Persuading Millennials through Direct Mail

We persuaded you enough to open this article – and that was without personalization or incentives (other than the incentive to learn more)!  Last month we published an article that talked about how millennials do in fact respond to direct mail, verified through research.  Data proves out that direct mail (DM) remains an essential part of your integrated marketing for most segments – when planned, targeted and executed in all the right ways, of course. (We can help!)

Research shows that DM is easier to understand, and millennials actually pay attention to it, as opposed to scrolling right past digital advertisements and messaging. Today, we are looking at how ‘paper in the mailbox’ (sounds more quaint than DM) not only gets paid attention to; but is biologically desirable to millennials.

Motivation is the key to response

 We refer again to the neuroscience study done by Canada Post1 in 2015 cited below and downloadable here. Their study showed that direct mail’s motivation score in millennials was 20 per cent higher than digital advertising’s score. A higher motivation score translates to propensity to pay attention and then ultimately drive behaviour, whatever that desired behaviour might be: visiting a URL, making a purchase or donation, signing up to learn more, and so on. (We will dive into specifics about behavioural drivers through direct mail in the coming weeks).

And here’s a look at a United States Postal Services report that studied how our brains react to direct mail:

Each illustration highlights an interesting proof point for the impact of direct mail. Specifically, the part of your brain that corresponds with value and desirability is triggered. That’s right, millennials’ brains have the same biological reaction to your advertising as they might to, say, a Netflix series they adore.  How cool is that?

The more your campaign is physically present in their life and exists outside of the online world (tactile!), the deeper the connection. The deeper the connection, the more likely your call-to-action will be able to affect behavioural changes.

The other notable highlight in the diagram image is that millennials spend more time with physical ads. We’ll explore that thought nugget more in our next blog too, so stay tuned.

Direct Marketing Magazine analyzed millennial behaviours as well in their January 2018 issue, busting what they refer to as the “millennial myth.” Their research segmented millennials as engaged, deal-seeking and … ready for it? Omnichannel shoppers! Fifty-five per cent of millennials are omnichannel shoppers, meaning they consume flyers and coupons in all formats (print, web-based and in-app) and they actually use them! Millennials not only enjoy receiving and reviewing their mail, if you offer them a deal or incentive, they are more likely to act on it (across channels) than any other generation. That’s because this segment of buyers (actually many segments of millennials but that’s another topic) is engaged, they become deeply involved in the shopping process, more so than any other age cohort. So what better way to support your marketing objectives and campaign than by creating a deeply (biological) impression on their brain with direct mail

Now that’s cutting through the noise. Want to learn more about how we can help you do that? Just contact us any time. 

Stay tuned for Part 3, about the visual processing and time spent with direct mail.