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Do Millennials Respond to Print and Direct Mail Marketing?

Do millennials respond to direct mail marketing?

They do! It’s time to dispel the myth that millennials only want digital.

It’s time to dispel the myth that millennials only respond to digital marketing.

Truth is that millennials are actually taken by a piece of snail mail that arrives in their mailbox. According to a recent white paper published by the United States Postal Service, 82% of millennials say receiving a handwritten letter, note or greeting card in the mail has a lot of value for them. 

Attention to Millennial Attitudes Lead to Potential Big Win

A company who pays attention to millennial attitudes about print mail may well score some serious wins in the millennial marketplace. Consider that 52% of millennials are more likely to make a purchase from a company that advertises to them using both direct mail and digital. 

Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that compared to Gen X and baby boomers, millennials are the most likely to take action on print marketing mail delivered to their home mailbox. As proof:

  • 62% of millennials frequently and occasionally bring marketing mail into retail stores compared to 58% of Gen X’ers and 52% of baby boomers
  • 66% of millennials frequently and occasionally use marketing mail as a prompt to go online compared to 51% of Gen X’ers and 41% of baby boomers
  • 43% of millennials prefer to shop at stores that advertise to them through mail compared to 37% of Gen X’ers and 31% of baby boomers
  • 41% of millennials regularly purchase items featured in marketing mail as compared to 31% of Gen X’ers and 27% of baby boomers

Direct Mail a Pleasing Change

The white paper suggests that for millennials, direct mail could come as a pleasing change from the digital mail which pours into and clutters their inboxes. This suggests that direct mail which comes to them only one time a day has become a novelty to this younger demographic. 

Sixty-two percent (62%) of them tend to read through the advertising mail they receive, rather than discarding it without reading. For a generation that has grown up with digital, one that’s populated by digital natives, they also may have privacy concerns. In fact, 57% of millennials worry less about mail privacy than they do about digital communications privacy.

Combining print with digital means that now have multiple channels through which you can reach millennials. This presents exciting opportunities to grab more market share when promoting your products and services and more ways to use creativity and innovation to capture millennials’ attention. The addition of direct mail enhances aesthetics from color as well as paper weight and texture that increase appeal and make your audience more apt to take notice.

Use Multiple Channels, These Tips to Market to Millennials 

Whether you want to acquire millennials as customers, generate their interest in a specific promotion, or build customer loyalty, take note of the following:

  • Combine multimedia and digital. Embed QR Codes, near field communication (NFC), or augmented reality (AR) to link your mailer to videos and interactive materials on your website or social media. NFC* is the technology that allows two devices—like your phone and a payments terminal — to talk to each other, enabling contactless payments.
  • Keep your messaging succinct and easy to read. Provide bite-sized pieces of information for a quick, easy, and convenient read.
  • Be real and authentic. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of millennials say direct mail feels more personal than online digital communications. Avoid a hard-sell. Use a straightforward, transparent approach.
  • Retarget with direct mail. Match customers’ IP addresses with their physical addresses. Follow up with personalized direct mail based on users’ actions on your website, mobile app, email, or social media.
  • Link feel good to purchasing. Millennials believe that brands have a responsibility to help make the world a better place. Campaigns that donate a percentage of profits to a worthy cause or in some other way demonstrate corporate responsibility appeal to millennials’ idealism and reflect your altruistic purpose and authenticity.
  • Avoid slang (even if you are a millennial). Use slang and you risk turning off your audience.

Working with a marketing agency like Ballantine also can help you pair digital and print campaigns effectively.

Call us and let us help you create a thoughtful direct mail campaign that can help you capture millennials’ attention and, ultimately, convert them into loyal customers and raving fans.


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I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!