonts can give the words on a page a certain type of voice.

Digital Print enhancement is an eye-catching way of producing a print that jumps from the page and becomes alive: embossing, metallic, glitter, gloss, foil, embellishments – it brings a new dimension to print and the only limit is your imagination. Multi-layer digital varnishes were used on the Team UK Bocuse d’Or brochure (pictured below) which was proudly produced here at Synergy. You could almost pick off the garlic!

Consider using sensory marketing on your next company brochure or mailing. By giving an emotional attachment from the onset, you can increase your sales and engagement rates. If you’re not sure where to start, look at what you make or manufacture; if you manufacture tools, consider a metallic or matte finish. If you bake cakes, consider smelly mail and a gloss varnish finish for the icing on the cake. Or better still, contact us for some advice and let us manage that for you.

After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression… Or do you?