Made you look! Analyze your mail piece to determine if your message will be noticed

Posted on Oct. 21, 2015 by Canada Post in Marketing solutions

Before any marketing message can begin to influence sales, before it can drive a customer into action, before it can even capture their attention, that message must be seen. But how can marketers be sure that the key messages in their advertising will stand out and be noticed? The data revealed by eye tracking analysis may be the answer.

There is good science behind eye tracking research, which determines whether key areas of an image are drawing visual attention. In fact, vision is currently the best-understood mechanism of the human brain. Eye tracking analysis can be used to see how noticeable a message is within an advertising piece, and how effective the piece will be. Marketers can use this data to improve campaign response rates.

And new tools have become available to make this kind of analysis much more accessible and affordable.

Eye tracking shows what parts of an image are most noticeable

Eye tracking research uses a special camera to follow and measure the gaze and movement of someone’s eyes while looking at specific stimuli, such as images in a direct mail piece. Diana Lucaci, head of neuromarketing research and strategy firm True Impact Marketing, explains that eye tracking “allows us to pinpoint specific parts of a stimulus that are capturing a person’s attention.” This is useful information for marketers, since successful marketing campaigns draw the consumer’s gaze toward their call to action.

Software provides similar results quickly, at a fraction of the cost

Most marketers don’t have the time or budget to send every advertising piece out for eye tracking research. The good news is they can get very similar information much more easily from predictive eye tracking (PET) analysis software. PET software scans an image and uses a mathematical model to predict what draws visual attention. It provides analytical information equivalent to studying 40 people looking at a communication piece for 5 seconds—without anyone having to put a camera on their heads. In fact, the software has more than 80% accuracy compared to full eye tracking research.

PET helps marketers make sure their direct mail or other advertising piece is optimized to emphasize key messages and capture a customer’s attention. It predicts how effective a marketing piece is likely to be before it enters the market. This lets marketers improve a piece prior to launch, to maximize its impact.

Predictive eye tracking reveals the effectiveness of a direct mail piece

Predictive eye tracking assesses 3 key elements of a communication piece:


Visual path: Measures the amount of attention to a particular feature to predict whether a consumer will notice it within the first 3-5 seconds of viewing the piece.

Complexity: Analyzes the amount of content and clutter in an image. The score is reviewed in light of the type of message, since different levels of complexity are acceptable in different contexts.

Focus: Uses a heatmap to display the areas in an image that draw visual attention. This helps identify whether someone’s attention will be focused on key messages. Scattered attention indicates that the message is not coming through clearly.

The PET analysis report on these key areas helps marketers understand whether the key messages in their direct mail or other communication piece are noticeable to their target customer. It provides a chance to adjust the piece before sending it out, if necessary, to improve its effectiveness and maximize return on investment.

Try predictive eye tracking on your next campaign

For a limited time, Canada Post direct mail customers can have their advertising piece analyzed by PET software to understand how customers will view the piece and to see how effective it will be. The analysis process takes just a few days, and costs $300 per image or less.

Data is one of the 3 pillars supporting the Science of Activation™. Get better results with Canada Post Smartmail Marketing™ solutions. Contact us today to try predictive eye tracking.


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