Millennials are a highly coveted demographic. They're now the largest age group in the U.S. and, as they get older, they have the spending power to match. While many marketers and retailers assume that digital is the quickest way into their hearts, those who overlook direct mail are missing out. Ninety percent of millennials consider direct mail marketing reliable and more than half have purchased something based on offers through direct mail. To connect with them through this marketing channel, however, it’s important to hone your techniques as retailers to meet their desires and needs. A few ways to win their confidence and their business include:
1. Familiarize yourself with millennials.
Marketers who think of millennials as dependent kids are missing major opportunities. The millennial demographic runs in age from 19 to 36. Over half are married and/or have children. Create buyer personas that address not just single people but parents and homeowners, as well.
2. Create visually compelling mailings.
This is a generation that grew up online and they tend to be visual learners. Create modern, well-designed assets that catch the eye and demand attention. Use graphs, images and color to stand out.
3. Don't be afraid to be a little casual.
As long as it fits your brand, it is okay to use humor, slang and casual language to share your message. However, be sure that whatever voice you use is true to your brand. Millennials value authenticity highly, and if you are communicating in a way that doesn't fit, they'll know.
4. Know that they have a different "What's in it for me?"
With any prospect, always keep WIIFM (what's in it for me) at the front of your mind. Focus on how your product benefits the customers instead of going on about the features. When dealing with millennials, you will need to keep different criteria in mind. The vast majority says that they prefer to do business with socially conscious companies. They prize happiness and quality of life over money; two-thirds say they'd prefer to make $40,000 a year at a job they enjoyed over bringing in $100,000 a year at a boring job they found unfulfilling.
5. Walk the walk and let them know.
Craft offerings that fit those deeply held millennial values. When you are choosing materials for your mailings, lean toward those that use recycled materials. Always include reminders to recycle mail or to pass a mailing on to an interested friend. When creating promotions, consider charitable giving. For instance, you can run a sale and donate a portion of proceeds to a cause related to your industry.
6. Create offerings that link direct mail with mobile promotions.
One-quarter of millennials say that they don't remember the last time they did not have their phone within arm's reach. When you create a direct mailing, also incorporate digital and mobile-friendly ways for them to connect. For instance, you can include a code that they can text to get coupons or discount codes. Use QR codes to link to videos or other online content that expands and enriches your direct mail messaging.
7. Invite them to collaborate with you.
Nearly half of all millennials say that they'd like to help the companies they do business with develop future products and services. Incorporate surveys, personalization and other items that allow them to connect with you and be a part of your process. This forges a deeper relationship that can lead to better conversions and a longer customer lifecycle.
As retailers and marketers, we are still learning about what makes millennials tick. Though by paying careful attention to their values, interests and the language they speak, we can draw them into conversation with us and forge valuable customer relationships.
Joan Patrick, Director of Marketing for Vision Integrated Graphics, oversees all marketing for both Tobe Direct and Vision. Joan develops, manages, and implements all of the direct mail, digital and content marketing initiatives for both organizations. She brings an extensive background to her work in all valuable assets for Tobe Direct and NewMoversMail clients.