Break through to millennials with compelling direct mail

5 minute read

Millennials are being hailed by marketers as the largest consumer generation in history. There are roughly 9.8 million of them in Canada, and they make 33% of our online purchases. In 2015 they became the biggest generation in the Canadian workforce, accounting for roughly 35%. By 2025 they will make up 75% of the global workforce and will be the most vital demographic for retailers to attract. So the big question on most marketers’ minds is, how do I attract them? 

Millennials were the first generation to grow up immersed in digital technology, so most marketers believe email and digital advertising is the best way to break through to them. Digital channels are important when it comes to reaching out to them, but research suggests that a digital-only approach may not be the most effective way to connect. Millennials seem to have an uncharacteristic appreciation for physical channels, which might explain why Canada Post ranked number six with millennials for research firm Leger’s annual ranking of Canada’s most admired companies.

Direct mail should be in your Millennial marketing strategy

Direct mail might not be something you are considering adding to your millennial marketing strategy, but it should be. Here are a few compelling reasons why you should incorporate it into your next campaign.

Millennials’ inboxes are full

Millennials are bombarded with advertising from every angle online, and they’re not amused. In fact, they’ve become highly efficient at weeding out unwanted marketing. A whopping 46 per cent of them use ad blockers on their desktop – 17% use them on their mobile device, and 14% use them on both their desktop and mobile device.

Their mailbox isn’t

Sending direct mail creates an opportunity for your brand or business to be welcomed into the homes of Millennials. Despite what you might think, they value it. In fact, most of them pay attention to it, almost all of them think it’s reliable, over half of them have made purchases based on direct mail offers – and the majority of them like receiving it.

Millennials pay attention to direct mail

Millennials are more responsive to direct mail than older generations. They are more likely to scan it, less likely to discard a piece without reading it, and tend to organize and sort what they get. They also take more time to read the mail, and enjoy showing what they receive to others.

Digital mail and direct mail work better together

Canada Post conducted cutting edge Neuromarketing research that revealed that direct mail and digital are stronger together. When paired with digital advertising in integrated campaigns, direct mail optimized consumer action, emotional engagement and brand recall. People paid 39% more attention to integrated direct mail and digital campaigns than to single-media digital campaigns, and consumers had 40% higher brand recall when direct mail followed email. Better brand recall improves the odds that a customer will trust a particular company, associate the brand with a product, and ultimately buy from them.

By reaching out to Millennials both digitally and through physical mail, marketers can send a stronger message. This two-pronged approach can increase brand recognition and recall, and garner more attention for a campaign than sending an email alone.

Sending direct mail to reinforce an email campaign targeted to Millennials is a great way to ensure that your email actually gets opened. The recipient will be more likely to recognize your brand, and therefore more inclined to open and read what you send.

5 tips for better direct mail marketing for Millennials

If you’re ready to explore direct mail marketing for Millennials, here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating and sending your campaign.

Tip #1: Send something authentic and entertaining

Be real and engaging with your messaging and presentation. The more authentically you present your brand, products and/or services, the more they will resonate with Millennials who crave authenticity. Millennials also respond well to experiential marketing and love to be entertained – that’s why many of them go to big events, conventions and festivals. Make your campaign fun and interactive to drive better results. Be as creative as possible and think beyond the letter. For case studies on out-of-the-box direct mail campaigns, and campaign inspiration, read our print publication INCITE.

Tip #2: Send something personal

Millennials respond well to personalized marketing materials. If you target them as individuals, you can show each customer that they are more than just another name on your list. A personalized direct mail piece can show your customers that you “get” them, you know what they want, and you’ve got it ready and waiting. To get personal with your marketing, you need to keep thorough data on your customers. Good data will help you tailor your communications to each customer, and enable you to share enticing special offers with them based on their shopping preferences, purchase history, and search history.

Tip #3: Send something tactile

An extension of tip #1, explore the tactile nature of direct mail to engage and entertain millennials. They respond well to highly visual and tactile communications, so send something that might catch their eye and engage their senses. Thanks to advancements in print technology, marketers can send pieces enhanced with exciting things like scented ink and textured paper.

Tip #4: Send something worth saving

A huge advantage of direct mail is the fact that people like to hold onto it. According to The Private Life of Mail, a whitepaper from UK Royal Mail, advertising mail is kept in UK households for an average of 17 days. Because it tends to linger in the home, a piece of mail can have a pretty significant impact on a recipient over the course of days and weeks. Increase the odds of your mailing sticking around by sending something useful or informative. A product catalogue is a great example of a direct mail piece that has a good chance of lingering in a millennial’s home. According to a Quad/Graphics whitepaper called “Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse”, more than 50% of millennials enjoy and look forward to receiving retail catalogues; 49% wish certain companies had a catalogue; and 40% buy more from companies when they receive a catalogue.

Tip #5: Send your campaigns to Millennial influencers

Millennials are big fans of peer-to-peer marketing. They greatly value reviews and referrals, especially when purchasing expensive items. Instead of mailing ads to a large volume of recipients, consider trying your hand at an influencer marketing campaign. Reach out to millennials who have a significant following who might like your products. Mail them a special selection of your products for a review or giveaway. Encourage them to create content around your products, or to offer their followers a special discount code or rate. You can also tap into peer-to-peer marketing by mailing a refer-a-friend offer to your customers or prospects. A campaign like that will help you attract new leads for your business, and keep your customers happy with a discount.

Millennials may be the most important consumer group to attract to your business.  Use these tips and insights to break through to them with your marketing campaigns.

Get through to millennial consumers with direct mail. Learn how to integrate Canada Post Smartmail Marketing™ into your next direct mail campaign.

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