Reaching Out to Millennials

millenials group web

How to create direct mail that appeals to millennials

By 2020, Millennials are expected to comprise 30% By 2020, Millennials are expected to comprise 30% of retail expenditures overall. This is a group you want to engage with! But the rules for creating direct mail that appeals to Millennials are different from those for other generations. According to “A Look at How Millennials Respond to Direct Mail” (United States Postal Service), here are a number of things that will help you win this audience.

  1. Incorporate multimedia (specifically digital). Millennials love direct mail, but they are still a digital generation. Add digital components such as QR Codes, near field communications (NFC), and augmented reality (AR) that link your mailers to online video and interactive materials.

  2. Keep it bite-sized. Millennials are distracted and always multitasking, so keep it simple. Use bullet points, graphics, and data points to help readers absorb key points quickly.

  3. Keep it real. Millennials are distrustful of traditional advertising, so ditch the jargon. Be straightforward and transparent, and avoid the hard sell. 

  4. Make it multi-sensory. Use print enhancement techniques such as scent, sound, or texture to engage readers’ senses on multiple levels. 

  5. Make them feel good. Millennials care about social justice and want to feel that they are making a difference. Campaigns that donate a percentage of profits to worthy causes or that “otherwise demonstrate corporate responsibility” can be highly effective. However, these efforts must be sincere and not come off as sales gimmicks. 

  6. Avoid using slang. It can sound inauthentic and turn your audience off. 

  7. Focus on experience. Millennials crave experiences over products, so think about your product in those terms. As an example, the USPS created a hypothetical direct mailer from a bicycle shop that read, “Want to make your commute to work happier? Try trading in your car for a bike.” Here, a bicycle is presented not simply as an inexpensive way to get to work, but as a path to freedom and a happier life. 

When it comes to direct mail, Millennials are not your traditional audience. Speak to them in their language, with their priorities, and they’ll reward you by opening their pocketbooks.