Millennials love direct mail. Who knew?

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Millennials, the generation between 24 and 40 years old, are one of the most sought-after yet stereotyped target market. There are almost 9.8 million millennials in Canada and by 2025 millennials will account for 75% of the world’s workforce. With this kind of buying power, it is no wonder why so many marketers have their eye on this achievement-oriented group.

As the first generation growing up in a digital age, millennials are the most coveted segment by digital marketers. The assumption is that millennials revere everything digital and prefer to receive all communication electronically. But those who dare to take a closer look will realize that something is different about millennials, and it’s not their affinity for everything digital.  Direct mail advertising appeals to 77% of millennials, and this inclination towards direct mail surpasses any other generation. They are also more likely to take the time to read direct mail offers that provide a personalized experience. Millennials spend their disposable income on socialization, education, food away from home, clothing, and transportation but they are also the most cash conscious generation with the highest use of coupons, with 30% saying they always use coupons and 23% saying they frequently use coupons.

The preferences by this valued group of consumers are hard to deny but if digital marketers turned a blind eye to them in the past, they can no longer look away. In the last few years digital marketers have been faced with the stark reality that they have a crisis of confidence on their hands with this market segment. The issue with digital marketing within the millennial segment is their healthy distrust of digital communication. Digital offers are increasingly being viewed through a lens that most of what comes into their inbox is not trustworthy and as a result they have become quite proficient at scanning and discarding what they perceive as unreliable e-mail. They are also increasingly turning to ad blockers to avoid online advertising altogether. In contrast, a staggering 90% of millennials believe direct mail advertising is reliable, and 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers. This is why so many marketers have made the journey back to direct mail and have started integrating digital and direct as a strategy forward. There is significant evidence that digital combined with direct have far greater impact with millennials than digital alone. Canada Post’s Neuromarketing Research demonstrated that 39% of people paid more attention to integrated campaigns, which lead to increased brand awareness and improved trust in the brand.

The modern-day direct mail campaign can be characterized as not only highly targeted but individualized. Millennials love personalized mail, but that means more than just putting their name on it. “The use of data programming to identify consumer preferences and tailoring communication to create a genuinely personal experience is what consumers seek. They want to be spoken to as an individual and not as a target audience”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. Consumers are also willing to offer more information about themselves to create that unique experience. Eighty-three percent of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more a personalized experience and millennial brand loyalty increases as much as 28% with personalized offers.

The next few years will see a pivotal transition in marketing strategy to millennials as the digital environment becomes increasingly cluttered. Brand trust will become a key factor when considering channel marketing and the move to integrated and offline campaigns will see a strong and steady growth.

John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management.  He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416) 752-8100.

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