Direct Mail More Popular Among Young People

According to survey results published in the Direct Marketing Association’s 2011 Statistical Fact Book, 18 percent of young people between the ages of 22 and 24 say they will respond to direct mail. That’s up from numbers published just last year.

Does that surprise you? Direct mail is often seen as an old-fashioned marketing channel. Why are direct mail postcards and catalogs increasing in popularity—especially among young people—when activity on digital, mobile and social media platforms are thriving?

They still appreciate the personal nature of mail

Last year, a study conducted by ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting, found that a lot of people between the ages of 18 and 34 preferred to receive certain marketing communications via direct mail rather than through online media.

There is still a certain join in getting a shiny piece of direct mail in the mailbox, especially when the mail is relevant to you. And in this day and age of data management, chances are the mail is relevant. Also, young people are recognizing the value of their money more and more, and getting coupons in the mail has real value to them. It doesn't hurt that coupon use is so prominent in our culture today.

Better targeting and deeper, more relevant personalization

Gone are the days where marketers can get away with distributing mass mail featuring generalized messages. Consumers today demand personalization and, above all, relevancy. Past surveys by organizations like the Winterberry Group, Prospectiv, and the DMA highlight that the top factors in driving response rates included timing, relevance and personalization of marketing message.

Database marketing techniques and advancements in variable data printing technology is making it easier, more effective and more affordable than ever to include personalized data on direct mail pieces—and, I’m not talking about simply addressing the recipient by name or overprinting snippets of personalized information on pre–printed postcards. Each element within a direct marketing campaign can be personalized with information such as an individual’s recent purchase activity, special offers that relate to their product/service preferences, directions from their driveway to the nearest store location, etc—making the experience unique and relevant for each recipient.

Integration of digital technologies and mobile response channels on direct mail

Direct mail is no longer a static channel. The integration of digital and mobile technologies like QR codes, SMS texting, and PURLs now make direct mail postcards, flyers, and other print formats interactive.

These digital technologies also provide instant access to additional information or make it easy for audiences to share content with peers. Research conducted to uncover common traits of the different generations (i.e. Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials, etc.) discovered that younger generations wanted a plethora of information at their disposal without having to jump through hoops. They want information accessible across multiple platforms and devices; using technology to strategically integrate digital and traditional channels makes this a manageable reality.

This is great news for bike shops that are rediscovering the effectiveness of direct mail. The coveted young demographic is an essential marketing audience for the long term growth of any shop. Knowing that direct mail can be an effective tool is important information.

Remember that Harvest can help. We help you refine your mailing lists to your more important customers. We design and produce premium mailers that utilize proven promotional tools. We have access to all of the latest technology, including variable data printing so you can send ultra-personalized mailers to your customers.

Contact us soon to learn more. We want to be a part of your 2012 marketing plans.

About The Author

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan is a proven marketing professional who entered the cycling industry in 1994.