Gen Z and Direct Mail: Reaching the Newest Consumers

Author: Camille Lehmann, Senior Marketing Specialist

Did you know that Gen Z makes up 20% of the population? While it may be hard to believe at first, the newest generation of consumers (born between 1997 and 2012) are now a major contender in the world’s retail scene. The oldest of this generation is a recent college graduate and starting new life stages, while the youngest of which are just embarking into their teenage years. This generation of consumers boasts a spending power of approximately $140 billion (Rolling Stone, 2021), making them an extremely valuable target audience that you should be reaching. They’re ready to spend their money, but they hold brands to high standards.

Embrace the Physical Quality of Direct Mail

Gen Z may be known as “Digital Natives,” meaning they grew up around technology, but they’re also overly served digital ads. Additionally, in the midst of a pandemic, they have a thirst for the personal and physical touch (Forbes, 2021) that digital ads cannot provide in the same way tangible items can. Utilizing direct mail helps reach this audience that has overflooded inboxes and social ads with something that fills this innate need.

Integrate Technology with Direct Mail

As mentioned, Gen Z is often referred to as “Digital Natives” and most do not know a world without the Internet or smart phones. And while marketers should embrace this opportunity to stand out with the physical quality of direct mail, it is also a chance to integrate technology with it for the best of both worlds. How can one do this? Marketers have found success with using a scannable QR code for a quick way to assimilate information while keeping the copy and creative on a mail piece minimal. The use of augmented reality also provides for a unique way for consumers to virtually try on or place items.

Make Sure You Stand Behind Something

At the end of the day, Gen Z cares about more than service offerings and discounts. They care about what your brand stands behind. They want to know what you support, how you support it, and they will do the research to find out. Gen Z is also more likely than other generations to switch brands to align with their personal beliefs/values (Business Insider, 2021). The social justice movement is one example of a cause that Gen Z is often passionate about. They are more likely to give their brand loyalty to brands that have diversity programs and support related local and national organizations.

Use Gen Z to Market to Gen Z

Who does Gen Z want to listen to? Whose voices do they care about? Your messaging is more likely to resonate with them if you are using those who are similar to them in age and life stage. Gen Z is very different from previous generations in the environment they grew up in, and they are more likely to take the word of those who are coming from that same frame of reference. This generation of consumers is actually twice as likely as millennials to make a purchase based off an influencer recommendation or testimonial (70% of which are under 34) (Rolling Stone, 2021).   Are you ready to expand your reach to Gen Z? We’d love to help you with your direct marketing strategy and creative to do just that.

Sources: Rolling Stone Sprout Social Business Insider     Author Bio: Camille Lehmann is a Senior Marketing Specialist and has been on the Nahan team since January 2020. Camille is responsible for managing Nahan’s social media, blog content, and other internal and external content communications. She graduated with her Masters of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys visiting new coffee shops and restaurants with friends, playing tennis, and finding new Pinterest projects.

Direct Marketing Trends for 2022

Author: Camille Lehmann, Senior Marketing Specialist

The new year brings new direct marketing trends and continuations of ideas that advanced in 2021. Like the beginning of last year, 2022 gets its start in an advertising saturated society with technology at the fingertips of nearly every consumer. In such an environment, knowing how to stand out to the right consumer at the right time, is a necessary skill for differentiation. Below we’ve rounded up five direct marketing trends for 2022 for you to ponder as you plan your marketing strategies:

1. When it comes to words, less is more

Want to catch a consumer’s attention in the mail? Don’t overload it with unnecessary text that crowds the mail piece. You only have a limited amount of time to entice the consumer to act. If the consumer perceives that it will take too long to read the piece, you may have just lost your chance for them to get to your Call to Action. Provide enough to get your point across, but don’t leave the consumer drowning in words.

2. Combining Digital and Print

While both digital and print advertising have their own advantages, together, they make the ultimate power team, especially in the wake of the phasing out of third-party cookies. Whether it’s using QR codes or pre-in-home-date digital ads, the addition of digital to print will become more popular as marketers get creative to increase ROI. Nahan’s solution to this is Direct Mail Companion™, used to create a seamless message before, during, and after your direct mail or catalog in-home date, leading to greater response and higher ROI.

3. Augmented Reality

Marketers can harness the power of Augmented Reality (AR) to layer computer-generated dimensions onto a real-world setting. Consumers can use their hand-held technology to view direct mail and catalogs with AR to view how certain products would look in a space. Utilizing this technology gives consumers a memorable and enriching experience that is hands-on.

4. Targeting by Challenge and Not Demographic

What prompts consumers to pursue a service or product? Most often it is a need that they want to fill and they believe that a specific service or product will fulfill that need. Instead of only looking at consumer targeting by age or geographic region, including the segmenting of your target audience by unique challenges and/or behavior may return more favorable responses and make messaging feel more personal.

5. Use of Informed Delivery

When consumers use Informed Delivery from the USPS, they are able to see ahead of time the mail pieces they are receiving each day. Not only are they aware of what is coming, but they are also able to interact with the mail pieces by clicking on the images and view offers from the business’s website. According to the USPS, by September 2021, nearly 43 million users had registered for Informed Delivery and that number is expected to grow throughout 2022.

Author Bio: Camille Lehmann is our Senior Marketing Specialist and has been on the Nahan team since January 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Masters of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys visiting new coffee shops and restaurants with friends, playing tennis, and finding new Pinterest projects.

Nahan Differentiators that Drive Results

When we meet with new and prospective customers, we often get asked what sets us apart from others. We take pride in answering this question because we’ve had over 50 years of experience gathering reasons from customers we’ve had the pleasure working with. We’re happy to share some of the reasons that allow us to have long-lasting relationships and help us foster new ones every day.

