Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Crafting Direct Mail That Woos Millennials

Don't assume millennial customers are digital-only responders. Direct mail is a great way to reach this desirable demographic (aged 19 to 35). In fact, research shows more than half of millennials purchase based on direct mail offers. But you can't necessarily win them over using the same mail tactics that worked with their parents. A recent Retail Merchandiser magazine post by Joan Patrick, director of Marketing for Vision Integrated Graphics, offers good tips for crafting direct mail specifically for the millennial market. One thing is obvious: Most millennials are attached 24/7 to their mobile devices, so mail packages need to include mobile-friendly connections--such as QR codes linked to online video. On the other hand, messaging and offer should not treat millennials as a single buyer persona; yes, there are at-home dependents in the cohort, but more are married, parents or homeowners, so segmentation will improve response. Then, to appeal to a generation weaned on digital and media creative's visual cues, direct mail packages need eye-catching colors, images and graphs. Millennials also tend to prefer a personal, casual style of communication, but mailers need to guard against personalization, humor and slang that don't fit the brand--because millennials value "authenticity" even more. Yes, the direct mail pitch to millennials should still include a WIIFM hook (What's In It For Me?), but marketers must accept that this group can evaluate offers differently. The majority say they prize happiness and life quality over money; so don't just list features and prices, cite personalized benefits. The majority of millennials also say they prefer to do business with socially conscious companies--so let them know your mailer uses recycled materials, or highlight a promotion's charitable giving link. Finally, millennials tend to stress connecting and collaborating; almost half say they'd like to help companies develop future products and services. Mailers can play to that response-getter by including user surveys, user-generated content, and social links. For the full post:

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