How to Reach Millennials? the Answer May Be in Direct Mail

While it is true that not every millennial is exactly the same; this complex demographic is a coveted audience and target market for advertisers worldwide. And while it is also true that millennials (aged 18-34) are the tech wizards of the world who consume the most digital content, they are actually fans of many offline modes of advertising.

We've witnessed the rise of many marketing trends that feed into millennials' obsession with nostalgia. From the wild success of pop-up shops, to personalized over-the-top PR packages mailed to influencers, we know millennials respond well to this kind of offline marketing. One particular direct response tactic that has been known to influence sales is direct mail, and in today's blog post we will discuss why advertisers should not knock this delivery method off of their marketing campaign itinerary yet.

With the current, ever changing media landscape, marketers have more communication options than ever before. So do consumers, whose weakening attention spans we are seeking to capture. According to the Electronic Retailing Association, millennials still respond to quality direct mail. In fact, 77% of them actually pay close attention to the direct mail ads they receive in their mailbox, and 90% consider it trustworthy and authentic. In addition, 55% have completed a purchase through a direct mail offer. The numbers speak volumes on the constant ability for offline advertising to drive engagement.

Physical mail amplifies consumer attention and emotional engagement, and more importantly brand recall, when integrated into a digital campaign. A study conducted by Canada Post saw up to a 39% increase in attention rates when a campaign included both digital and direct mail components that were interacting with one another. When executed correctly, direct mail is a great creative tool that can provide consumers with an entire experience to drive action.

How Does Direct Mail Work?

Aside from having a strong and engaging creative, advertisers need to focus on who they are trying to reach by having a robust and extensive mailing list that is congruent with their brand's demographic and message. Mailing lists are an important component to any direct mail campaign, and they can be compiled in multiple ways.

A business can use their existing database of home addresses and filter through it based on data points that relate to their campaign strategy and message, such as gender, age, and even income levels. For advertisers who need more addresses or do not have a strong mailing list of their own, they can work with independent list brokers, who compile highly targeted mailing lists derived from public data sources and charge a rate for every thousand names and addresses, depending on how drilled down that list is.

Advertisers can use these targeted lists to send addressed direct mail, which is done through a post office. Unaddressed direct mail, also called bulk direct mail, is done through independent distributors for instances like placing a direct mail piece in a newspaper circulation, for example, for a mass distribution strategy.

Today's marketers are encouraged to leverage direct mail and consider integrating it in a fun, creative way as a strategy to drive digital traffic through offline advertising. Both these media channels have a role to play here; while some digital media can be best at getting quick attention, direct mail will pull the consumer in to digest the brand narrative and help close the sale.

This is a clear example of the blurring line between online and offline advertising. Brands are quickly realizing the appeal of direct mail marketing among millennials; the generation obsessed with mailbox subscriptions and online shopping–so, wondering whether or not they check their mail is not an issue. Trust us, they do. When it comes to direct mail, advertisers must ensure they are not just delivering a message, but a memorable experience they know won't end up disposed of as junk mail.