 

Problem Solvers

At Nahan, we take pride in being more than just a print vendor, but a print partner. We take time to listen to our customers’ ideas, challenges and questions, offering the best print solution for their business. Sometimes a customer will contact us with an idea but is unsure the exact means it takes to execute the project. We offer solutions that not only meet the needs of the project but also find efficiencies along the way.

 

Results Driven

When discussing projects with customers, we want to know their goals and how we can help achieve them. If their goal is awareness, we ask ourselves what size and paper will make their piece stand out to customers. If it’s transactions, how do we personalize the mailer to target the audience and include exactly what they might want? We’re always ready to collaborate in order to bring results and show ROI on every project.

 

Detail Oriented

We’re here to make customers’ projects the very best they can be – and we do that with our attention to detail. Whether it’s our client services team working with customers on their print quotes to find the right size piece to best meet the Postal Service requirements or our production team making sure each piece aligns exactly with the design, we have the right people in the right place to ensure your project achieves the best results.

 

Quality Focused

Printing is our passion and when something is your passion, you want to produce the very best. We pride ourselves on developing the best quality product possible. We do this through our state-of-art presses, high-quality paper sources and G7-certified color standards, resulting in award-winning work. We ensure our customers are just as satisfied with the end result as we are, and that’s why we’ve been a leader in the print industry for over 50 years.

Find out more about how we drive results on our blog on building an effective direct marketing strategy!

5 Stats About Direct Mail’s Persuasive Power

Ads surround the average person from the minute they check their smartphone in the morning until it goes on the charger at night. It’s been well-reported (and debated) that we see 4,000 plus ads a day, filling our screens and vying for our attention. What should your brand do to rise above the clutter of marketing messages? The numbers say direct mail, and here are five stats to prove it.

1. 69% of people feel that mail is more personal than the internet.

According to USPS, 69% of people find direct mail to be more personal than email and other digital messaging/ads. Even the subtlest personalization techniques can make a big difference. And with variable data direct mail, this personalization becomes scalable.

Not only is direct mail more personal, it is also more memorable than digital media. When tested, it was found consumer’s brand recall was 70% higher when shown a direct mail piece as opposed to a digital ad. Because physical media leaves a deeper footprint in the brain. If a consumer can see and touch a piece of direct mail, they’re likely to be more engaged with it.

2. 98% of Americans check their mail every day.

Some marketers may worry direct mail will go unread and never leave the mailbox. Numbers from the U.S. Postal Service prove that wrong. Do you think the same can be said for email inboxes? Even with the instant accessibility of texts, emails, and social media, a large crowd still appreciates the novelty and personal touch of a letter in the mail.

3. 76% of consumers trust direct mail.

MarketingSherpa asked 1,200 consumers to mark what channels of advertising they trust on the path to purchase. Traditional means dominated, with newspaper and print ads coming in first at 82%, TV finishing second with 80% and direct mail taking home bronze with 76% trust. Refreshingly free of privacy violations, direct mail may be the solution to reach guarded, tech-weary customers.

4. 73% of advertising mail gets read or scanned.

Think your marketing letter enters the mailbox holding a one-way ticket to the wastebasket? Think again. An investigation into mail use and attitudes by the USPS revealed nearly three-fourths of households at least glance at their direct mail. That number soars even higher when the message caters to the recipient’s lifestyle and interests. Boost your brand’s read rates by pinpointing your prospect’s age, income, gender, home value, hobbies and more with variable data direct mail.

5. Its response rate beats other channels.

A 2017 study by the DMA (Data & Measurement Conference) found direct mail’s response rate was 2.9% for prospect lists and 5.1% for house lists. Compare that to a 0.6% response rate for email marketing, 0.6% for paid search, 0.4% for social media and 0.2% for online display. Direct mail not only allows you to get into your prospect’s households and in their hands, but it also develops a meaningful connection.

Want to put these numbers to work for your marketing plan? See the eye-opening direct mail pieces we’ve brought to life for an array of clients and visit our marketing services page for more information on getting started!

Build a Dynamic Plan for Direct Mail

Are you familiar with the 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing? It states 40% of your campaign’s success is the result of list selection, 40% is because of your offer and 20% is based on creative. But what does that mean, exactly? Let’s break it down with some quick tips you’ll want to keep in mind for your next campaign.

Know Who You’re Talking To

Owning the right list is vital whether you’re trying to grow your audience, communicate with current customers or reach prospects you already know. Knowing your market allows you to nail down the tactics. You don’t talk to car salesman the same say you speak to the neighbor kid at her lemonade stand, so why waste words with a blanket message? Secure engagement and responses by tailoring your advert to interests, location and purchase history.

Seal the Deal

Now that you know your audience, it’s time to reel them in with a killer call to action. The second 40% is all about getting the reader to do something. Which sounds obvious, but you’d be shocked by how many mailers don’t inspire clear action. Do you want them to complete a survey? How about redeem a coupon? Lead the reader towards your goal with action verbs and explicit, easy-to-follow instructions. Don’t waste time and money on bland, generic messaging.

Get Creative

Creative may only be 20% of the rule, but it’s the cherry on top of your ROI-driving sundae. Think outside the box to boost your open rates and catch scanning eyes. One tip: make your mail lumpy. Including any item thicker than the envelope it comes in piques the reader’s interest and turns your ad into a prize. After all, who doesn’t love getting a gift? Find out more about effective creative on our blog about direct mail personalization.

See some examples of the 40/40/20 rule in action on our work samples page. Can you pick out the audience? Is the call to action clear? Are you attracted to the creative? Put these rules into practice and you’ll be a direct mail master in no time. Check out our marketing services page for more on how we can help you get started.