Millennials and Gen Zers are important to marketers because they have significant influence and purchasing power. And because these generations are all about technology, you might assume direct mail is too old-fashioned for them, right? Wrong! In fact, direct mail is having a glow-up, and we are here for it!
Far from an outmoded marketing tactic, personalized direct mail is an impactful tool that’s well-received by younger generations.
Who exactly are millennials and Gen Zers? You might picture a young person rolling their eyes as they say, “OK, boomer,” but, in reality, these generations encompass a wide range of ages and backgrounds. So forget about the stereotypes, which don’t pass the vibe check.
Pew Research defines the millennial generation as anyone born between 1981-1996 and Gen Z as anyone born in 1997 or later. According to USA Today, the last Gen Zers (also called Zoomers) were born in 2012. That means when we talk about these generations, we’re including everyone from tweens to folks in their early 40s.
So why are we lumping these generations together? Because they have something important in common. The oldest millennials were adolescents as the internet rapidly expanded, and younger millennials and Gen Zers never knew a world before the internet, so both generations can be considered “digital natives.” In other words, they grew up around technology and learned at an early age how to navigate the online world.
Because of this, many marketers falsely assume digital marketing is the best—or even the only—way to reach these consumers. As we’ll see, that’s far from accurate.
Let’s explore three reasons direct mail resonates with younger consumers.
Today, millennials and Gen Zers rely on tech in nearly every aspect of their lives, and although that comes with some real benefits, it’s also caused a phenomenon known as digital fatigue. These generations are used to an unrelenting stream of information and marketing messages from brands as they scroll through social media, check emails, shop online, play games, and more. The constant barrage of advertisements can become like white noise or even a nuisance.
As a physical medium, direct mail is a welcomed alternative and is more likely to grab attention. In 2022, 76 percent of marketers agreed that digital touchpoints were seeing lower levels of engagement due to digital fatigue, whereas 78 percent reported that analog touchpoints, including direct mail, saw a boost in performance!
Personalization is a must for today’s marketers—especially for younger consumers. And yet, many brands are falling short in this area. In a 2022 survey, roughly two-thirds of Gen Zers aged 18-25 agreed that brands think they can market to their generation rather than to them as individuals. Big yikes.
So why market through direct mail when personalization is usually easier with digital mediums? The answer is simple: Physical mail feels inherently more personal. Many digital ads can feel like spam, whereas direct mail has a unique charm.
In fact, millennials and Gen Z enjoy getting mail. According to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), “more than any other age group, [millennials] believe that mail brings a sense of daily discovery and look forward to seeing what deals or coupons are being offered.” Similarly, 72 percent of Gen Zers “would be disappointed to no longer receive mail and say they are excited to discover what the mail brings every day.” When you tailor your mail for individual recipients, it can have an especially significant impact.
Choosing to market your brand digitally or through analog methods like direct mail shouldn’t be an either-or decision because both avenues are critical if you want to connect with millennials and Gen Zers.
The world is becoming more connected than ever, and the dividing lines between physical and digital realities are becoming less distinct. For marketers, that means if you want to live rent-free in a young consumer’s head, multichannel marketing is the best way forward. You should also look for ways to drive online traffic through direct mail. For example, you can include QR codes or online promos on your mailers.
Direct mail—especially personalized direct mail—can have a major impact on millennials and Gen Zers. So what are you waiting for? Baesman can help you design, execute, and track personalized direct mail campaigns that get your brand noticed.