Let’s get right to it and answer the question, which generation responds the most to direct mail?
The answer is: they all do. Whether you're marketing to millennials, Gen Xers or baby boomers, direct mail has the highest conversion rate of any marketing channel.
But just like any marketing campaign, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work.
It’s critical for marketers to factor in how the design, content and CTA of a mailpiece should differ for each generation.
Ready to deliver high-ROI direct mail campaigns that resonate across generations? Here’s what marketers need to know about:
- Direct Mail Marketing to Millennials.
- Direct Mail Marketing to Gen X.
- Direct Mail Marketing to Baby Boomers.
Direct Mail Marketing to Millennials
Given that millennials have a reputation for being glued to their smartphones, you may be surprised to learn that they have a strong affinity for direct mail.
In fact, a USPS study found that, out of all the generations, millennials believe most that direct mail brings a sense of daily discovery, and they look forward to seeing what deals, offers or information are enclosed. They’re also more inclined to say mail:
- Provides useful information and keeps them up-to-date on products and services.
- Feels more secure than online digital communications.
- Makes them more interested in a brand’s products or services.
And millennials don’t just look forward to receiving their mail, they respond extremely well to direct mail marketing: 57% of millennials act on direct mail offers.
Why? Because direct mail campaigns have a longer-lasting impact on millennials than digital campaigns since the physical mail piece can be easily retained and referred back to at a later time. Millennials are immune to digital advertising after being oversaturated with digital ads for most of their lives.
Direct mail, on the other hand, allows them to read mail at their own convenience and offers the opportunity to interact with a brand physically.
Here are other tips for incorporating when sending a direct mail campaign to this age group.
Personalization: Millennials value self-expression and have a strong desire for unique experiences. As such, millennials are more likely to respond to marketing messages that speak to their individual needs and acknowledge them as an individual, rather than being lumped in with a larger group. Personalized direct mail creates a sense of trust and loyalty, and increases the perceived value of the offer.
Multi-channel content: Leverage QR codes to reach this technical savvy group by linking to digital content that converts, such as explainer videos for millennials who aren’t familiar with your brand or an influencer raving about a product that complements a previous purchase. This will outperform a generic company overview.
Age-appropriate content: Millennials respond well to humor, wit and authenticity, so a casual tone that features a relatable message is key to getting their attention.
Direct Mail Marketing to Gen X
Gen X is known for being independent, self-reliant and practical. As such, this generation is more likely to respond to direct mail campaigns that are educational and provide a solution that clearly articulates how they can save time, money or both.
Here are some additional tips for direct mail campaigns geared towards Gen Xers.
Appeal to their practical and self-reliant nature: Gen Xers are more responsive to direct mail campaigns that are tailored to their interests and needs. It's important to provide informative content that showcases the benefits of your business.
Ensure content is easy to read and understand: This will appeal to Gen Xers' preference for practicality and functionality. This goes for CTAs, too! Use QR codes on mailpieces since tech-savvy Gen Xers can quickly access more detailed information about your product or service online.
Take a multichannel approach: Since Gen Xers have a strong digital acumen, they’re the ideal audience for Informed Delivery. Offered by USPS, Informed Delivery gives residential consumers a digital sneak peek of what’s coming in the mail before it’s been physically delivered. More than 20 million consumers have registered for the program and Informed Delivery emails have a 68% open rate, topping virtually all industry open rate averages by a vast amount–as much as 2.5 times. Learn more about how to use Informed Delivery to amplify your next direct mail campaign in this guide.
Direct Mail Marketing to Baby Boomers
Baby boomers are known for valuing tradition, community and security. As such, boomers inherently trust direct mail more than digital marketing channels. They’re also less likely to be overwhelmed by direct mail than they are by digital marketing messages.
Just as you would for Gen X, be sure to include informative and educational content that highlights the benefits of your product or service. With boomers, you’ll want to focus more on establishing the trustworthiness of your business, so be sure to include any badges, icons or testimonials that reinforce reliability and legitimacy.
Here are some additional tips for marketing to boomers and appealing to their preference for tradition and familiarity.
Keep it simple: Boomers tend to prefer more traditional and classic designs, which they find familiar and comforting, so be sure to use text that is clear and easy to read. Avoid overwhelming the mailpiece with too many colors or patterns. Instead, use muted colors that are easy on the eyes, such as soft blues, greens or grays. You can also increase legibility by using contrasting colors for text and background.
Add a local element: Boomers prefer direct mail which feels more personal than digital communications, and adding a local element can help build trust. If applicable, include a map of your business’s location and contact information, and use images of older people in and around the community.
Tailor the CTA: Boomers are the least savvy with the Internet, so loading a mailpiece with links to social media accounts, QR codes, websites and other digital CTAs may overwhelm this audience. Again, keep it simple. The CTA should offer both a phone number to call you directly and your website URL, so they can easily search you online.
Partner with Jet Mail for Direct Mail Campaigns That Resonate with Every Audience Segment
Response rates for personalized mail pieces increase by 300% when compared to generic mail pieces, which is why it’s critical to tailor your direct mail campaign to the needs, preferences and demographics of recipients.
Don’t worry–while tailoring direct mail campaigns for multiple demographics may seem like a lot of work, it’s easy with Jet Mail. Our cutting-edge digital printing technology, known as variable data printing, uses data from your CRM to tailor each mailpiece for individual recipients or audience segments.
Everything can be personalized including names, logos, images, taglines, QR codes, content and more. You can even personalize the envelope.
At Jet Mail, we understand the demands of fast-paced and competitive industries, which is why we specialize in fast, personalized and data-driven solutions for direct mail.
Our extensive menu of direct mail and digital printing services is amplified by our equally comprehensive list of in-house fulfillment services, including inventory management, pick and pack, kitting, assembly, warehousing and shipping.
Contact us today to learn more about Jet Mail’s modern solutions for direct mail marketing.