There seems to be this misconception that Millenials don’t respond to direct mail because they are the ‘device’ generation. Millennials are often perceived as being constantly glued to their mobile phones, so how could they possibly engage with direct mail or care enough to open it in the first place? If you’re of this mindset then the truth might come as quite a surprise!
Millennials have now taken over baby boomers in numbers and actually, they currently account for 25% of the U.S population. Although there are some different interpretations of what a Millenial is, generally they are considered to be anyone born between the years of 1982 and 2000. Given the current average age of Millenials and where we presently sit in 2019, they carry a lot of weight in the buying space. According to Accenture, they will spend $1.4 trillion by 2020. This makes them very valuable to businesses, and as a result, SO much marketing is targeted at them. But is it too much?
Certainly online, regular device users become ‘numb’ to a large proportion of ads and offers. That’s simply due to the extreme frequency of them. After all, no one logs on to Instagram to see ads. No one wants to see promotions every time they read a blog post. It’s not WHY they choose to spend time online. This isn’t to say digital advertising isn’t effective, because of course, it is. It’s about how these messages are delivered.
In a world where you’ve grown up with digital solutions and devices around you, something happens. You don’t actually become a slave to online advertisements and promotions. In fact, quite the opposite. Millenial’s tend to prefer unique custom experiences from brands. They choose personalization and proper connections over meaningless tannoy-like announcements.
Too many brands ‘shout’ out about what makes them great, without demonstrating it.
Millennials are also renowned for taking multi-channel approaches to complete a purchase or interaction with a brand. They need to have options and they need to feel valued to take action.
USPS states that 77% of Millenials pay attention to direct mail. Given that they favor multi-channel approaches to their destination, here’s something that works well: Start the funnel with a piece of direct mail. Something that grabs attention with limited words/space – i.e a postcard. Let the follow-up action happen online, use this piece of mail to direct them to take a digital action that’s valuable to you. The best type of follow-up action should be one that’s highly interactive for that individual. Consider AI or video.
Remember that one type of communication does not fit all! Communication preferences are largely determined by age and life experiences. For many groups, one type of communication, one pathway or channel is very limiting in the world. It’s up to you guide the receiver to action, but the way you do that should be audience-specific. Age isn’t the only consideration; the type of target market will also determine the best approach. A ‘millennial’ still covers a wide range of individuals; students, parents, professionals etc,.)