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marketing to millennials with direct mail

In an Age of Digital Gatekeepers, Direct Mail Holds the Key to Reaching Millennials

Ashley Leone

One of the most annoying things about being online is the pop up ads. There you are, innocently surfing the web for the perfect pair of shoes or trying to comment on a cat video, and BAM! Suddenly, you’re x-ing out of multiple popup windows and email submission forms.

Most Millennials Don’t Respond to Your Digital Ads (If They’re Even Seeing Them)

It’s no surprise that a recent study showed that most millennials in the U.S. have an ad blocker on at least one of their devices, with nearly half of respondents (46%) saying they use one on their desktop and 31% saying they have one on their mobile device.

The same goes for email. Unsolicited emails don’t even get read in my universe. If it’s not caught by a spam filter, it’s immediately deleted the second I see it in my inbox. The average consumer receives more than 147 emails per day and deletes 48% of them. The open rate of those lucky enough to survive the initial culling stands at 34.1%. For marketing emails, that percentage dwindles to 13.7% on mobile devices and 18% on computers, according to research from Yesmail.

I was recently forwarded a speech given by Samuel Scott, a global marketing speaker, in which he talked about ad blockers and their impact on the effectiveness of digital direct marketing. According to Scott,

“The most important negative aspect of direct marketing is that it is annoying. […] People tolerate brand advertising but hate direct marketing. Across any channel or medium, direct marketing of all types is essentially a business jumping in front of you and saying, ‘Hey! Do this right now!’”

That’s the word for it—annoying. If I’m in the middle of doing something and an ad pops up—even if it’s a relevant one—I’m irritated that my process has been interrupted and channel that wrath towards the business that dared mar my experience. Really, I think pop-up ads are mostly effective for helping consumers identify a brand as “those obnoxious guys who won’t leave me alone.”

As Scott put it, “Say that you get 3% to respond, buy, or ‘convert’. You will annoy the other 97%—and they will never buy in the future as a result. Is that truly a good way to build a brand over the long term?” Marketing to millennials is notoriously difficult, and adding to their frustrations with annoying advertising tactics doesn’t do much to warm them to your brand.

How Marketing to Millennials with Direct Mail Keeps More of Your Message Out of the Trash

In contrast, receiving marketing mail isn’t nearly as overwhelming or intrusive with its smaller volume and read-at-your-leisure nature. As an added bonus, you know that opening a letter isn’t going to trigger a million other communications or infect your device with a virus. It’s virtually risk-free, unlike digital ads.

Marketing to millennials with direct mail before sending an email or targeted social media ad makes it familiar and far less likely to trigger a millennial’s well-conditioned “spam” response. It also gives the brand some credibility and makes the pop-up ad, banner, or email less threatening. A Winterberry study found that 79.2% of respondents use direct mail, and 66% endorsed printed advertisements. None of those surveyed reported installing a blocker for their mailman.

As Scott said in his speech, “The ultimate goal of direct marketing is to deliver the ‘right ad to the right person at the right time.’” That’s something that we at IWCO Direct have been saying for a long time. To learn how to effectively reach millennials, both online and off, contact us today.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2017/11/08/marketing-to-millennials-adblockers/
Ashley Leone


Ashley Leone

As a Corporate Communications Specialist at IWCO Direct, Ashley is a skilled writer and editor with experience in a wide variety of written communications including email, direct mail, social media, and technical writing. A graduate of Concordia College, she is known for saying “teamwork makes the dream work” and being a bit of a perfectionist. She is a former sorority president who enjoys baking, shark movies, and Diet Coke.

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