Direct Mail Marketing Strategies to Target Each Generation

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Ask yourself a quick question: How much of your current marketing spend is on direct mail? The common misconception is that direct mail is out of date, yet direct mail advertising is valued at $72.67 billion, say Direct Mail Advertising Global Market Report 2022And it is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of .3% through 2026.

That said, our annual earnings at Postcardmania grew more than 30% in 2021, when industry projections showed growth to remain modest. However, this should come as no surprise, as the prices of digital advertising continue to rise, and online shoppers feel overwhelmed by the number of ads on their screens. Consumers can avoid third-party cookies, use ad blockers, and opt out of email, so companies are looking for more ways to establish a direct line with prospects and customers — and direct. Mail is the perfect way for this.

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

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

RELATED: 10 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) need clarity and value space

Tip 1: Make sure the text on the card is clear and easy to read so that your message is not lost.

according to vision councilOf all, 1 in 28 Americans age 40 and older has low vision. This trend will continue over the next 20 years, as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. Therefore, make your direct mail piece as easy to read as possible. For example, don’t put white words on a black or colored background – it’s hard to read. And for paragraphs (as opposed to headlines), use a font like Times New Roman, which is much easier to read on printed material.

Tip 2: Include a map of where your business is located, and clear contact information.

USPS The report noted that 68% of Baby Boomers said that the most effective element in direct mail was that it was a locally owned business. By providing a map of your business and address, boomers are more likely to be interested, as they know you are near, and they can trust that you are a legitimate business.

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

according to USPS71% of Boomers say that mail feels more personal than digital communication and prefer to receive it over email.

KA RV Repair, one of our loyal customers at PostcardMania, is the perfect example of targeting Boomers with Mail. Owner André Medeiros realized that most of his customers were 55 or older and mailed about 2,000 postcards each month for more than five years. He went from an average of 4-5 jobs a week to over 25 and calculates that every time he mails 5,000 cards, he generates over $150,000 in revenue.

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Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) prefers a mix of digital and print communications and prefers a good deal

Tip 1: Incorporate digital elements such as QR codes into your direct mail campaign.

Gen X has successfully transitioned from analog to digital technology, so they are most likely to respond well to a mix of print and digital communications. market access said that 88% of Gen X consumers want experiences that combine physical and digital channels. Additionally, the USPS showed that QR codes on the Direct Mail piece performed best with Gen X, bringing the number to 67%.

Tip 2: Include at least one deal or free item – but the more offers you make, the better.

Gen Xers are particularly attentive to a good deal, as most of them are taking care of both their baby boomer parents and children in anticipation of retirement. USPS reported that 76% of Gen X consumers said that discounts were the most effective aspect of direct mail.

Tip 3: Use automated direct mail retargeting to turn off more interested prospects.

USPS Reports Gen X’s are more likely to shop online to save time. Considering that about 70% of shopping carts are abandoned, direct mail retargeting (remarketing to someone who has already visited your website) will do great for Gen X. Direct mail retargeting is a relatively new innovation that lets you automate offline follow-ups. based on online behavior. For example, targeting the 70% of people who leave your shopping cart with postcards that arrive 24-48 hours after leaving your site — thanks to automation on autopilot! Add an attractive deal to your retargeted mailer that will remind them to complete their purchase.

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

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

Tip 1: Personalize your direct mail.

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 most interested in direct mail innovation.

A spa postcard with the big, bold headline, “Jackie, take some time for yourself,” is more likely in Jackie’s eyes than “Take some time for yourself.” a study done by Rochester Institute of Technology found that when direct mail was personalized with the recipient’s name, response rates improved by 135%.

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

Millennials tend to think out-of-the-box and are ready to give up on tradition for new and better processes. So, choose a mail piece that literally stands out in the middle of the stack, which typically includes 4.125″ x 9.5″ envelopes and 4.25″ x 6″ postcards.

Choose a large postcard, such as 6″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 11″, to grab their attention. You can also include a scratch-off on the card to keep them attached to the mail piece. Unique shapes, sizes, materials and styles will perform well compared to standard options.

Tip 3: Coordinate direct mail campaigns with digital ads.

The USPS found that more Millennials visited a website after receiving direct mail than any other generation (USPSTake advantage of this with a direct mail campaign that aims to drive them to your site, where you can set up permission to serve them follow-up ads on social media like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. These digital ads will keep your business at the top.

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

Tip 1: Include positive reviews on your mail piece to show that they can trust you.

Gen Z pays close attention to reviews and likes to give its opinion. It’s common to find Zoomer scouring YouTube or Reddit for reviews and solutions. Sprout Social’s Digital Native Report found that 82% of Gen Z buyers would buy from a brand after reading reviews from other customers. Reviewing your postcard with a five star graphic will help build their trust and confidence in your business.

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

According to Center for Generational Kinetics, Gen Z is on their phone for five hours or more a day. You can take advantage of their online propensity by using the direct mail retargeting technique outlined above to capture website visitors’ identities, match them to home addresses, and then mail them a postcard within 24 hours. You can also create pre-qualifiers, such as whether website visitors left the shopping cart or if they stayed 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 adolescents within a certain age range. One of our pediatric dentistry clients, Villalon Calis Pediatric Dentistry, purchased a consumer mailing list targeting families in her local area and mailed 24,000 kid-friendly postcards. He gained 90 new patients and made about $36,000!