Direct Mail Marketing Strategies to Target Every Generation

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Ask yourself a quick question: How much of your current marketing spend goes to direct mail? The common misconception is that direct mail is outdated, but direct mail advertising is valued at $72.67 billion, says the Global Direct Mail Advertising Market Report 2022and it is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 0.3% through 2026.

That said, our annual revenue at PostcardMania jumped over 30% in 2021, as industry projections indicated that growth would remain modest. It’s no surprise, however, as prices for digital ads continue to rise and online shoppers report feeling overwhelmed by the number of ads on their screens. Consumers can avoid third-party cookies, use ad blockers, and opt out of email. Companies are therefore looking for other ways to establish a direct line with prospects and customers – and direct mail is the ideal avenue for this.

I can tell you from 24 years of direct mail experience that mailers are marketing’s best kept secret and will be your ally in generating leads, sales and growth for your business. In fact, new technological developments are improving direct mail, making it even more powerful.

While any direct mail is better than no direct mail, optimizing your direct mail strategy will always yield better results. Below are industry-tested tips on how to target every generation with direct mail to help you maximize results.

Related: 10 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) demand clarity and value locality

Tip 1: Make sure the text is clear and easy to read on the card, so your message doesn’t get lost.

According to Vision Board, 1 in 28 Americans age 40 and older have low vision. This trend will continue for the next 20 years, as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. So make your direct mail as easy to read as possible. For example, don’t put white words on a black or colored background, it’s harder to read. And for paragraphs (as opposed to headings), use a font like Times New Roman, which is much easier to read on printed materials.

Tip 2: Include a map of your business location and clear contact details.

The USPS reports that 68% of baby boomers said the most effective element of direct mail was if it was a local business. By providing a map of your business and address, baby boomers are more likely to engage because they know you’re nearby and they can be sure you’re a legitimate business.

Tip 3: Keep your marketing campaign simple, but consistent.

According to USPS71% of baby boomers say mail is more personal than digital communications and prefer to receive it by email.

One of our loyal customers at PostcardMania, KA RV Repair, is a perfect example of how to target baby boomers with the mail. Owner Andre Medeiros realized that most of his customers were 55 or older and sent about 2,000 postcards a month, every month, for over five years. He’s gone from an average of 4-5 jobs a week to over 25 and calculates that every time he sends out 5,000 cards, he generates over $150,000 in revenue.

Related: 3 Direct Mail Methods to Target Your Best Prospects

Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) prefer a mix of digital and print communications and are very fond of

Tip 1: Incorporate digital elements into your direct mail campaign, like QR codes.

Gen Xers have successfully transitioned from analog to digital technology, so they are most likely to respond well to a mix of print and digital communications. Market scope said 88% of Gen X consumers want experiences that combine physical and digital channels. Additionally, the USPS showed that QR codes on direct mail were best with Gen X, leading the numbers at 67%.

Tip 2: Include at least one offer or free item, but the more offers the better.

Gen Xers are particularly bargain-savvy, as a majority of them are caring for both their baby boomer parents and their children while anticipating retirement. The USPS reported that 76% of Gen X consumers said discounts were the most effective aspect of direct mail.

Tip 3: Use automated direct mail retargeting to close more interested leads.

The USPS reports that Gen Xers are more likely to shop online to save time. Since around 70% of shopping carts are abandoned, direct mail retargeting (re-marketing to someone who has already visited your website) will work great for Gen X. Direct mail retargeting is a relatively new innovation which allows you to automate offline tracking. based on online behavior. For example, target that 70% cart abandonment with a postcard that arrives 24-48 hours after leaving your site, all on autopilot thanks to automation! Add an enticing offer to your retargeted mail that will remind them to complete their purchase.

Related: 7 Direct Mail Marketing Best Practices You Need to Know

Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are impressed with unique, tech-savvy marketing and are most likely to visit your website right after receiving a postcard.

Tip 1: Personalize your mailing.

Millennials entered the world with access to more information (via the internet) than their predecessors. This makes them extremely tech-savvy. According to USPSmillennials are the most interested in innovations in direct mail.

A spa postcard with the bold headline “Jackie, take some time for yourself” is more likely to grab Jackie’s attention than “take some time for yourself.” A study carried out by the Rochester Institute of Technology found that when the direct mail was personalized with the recipient’s name, the response rate improved by 135%.

Tip 2: Invest in a creative mail piece that breaks the mould.

Millennials tend to think outside the box and are open to letting go of convention for new and improved processes. So choose a mail item that literally stands out among the pile, which typically includes 4.125″ x 9.5″ envelopes and 4.25″ x 6″ postcards.

Choose a larger sized postcard, such as a 6″ x 8.5″ or a 6″ x 11″, to grab their attention. You can even include a scratch on the card to keep them engaged with the mail. Unique shapes, sizes, materials, and styles will work well over standard options.

Tip 3: Coordinate direct mail campaigns with digital ads.

The USPS found that more millennials visited a website after receiving a direct mail than any other generation (USPS). Take advantage of this with a direct mail campaign aimed at directing them to your site, where you can establish permission to show them tracking ads on social networks like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. These digital ads will keep your business top of mind.

Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) pay attention to reviews and will appreciate retargeted direct mail after browsing the web.

Tip 1: Include positive reviews on your post to show they can trust you.

Gen Z pays close attention to reviews and likes to give their opinion as well. It’s typical to find a Zoomer browsing YouTube or Reddit for reviews and solutions. Sprout Social Digital Native Report found that 82% of Gen Z shoppers will buy from a brand after reading reviews from other customers. A review on your postcard with a five-star graphic will help increase their trust in your business.

Tip 2: Automate triggered mailings targeting Gen Zers who visit your website.

According The Center for Generational Kinetics, Gen Z is on the phone five or more hours a day. You can take advantage of their online proclivity by using the direct mail retargeting technology I mentioned above to capture a website visitor’s identity, match it to a home address, and then send them a card. mail within 24 hours. You can even create pre-qualifiers, like if the website visitor abandons a cart or stays on your website for more than a minute.

Tip 3: Use consumer mailing lists to find them.

A consumer mailing list will be able to locate residences with children and teens within a certain age range. One of our pediatric dental clients, Villalon Callis Pediatric Dentistry, purchased a consumer mailing list to target families in his area and sent out 24,000 child-friendly postcards. They gained 90 new patients and earned approximately $36,000!

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