How to reach millennials with direct mail

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Millennials are the first truly “digital native” generation. They’ve never known a world without digital technology and have fully embraced it in all aspects of their lives. So, it’s easy to assume that they ignore direct mail marketing. But, according to research done by the U.S. Postal Service, they actually love it:

  • 77% of millennials pay attention to direct mail advertising.
  • 90% of them think direct mail advertising is reliable.
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers.
  • 87% of millennials like receiving direct mail.

Why does this matter? Because millennials are increasingly moving into the leadership, decision-making and influencer roles at many businesses. According to a UBS Group study, they will hold a collective annual buying power of $24 trillion by 2020.

The bottom line is that marketers can’t afford to ignore them and their communication preferences.

Here are some tips for reaching and influencing millennials with your direct mail marketing campaigns:

Integrated campaigns are key

For best results, target your millennial audience with a multi-channel campaign that blends direct mail marketing with online promotions, including email, social media posts and paid promotion. This approach can give you a one-two punch that’s more effective than either channel alone.

One very effective way to do this is to lead off your campaign with a postcard or other direct mail piece. This creates brand visibility and memorability. Follow that with a series of emails designed to nurture your prospects along the path to a sale. These messages should have a higher than normal open rate because your audience will remember your brand from the direct mail piece.

Incorporate an AR experience

Provide a unique, engaging experience for your millennial audience using augmented reality, using direct mail as the delivery mechanism. They simply scan an object on your mailer, and a “pop up” experience appears on their smartphone screen.

What types of experiences can you create using AR? Its applications are limited only by your imagination. You can provide them with access to expanded or highly personalized information or offer fun experiences for them to enjoy. For example, IKEA’s AI-enhanced catalog enables consumers to visualize how furniture will look in their homes. Jaguar lets you take its F-Type sports car for a spin. And Delta Airlines uses it to provide highly detailed and personalized upsell opportunities for travel packages.

Send them a dimensional mailer

These attention-grabbing pieces include boxes, tubes, containers, bags and other carriers that have length, width and height. Often, dimensional mailers include a giveaway item, such as a product sample or promotional premium. Physically interacting with it helps to create a stronger emotional connection between the recipient and your brand.

Dimensional mailers are more expensive to produce and ship, but they create an interactive experience that yields a higher response rate than any other type of direct mail, according to the Direct Marketing Association. This approach works best with a small, highly-targeted list of high potential value clients and products that have a fairly high price point. That increases the odds that you will generate a return on your marketing investment.

Incorporate social or community-oriented features

Millennials value causes and have a strong sense of community and belonging. Look for opportunities to leverage this in your direct mail marketing campaigns to increase engagement.

Influencer marketing strategies can also pay off with millennials because they tend to trust the opinions of key people they respect more than commercial messages. An influencer doesn’t need to be someone famous; what matters is that he or she is known and respected within the target audience you’re trying to influence.

Do you need help making your direct mail marketing campaigns work harder? We can help! Contact us today to discuss your needs.

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