When Millennials Spend Time With Your Direct Mail Campaign, They Spend Money, Too

I came across an interesting article in MediaPost a couple weeks back. The USPS reported results of a study that showed millennials (yes, that oh-so-wired generation) respond to direct mail more positively and actively than they do to email. That’s significant, in my mind—and you must look past the numbers a bit to understand.

Sure, the information was collected by the United States Post Office (USPS), so it’s only natural to be a little skeptical. But no more than we all already are to the digital/email experts touting the low costs and contemporary appeal of the electronic tools that are close to their hearts and wallets. And numbers are hard to refute—especially when that little gut feeling inside tells you, “yeah, that does make sense.” And the numbers say that printed direct mail captures more attention than email. Period.

Your Direct Mail Campaign Is All About Engagement

If you have any contact with marketing these days, you know it’s all about not merely “reaching” your target audience members, but somehow engaging with them to develop meaningful connections and relationships. Let me use a little example. If you had the choice of two billboards. Billboard “A” is passed by 1,000 motorists every day. Billboard “B” causes 100 motorists every day to stop, pull over, and write down a phone number from the board. Which do you think is more effective?

If only raw numbers mattered, “A” wins. One thousand looks like a better “return on investment” than 100. But smart marketers would quickly choose “B.” That’s because 100 engaged prospects are worth far more than 1,000 who may not even notice the message, or quickly look away.

Numbers That Matter for a Direct Marketing Campaign

Results from the USPS report indicated some interesting things:

  • While nearly half of millennials ignore digital ads, only 15% ignore direct mail.
  • 90% of millennials think it is reliable, 87% like receiving it, and 77% pay attention to it.
  • A key finding: 57% of millennials have purchased in response to direct mail. (If that’s “junk” give me more, please!)
  • Overall, paper mail has a 5.3% response rate compared to less than 1% for digital channels.

When They Can Touch It, It Touches Them

The USPS also worked with the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University’s Fox School of Business to study ad responses. Some important revelations from that work:

  • While people tend to “process” digital ad content more quickly, they spend more time with physical ads (like your printed direct mail piece).
  • Physical ads generated activity in the brain sector that corresponds with value and desirability.
  • People respond more emotionally to physical ads and remember them better.

This is good news, of course. But it’s not surprising—I’ve written before about other research that provides more evidence of the same.

Make Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaign Move People

Whatever kind of marketing you do, of course, it’s all about the content. After all, that’s what really engages your target audience (or not). We’ve got plenty of expertise about how to make your direct mail campaigns more effective, and help them generate profitable new customers for your business. Here are some tips to make your direct mail campaign work.

The most important first step is to talk to people with expertise in doing this the right way. Contact me today or reach out to one of our award-winning sales reps to create a direct mail campaign that will work for your business.


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