With the growth of digital marketing and the targeting capabilities associated with online outreach, many predicted that this would mark the end of direct mail advertising. But if Millennials have anything to say about it, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Yes, believe it or not, Millennials are driving the resurgence of direct mail advertising, and many leading brands are now pivoting their omnichannel marketing plans to include direct mail. And with the USPS reporting more than 75.7 billion in marketing mail volume in 2019, this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Including direct mail in your plans may give your brand a better chance of reaching your audience. Why?
1. Millennials actually like getting mail.
While most of us have decried “junk mail” as being environmentally unfriendly or just a pain to deal with, Millennials actually enjoy physical mail. Valassis recently cited research from USPS Customer & Market Insights stating that Millennials spend the most time sorting mail (about six minutes compared to the average, which is four minutes), plus they’re opening mail and reading it (at eight minutes versus the average of seven minutes). Valassis also conducted a study that showed that 68% of Millennials read print ads or inserts from retailers, and 64% prefer getting them through the mail. So, while digital outreach may be convenient, it hasn’t completely decimated the desire for that old-school, hands-on experience of opening and reading something that’s addressed to you.
2. Millennials respond to a multi-channel approach.
Oftentimes, marketers think of omnichannel as being a combination of digital and TV, but when you add print into the mix, it can make an even bigger impact on Millennial audiences. Valassis found that 60% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after seeing an ad when it’s presented across both offline and online channels, while 72% of Millennial parents say print ads encourage them to go online and make a purchase from that retailer.
3. Millennials think physical mail makes for a more personal approach.
You’d think that e-mail would feel more personal, but with the influx of spam most people get, that’s just not the case. In fact, 67% of people see physical mail as being more personal than an e-mail, with seven out of 10 saying they prefer receiving actual mail over digital mail. And for marketers looking to make a one-to-one connection, this is music to their ears. With changing marketing plans, the mailbox has less competition than the inbox. Getting a catalog at their door with the perfect offer at the perfect time helps the marketer make the direct connection.
4. Direct mail lasts longer than digital mail.
That may seem like an obvious statement, but there’s more to it than you think. When an e-mail arrives in someone’s inbox, it’s easy to ignore it, read the subject line and forget about it, or even just randomly delete it, if spam filters don’t take care of that on their own. But the average lifespan of a piece of direct mail is 17 days, which may account for how direct mail generates purchases five times larger than e-mail campaigns. It’s harder to ignore when it’s in your house and you have to physically handle it as opposed to just clicking a mouse to get rid of it.
5. Millennials trust direct mail.
It’s true—research shows that 90% of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable. Plus, Millennials are 24% more likely to show mail to others, compared to 19% of non-Millennials… which means if they find a deal they like in the mail, they’re probably going to spread the word.
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