Originally published on Forbes.com
Sep 14, 2018
by Steven Pulcinella
Direct Marketing Is Thriving In Millennial Mailboxes: Here's How To Make The Most Of It
Everybody knows that millennials (the generation currently between the ages of 20 and 36) are glued to their smartphones and couldn’t care less about your direct response marketing efforts, right?
Such broad generalizations should be met with skepticism. Don’t listen. Do your own research. There are lots of recent studies that display something different from the stereotype above.
I’m not going to say that all millennials prefer mail over digital because that would just be another broad generalization -- but we do know that a significant majority of them (77%, to be exact) pay attention to direct mail advertising. And the biggest surprise may be that millennials’ affinity for mail, in general, surpasses that of other generations. They are more likely to scan their mail and more likely to take time to read it and to show it to others.
Now, are you wondering what this means for your digital marketing efforts? Well, I’m not saying you should stop spending your time and money on them, but I suspect that even millennials get tired of staring at that little screen after a while. Like most anyone, they may want to look up and take in the real world -- real stuff that you can hold in your hand.
How To Make The Most Of Your Direct Mail Advertising
There are many ways for companies to put together targeted direct marketing campaigns, and they start by following these three tips. (Full disclosure: My company offers direct mail marketing services.)
1. Build A Laser-Targeted Mailing List
The data available to direct marketers continues to get better and more accurate. Long gone are the days of just blanketing postcards around a single zip code.
By leveraging big data, you can build a campaign based on demographics, behaviors and even life events. In addition, there are more in-depth strategies that include new-mover data as well as birth dates that are timely, relevant and even exciting for consumers.
2. Test And Track Everything
It is essential that marketers track everything when starting a new campaign or implementing a new strategy. From images and ad copy to targeting and time slotting, direct marketers need to ensure that the desired action of the consumer can be broken down and tracked based on lots of different factors.
By taking the A/B split test approach and making tweaks to the campaign, marketers can now make the most out of their marketing budgets and see higher returns on investments (ROIs).
3. Multiply Your Touch Points
You may have heard of the “3-7-27” rule of prospecting. It is a direct marketing approach that suggests if you can get your message in front of a prospect three times, that person will be able to recall who you are. After seven times, they will remember you or your brand. After 27 times, that person will develop trust in you and your brand. That same strategy holds true when trying to reach millennials.
Marketers need to not give up after a campaign that doesn’t initially get the intended results. Depending on your product or service, make sure to hit these people at least three times before making any major tweaks or allocating budgets toward different channels.
What This Means For Marketers
By implementing a strong multichannel marketing strategy, backed by insightful analytics, companies can determine which channel works best for their target market. According to Pew Research Center’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, “More than one in three American labor force participants (35%) are millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.”
With millennials quickly becoming one of the biggest consumer markets, this is a statistic that should not be overlooked. A strategy that focuses on targeting millennials should absolutely be woven into the long-term corporate vision. And perhaps direct mail will be the golden egg that increases ROI and captures this new age of consumers.