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Millennials Actually Value Direct Mail

woman opening mail
Nov 27, 2017

Checking my mail one day, I received an oversized postcard from a restaurant called Lena’s Italian Kitchen, offering 20% off my first order. As a New York City resident, I can say that this was the first (and only) solo Direct Mail piece I ever received from a restaurant. As a direct marketer, I applauded their strategy… what a great way to stand out in a very crowded landscape. Just how crowded? According to a recent report from Crain’s New York, crowded to the tune of over 26,000 restaurants across the five boroughs!

In a city with such a large Millennial population (myself included), it’s easy to imagine these postcards getting tossed aside left and right. After all, Millennials grew up in the digital era… we’re served our ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; mail is junk, and Direct Mail is not a viable channel to reach a younger audience. Right?

Wrong! I consulted one of the best resources for Direct Mail statistics, the USPS, to see if I could find any falsehoods in this argument. In reviewing their recently published whitepaper Still Relevant: A Look at How Millennials Respond to Direct Mail, I was surprised (and heartened) to find that my generation not only interacts heavily with Direct Mail, but values it greater than older generations. The whitepaper offers some very compelling evidence:

  • 77% of Millennials pay attention to direct mail advertising
  • 90% of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers
  • 87% of Millennials like receiving direct mail
  • Millennials are 71% more likely to scan the mail, compared with 66% of non-Millennials
  • Millennials are 24% more likely to show mail to others, versus 19% of non-Millennials

Anecdotally, Direct Mail is alive and well; I know this because I receive plenty of it at home. A number of our clients use Direct Mail regularly as part of their acquisition plans, and more are planning to test. The claims that it’s a dying medium are simply not true. And the statistics above prove that Direct Mail is a valuable channel that’s here to stay.

In case you’re wondering, I did indeed order dinner from Lena’s using the coupon I received… the Chicken Parm was pretty good!

Have you seen success using Direct Mail to reach Millennials? We’d love to hear from you!

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