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 its 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 more than 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 its 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 takeout restaurant is just the tip of the iceberg — in recent memory, I’ve received direct mail from Casper, Warby Parker, HelloFresh, Harry’s and Bonobos, to name just a few, and all of whom at the very least have a significant (or sole) e-commerce presence. Many more e-commerce companies have also used programmatic direct mail, turning abandoned carts and site visits into impressions with a mail piece in just days’ time.
This is all further proof that companies born in the digital age are discovering tried-and-true media, such as direct mail to be effective. Those targeting millennials are clearly finding it to be viable, as well. 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.
Jeremy Kraft, Growth Strategist at Media Horizons, identifies opportunities for business development and manages the company’s social media and blog. Kraft, who lives in New York City, graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2009 with a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
Media Horizons is an award-winning response marketing agency that provides omnichannel marketing leadership to help companies cost effectively generate new customers and maximize their lifetime value. Its complete suite of services provides measurable marketing solutions in digital and offline media.