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Direct Mail and Print Marketing Will Not Work on Millennials... Or Will It?


Ah, Millennials. There's been quite a lot of talk about this generation recently—what they're doing, how they think, and what they want. For the print industry, it was sort of expected that Millennials would be the final straw. Come on, they grew up in the internet age and know how to use Snapchat—why would they pay attention to printed advertising?

Well, we'd like to draw your attention to a few statistics from a recent study on "Marketing to Millennials":

  • 63 percent of Millennials say they regularly or almost always read the printed catalogs that they receive in the mail
  • Over 65 percent of Millennials had made a purchase in the past three months that was influenced by a catalog
  • Nearly 29 percent of Millennials said that a piece of direct mail was more effective at getting them to take action, versus under 24 percent who believed that email was more effective

Yes, really.

Direct mail campaigns and print marketing aren't dead in the age of the Millennial consumer. On the contrary, the study found that Millennials—an incredibly diverse and social generation—are actually driven to make purchases by these marketing tactics. So how can you take advantage of that?

Print Marketing for Millennials

Here's the thing about print marketing for millennials: it can be really effective. That doesn't mean it will be. As with any marketing effort, direct mail or print marketing for millennials needs to be relevant. It also needs to be personal, simple, interactive, and not the only channel you're using, according to the study.

Millennials want to be impressed and entertained by brands. So the same old direct mail piece they've seen a million times will likely not be as effective as something new and different. Thirty percent of the Millennials surveyed reported that high-quality print and paper will get their attention. Consider print announcements that can really take shape or mailers that can be customized to show your brand in an interesting way.

And always remember to use multi-channel approaches with consistent messaging. Of the Millennials surveyed, 45 percent said they responded to a direct mail piece with a QR code by scanning that code on a mobile device. Millennials want to be able to access product information anywhere at anytime, so a print piece alone isn't going to cut it.

The moral of the story—and the study—is that we don't have to give up on print marketing and direct mail when it comes to attracting Millennials. We just have to find ways to make print marketing new again.

Want more information about specialty paper for direct mail and print marketing? Get in touch!


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