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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 The common misconception is that direct mail is outdated but direct mail is worth $72.67 billion according to the Direct Mail Advertising Global Market Report 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 0.3% will grow.
However, our annual revenue at PostcardMania grew by over 30% in 2021 as industry forecasts indicated that growth would remain modest. That’s no surprise, however, as digital ad prices continue to rise and online shoppers report feeling overwhelmed by the number of ads on their screens. Consumers can avoid third-party cookies, use ad blockers, and opt out of email, so businesses are looking for more ways to connect directly with prospects and customers — and direct mail is the perfect way to do it.
I can tell you from 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 developments are improving direct mail and making it even more powerful.
While any mailer is better than no mailer, optimizing your direct mail strategy will always yield better results. Below are industry-proven tips on how to target every generation with direct mail to maximize results.
Related: 10 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) need clarity and value regionality
Tip 1: Make sure the text on the card is clear and legible so your message doesn’t get lost.
According to the Vision Council, one in 28 Americans age 40 and older has a visual impairment. This trend will continue for the next 20 years as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. So make your direct mail as simple as possible. For example, don’t put white words on a black or colored background—it’s harder to read. And for paragraphs (as opposed to headings), use a font like Times New Roman, which is much easier to read on printed materials.
Tip 2: Include a map with your business location and clear contact information.
The USPS reports that 68% of baby boomers said the most effective element of direct mail was when it was a local business. By providing a map of your business and address, boomers are more likely to show interest because they know you’re nearby and they can trust you’re a reputable business.
Tip 3: Keep your marketing campaign simple but consistent.
According to the USPS, 71% of baby boomers say mail feels more personal than digital communications and prefer to receive it via email.
One of our loyal customers at PostcardMania, KA RV Repair, is a perfect example of how to reach boomers with mail. Owner Andre Medeiros, realizing that most of his customers were 55 or older, sent around 2,000 postcards a month for over five years. He went from an average of 4-5 jobs a week to over 25 and calculates that he generates over $150,000 in revenue every time he sends 5,000 cards.
Related: 3 Direct Mail Ways to Reach Your Best Prospects
Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) prefers a mixture of digital and printed communication and loves good deals
Tip 1: Integrate digital elements such as QR codes into your direct mail campaign.
Generation 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. According to MarketReach, 88% of Gen X consumers want experiences that blend physical and digital channels. Additionally, the USPS showed that QR codes on direct mail performed best among Gen X, topping the numbers at 67%.
Tip 2: Add at least one offer or free item – but the more offers you make, the better.
Generation Xers are particularly mindful of a good deal as the majority of them care for both their baby boomer parents and their children as they retire. The USPS reported that 76% of Gen X consumers considered discounts to be the most effective aspects of direct mail.
Tip 3: Use automated direct mail retargeting to close more interested prospects.
The USPS reports that Gen X is more likely to shop online to save time. Given that around 70% of shopping carts are abandoned, direct mail retargeting (remarketing to someone who has already visited your website) will work very well for Gen X. Direct mail retargeting is a relatively new innovation that lets you automate offline follow-ups based on online behavior. For example, you can target those 70% of cart abandoners with a postcard that arrives 24 to 48 hours after they leave your website – all on autopilot thanks to automation! Add an enticing offer to your retargeting mailer to remind them to complete their purchase.
Related: 7 Direct Marketing Best Practices You Need to Know
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are impressed by unique, tech-savvy marketing and are most likely to visit your website immediately 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. Millennials are the most interested in direct mail innovations, according to the USPS.
A spa postcard with a big, bold caption, “Jackie, take some time,” catches Jackie’s eye rather than “take your time.” A study conducted by the Rochester Institute of Technology found that response rates improved by 135% when direct mail was personalized with the recipient’s name.
Tip 2: Invest in a creative mailpiece that breaks with form.
Millennials tend to think outside the box and are open to sacrificing convention in favor of new and improved processes. So choose a mailpiece that literally stands out from the stack, which typically contains 4.125″ x 9.5″ envelopes and 4.25″ x 6″ postcards.
Choose a larger postcard, e.g. B. 6″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 11″ to catch their attention. You could even put a scratch on the card to keep them busy with the mail piece. Unique shapes, sizes, materials and styles significantly outperform the 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 (USPS). Capitalize on this with a direct mail campaign aimed at directing them to your website, where you can give permission to show them follow-up ads on social media such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. These digital advertisements ensure that your company is remembered.
Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) pay attention to reviews and will appreciate targeted direct mail after browsing the web.
Tip 1: Add positive reviews to your mailpiece to show they can trust you.
Gen Z pays particular attention to reviews and is happy to contribute their opinions. It’s common to find a Zoomer browsing YouTube or Reddit for reviews and solutions. Sprout Social’s Digital Natives Report found that 82% of Gen Z shoppers buy from a brand after reading reviews from other customers. A rating on your postcard with a five-star graphic will help build their confidence in your business.
Tip 2: Automate triggered mailings targeting Gen Zers visiting your website.
According to the Center for Generational Kinetics, Generation Z spends at least five hours on the phone every day. You can leverage their online propensity by using the direct mail retargeting technology mentioned above to take a website visitor’s identity, match it to a home address, and then send them a postcard within 24 hours. You can even create pre-qualifications, e.g. B. if the website visitor abandoned a shopping cart or 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 find homes with children and young people within a certain age range. One of our pediatric clients, Villalon Callis Pediatric Dentistry, purchased a consumer mailing list to reach families in their area and sent out 24,000 kid-friendly postcards. They gained 90 new patients and made about $36,000!