Millenials & Direct Mail Marketing; An Unlikely Duo

Generally speaking, millenials are characterised as self involved kids eternally glued to their smartphones and completely out of touch with anything that isn’t on their social media feeds. The reality of who milennials are however, is quite different to popular perception and in fact the kinds of marketing that they respond to is the exact opposite of what you might expect. Numerous studies suggest that milennials have a strong preference for direct mail, seeing it as valuable, informative and preferable to email marketing. This week, we take a look at some of the reasons why this powerful demographic responds so well to direct mail marketing, and the best way to engage them.

Who are millenials?

The reality of who millenials are doesn’t really match up to their media image. Aged between 19-36, most millenials are well into their adult life and careers, in fact more than half of millenials are now married and many have children. This demographic strongly values happiness, discovery, transparency, and sharing. They also have a strong social conscience and are very concerned about environmental issues like climate change.

Why do they respond to direct mail?

Often described as ‘digital natives’ millenials have indeed grown up using the internet and many people take this to mean that millenials are solely digital, and this is a mistake. In reality, the fact that millenials have grown up in a digital landscape means that they are overexposed to digital marketing techniques and tend to respond more strongly to the novelty value of a piece of physical mail, even if it’s just advertising. A recent study at Bangor University’s Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology revealed that millenials show a stronger neurological response when presented with a tangible piece of advertising, and see them as more reliable than digital advertising.

What is the best way to engage them through a direct mail campaign?

Millenials are definitely predisposed to direct mail marketing, but there are a number of ways you can tweak your campaign to improve engagement:

Appeal to their values

Millenials respond strongly to ‘ethical’ brands which display social or environmental values and actively contribute to them. To this end, linking you brand to environmental and social issues by promoting, supporting, or contributing to a solution is a key way to attract millennial attention.


Millenials find direct mail novel and intriguing, but they’re still heavily reliant on online platform and use online resources to inform their purchasing decisions. To this end, a strong digital presence which integrates with your direct mail campaign is crucial so that you can stay connected.

Don’t skimp on design

Design and aesthetics are very important to millenials, so a great way to connect with them is to explain your brand, products and services through visuals like infographics or flow charts.

Don’t be afraid to be funny

Comedy is an extremely popular genre amongst millenials, so taking a light-hearted approach to your advertising may help you make a connection.

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