A recent headline from Direct Marketing News caught my attention: “The DM Train to Engagement Land.” Sounds interesting, right? Curiosity piqued; I decided to read on. And it was the final quote from Chris Rimlinger, SVP of Money Mailer, that really hits home for direct marketers:
“This age group [Generation Y, or, Millennials] actually really trusts what they receive in the mail because they like something tangible and something tailored to them. It’s great news for us—and direct marketers that don’t send targeted direct mail messages are definitely missing out.”
We couldn’t agree more that direct marketers who leave print out of their overall marketing mix are also giving up the attention getting power of direct mail. Why? The article from Allison Schiff reinforces what we’ve long been telling our customers and prospects. That is, in our world of constant connection and digital fatigue, Millennials are gravitating toward (and responding to) the tangible qualities of targeted direct mail messages.
Schiff points to research from a number of sources, including Money Mailer, that says 90% of respondents ages 25-34 find direct mail reliable and 87% like getting retail information and offers in the mail. We’ve referenced similar results from ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Study, which found 57% of young people from the same demographic have made a purchase as a result of a direct mail offer.
As the direct marketing community gets set for DMA 13 this weekend, there’s sure to be a number of new digital technologies that promise to engage Millennials like never before. These “must have” technologies will encourage early adopters and warn against missing the boat. But the bottom line is this: Online channels work best when used in tandem with print. Young people appreciate personalized, relevant direct mail offers, and the “one-two punch” of a printed offer with the ability to respond online is hands down the winning strategy.
Perhaps Schiff said it best: “Direct mail used in conjunction with other relevant channels—email, display, social—is a potent ingredient in any marketing mix. There’s a sense of delight you get when opening an envelope or a package that’s hard to create via email.”
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