“Digital Natives” Are Devoted to Direct Mail

In the last few posts, I have been talking about direct mail. A recent case study by the United States Post Office contained some helpful information about “advertising mail.” I passed along useful facts about what types of mail were the most likely to be read (catalogs) and how Internet usage and amount of advertising mail recipients received affected their response to it.

But in doing my research for those posts, I found still another report by the U.S. Post Office that was especially eye-opening. Its primary focus was on how millennials respond to advertising mail. I was a bit surprised—and I think you might be, as well.

Direct Mail Doesn’t “Screen Out” Millennials

It’s become a cliché: millennials are constantly staring at some kind of screen and can only be reached through their smartphones. But evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, what they might really be doing on those smartphones is deleting email marketing messages as quickly as they can.

Let me share some of the most interesting findings in the post office report. It turns out that millennials care a great deal about direct mail, and a lot less than we thought about digital marketing efforts.

  1. A large majority like direct mail. And they don’t just read it, they use:

  • 87 percent of millennials like receiving direct mail
  • 90 percent think it is reliable
  • 64 percent would rather scan direct mail than their email for useful information
  • 57 percent have made purchases based on direct mail offers
  1. They are more favorable toward direct mail than previous generations

  • They are less likely to discard it without reading it. (54 percent compared to 59 percent)
  • They are more likely to show it to others (24 percent to 19 percent)
  • They are more likely to take the time to read it (36 percent to 35 percent)
  1. Their brains are more engaged with direct mail

The post office partnered with a brain-research facility to investigate why “digital natives” still respond so well to print. Through brain imaging, biometrics and eye tracking, they found that:

  • Participants spent more time with physical ads
  • They had a stronger emotional response to physical ads and remembered them better
  • Physical ads triggered activity in a part of the brain that corresponds with value and desirability
  1. They respond more to physical, printed messages

In another neuromarketing test, the Canada Post compared physical and digital versions of a marketing campaign with the same creative messaging and learned that:

  • Brain activation in areas corresponding to motivation response was 20 percent higher for direct mail that digital communication.
  • Participants’ recall was 70 percent higher when exposed to direct mail vs. a digital ad.

Turning Stats into Success for Your Business

You might be thinking “hmmm, that’s interesting.” But “interesting” doesn’t pay the bills. We are in an excellent position to help you generate direct mail that will deliver results from millennials and all your other target audiences. How? Well, nearly 100 years’ experience helping businesses work more efficiently is a pretty good start.

But you can also trust our ISO certification to make a difference. It ensures that our practices are consistent and effective at meeting customer needs. Want more evidence we meet those needs? We’ve earned two consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards based on reviews from our customers.

Whatever market you are trying to target, contact us for help in using direct mail to do it effectively.

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