I left you with this teaser last week – 80% of millennials want brands to entertain them, and they find direct mail entertaining. InfoTrends reported this finding in their Strategy for Growth research. They also noted that millennials account for 25% of the population. Forbes reports that by 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of our workforce. Direct marketers take note: millennials are about to have incredible buying power for your products and services. They already account for 21% of consumer discretionary purchases so “incredible buying power” will translate to more than the trillion dollars they already spend.
As my millennial colleague, Ashley Leone, mentioned earlier this week, 63% of millennials who responded to a direct mail piece within the past three months made a purchase. Since 66% of millennials open direct mail, marketers who have eschewed direct mail for other channels with this demographic may want to shoo it back into their marketing plan.
Key Factors Influence Millennials’ Purchase Decisions
When Barb Pellow and Riley McNulty reviewed the InfoTrends research with me, they grabbed my attention and held it tight when they reported that millennials notice print, paper, and image quality more than any other demographic. I remember being told that the evolution of print technology could be described as having “good enough” quality. If you’re looking quizzically at your screen, I’ll explain.
When offset printing first came to market, many said it would never replace letterpress printing because the quality wasn’t good enough. When inkjet printing first came to market, many said it would never replace offset printing because the quality wasn’t good enough. In both cases, the technology improved enough to become the new standard. Now millennials are paying attention to the look and feel of the direct mail and catalogs they receive, and thankfully inkjet technology has advanced to the point where the finished product can be “high end” in terms of both personalization and print quality. At IWCO Direct, we’re including high end direct mail packages in our strategy recommendations across many verticals. It makes sense when the most desirable prospects you’re trying to reach will notice your mailpiece, open that envelope and respond.
According to InfoTrends, millennials are also more likely to open and read direct mail based on its personalization or customization. This means that your modeling and segmentation better be spot on. Millennials don’t just notice personalization and customization; they’re offended when it’s wrong. Don’t send an offer for cookbooks to someone who barely knows how to heat soup and relies on takeout, restaurants and friends for sustenance.
Personalization and customization don’t just get mail opened. They increase engagement with the mail and help drive two-thirds of millennials to make a purchase. That engagement is measured by how frequently and quickly they purchase, too. According to InfoTrends, millennials as a group responded within the last 2.4 months of the study, versus the last 3 months for other age groups.
As Ashley mentioned, these digital natives spend a majority of their days staring at a backlit screen which might be the reason direct mail is a welcome respite. I admit I was surprised by another millennial finding in the InfoTrends report: this group is more likely to read direct mail than email.
Are millennials part of your direct mail marketing plan? If you need help developing a strategy to target this audience and its incredible buying power, don’t hesitate to contact me or your IWCO Direct account rep.
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