There are a few universal experiences that make every generation happy. One of those experiences is receiving mail. According to a USPS survey, almost everyone enjoys getting a piece of mail delivered to them. So, now that it’s no secret that everyone loves mail, how important is it to make sure that your direct mail piece is tailored to different age groups?
Well, a direct mail piece for a Boomer will undoubtedly look and feel different than a piece for a Gen Z, and the reasons may not be exactly what you think. First, let’s explore why it’s important to target a specific age demographic, and then we’ll break down the preferences of each generation.
Why Your Direct Mail Should Target a Specific Audience
Each generation goes through its own shared history and experiences that define that generation’s culture. From world events, economic changes, and social movements, it’s essential that your marketing strategy can adapt to each generation’s shared experiences.
Does that mean you need to create different collateral for each age demographics? The answer depends on the ultimate goal of the marketing campaign. Creating a pretty piece and sending it out without a planned strategy will not deliver the ideal results. A carefully planned and executed direct mail campaign can help you grow your business.
Let’s pause and consider a different advertising medium. A radio station that plays oldies will not have the same ads as a Top100 station. That’s because they know they are reaching a different audience. Sending a direct mail campaign that’s tailored to a specific age demographic will perform better than a generic campaign because the customer will connect to the piece when it’s for them.
Now that you understand why it’s so important to target a specific audience let’s walk through the different generations and strategies for each.
Direct Mail Strategies by Age Demographics
Like we said above, you wouldn’t send the same mail piece to a customer who’s 65 vs one who’s 28. Let’s explore the different generations and highlight their unique direct mail preferences to set up your direct mail campaign for success.
This generation is born between 1946-1962 and witnessed the invention and introduction of the Internet. Not surprisingly, they are more likely to trust a direct mail piece over a digital advertisement. In fact, according to a DMA Insight survey, 50% of Boomers prefer mail communication. While many boomers are comfortable with technology, many are not, so it’s essential to keep any direct mail call to action easy to navigate.
Preferences - easy to read and take action on
This generation is born between 1965-1980 and is currently our “middle-aged” population. Many members of this group are busy between their careers, raising children, and caregiving for aging parents. The bottom line is that they are busy people. Direct mail campaigns need to be clear and direct, while promotional offers tend to work best for this generation.
Preferences - straightforward with a promotional offer
This generation was born between 1980-1996 and is our largest generation. This generation saw the rise of the smartphone along with major world events that shaped the culture and economy. Millennials do like receiving mail with 33% of this group receiving some kind of magazine or newspaper subscription. When sending this generation a direct mail piece keep the message concise and the design bold while inviting the customer to learn more on a website or video.
Preferences - concise messaging and great design with the option to learn more
This generation was born between 1997-2012 and is the generation that’s coming of age during the digital age. While you may wonder if direct mail is lost on them, think again. Many Gen Zers enjoy getting mail, with 72% saying they would be disappointed to stop receiving mail. The two biggest keys for success with this generation are to utilize personalization on the mail piece and to make the offer feel special to the customer.
Preferences - big focus on personalization and making them feel special
How to Have the Best Direct Mail Campaign
Our biggest takeaway for any business owner is not to underestimate the importance of targeting a specific age demographic with your direct mail campaign. Think of your direct mail piece as a relationship-building tool to engage with your customer. Focusing on this aspect of your customer will help your business achieve its goals. By creating direct mail pieces with each generation’s preferences in mind, you will win the over.
Your Direct Mail Guide
Direct mail is an opportunity to meet your customer where they love to look every day, the mailbox! Don’t waste this opportunity by using a generic direct mail design or not taking advantage of generational preferences. By focusing on a strategy that connects with different age demographics, you can help your brand reach more customers.
Let’s schedule a call to see if we’re the right fit for your business needs.