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.

Print Marketing to Millennials & Gen Z

Author: Melissa Fransen

Did you know that Millennials spend more time reading their mail than any other generation?  And that 92% of college students prefer reading printed materials to digital material?  Yes, you read that right!  Even in a generation that grew up in a digital world, if your target market includes these generations, you may be missing a big opportunity if you are not utilizing the power of print within your omni-channel marketing strategies. There are a lot of misconceptions about the power of print marketing and today we’re going to explore ideas for reaching these generations with your print marketing strategies.

Millennials (Born 1981 – 1996)

Millennials are the largest generation in the US, representing a population of over 72 million. This generation is tech savvy, social savvy, educated, and spends $600 billion in the United States each year.

The following are some characteristics of this generation: [1]

  • Appreciate experiences
  • Care about values
  • Value purpose
    Print Marketing Millennials
    Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels
  • Budget-friendly
  • Want to stay connected
  • Choices are important to them
  • Value sustainability
  • Seek recognition
  • Instant gratification
  • Value speed and convenience     
  • Trust Influencers                                    

Stats: Here are some interesting Millennial stats:     

  • 77% of millennials participate in loyalty reward programs [2]
  • 90% are social media users [3]
  • 88% take the time to look through their mail to make sure they are not discarding useful information [4]
  • 75% say that receiving personal mail makes them feel special [5]
  • 62% have visited a store in the past month based on receiving information in the mail [5]
  • 65% like coupons for retail businesses and 69% like coupons for restaurants [5]
  • 82% cite print as a part of their purchasing journey [6]
  • 89% check their mailbox at their first opportunity [6]
  • 77% pay attention to direct mail [6]

Print Ideas for this generation:

  • Incorporate an omnichannel experience
  • Build trust and loyalty through incentives
  • Be authentic in your communications
  • Variable data printing – make it personal to them
  • Give them choices – “this offer” or “that offer”
  • Let them know what your brand is doing to make an impact to build a connection with them
  • Give them an offer that is quick to redeem and convenient
  • Include content about what are others saying about your brand to establish trust

Generation Z (Born 1997-2012)

This generation represents 20% of the U.S. population and has become one of our most technologically savvy generations, as they grew up with electronic technology and the internet.

The following are some characteristics of this generation: [7]

  • Focus on career/financial stability
  • Strong family influence
    Print Marketing Millennials
    Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • Thrifty
  • Value brick-and-mortar experiences
  • Appreciation for physical media
  • Value physical experiences
  • Prefer personal communications
  • High expectations
  • Values cross-functional communications
  • Instant gratification
  • Tactile experiences matter
  • Personalization matters

Stats: Here are some interesting Gen Z stats.

  • 98% of this generation owns a smartphone [8]
  • 2X more likely to shop on mobile devices than millennials are [9]
  • 65% of this generation sees value in coupons, discounts, and rewards programs [10]
  • 72% of Gen Z says price is the key factor in purchasing decisions [11]
  • 88% prefers omni-channel brand experiences [12]
  • 68% of Gen Z expects brands to contribute positively to society [13]
  • Spend about 1 hour each week reading magazines [14]
  • 92% of 18-23-year-olds find it easier to read printed content than digital and the response rate to direct marketing is 37% higher than for email [15]
  • Average attention span of 8 seconds (vs. 12 seconds for Millennials) [16]

Print Ideas for this generation:

  • Coupons to drive them into your store or online
  • Variable data printing – make it personal to them [17]
  • Give them several call-to-actions to different types of media sources
  • Make your offers easy to redeem
  • Consider a unique tactile experience or die-line to gain interest – something that stands out
  • Use multi-media experiences
  • Help them feel connected to your brand
  • Easy, quick visuals to catch their attention
  • Give them an incentive to collaborate with your company – reviews, interactive games, etc.
Print Marketing Millennials
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Reach Millennials and Gen Z with Print

If you are ready to reach these demographics, we are here to help. Whether it’s unique die cuts, tactile experiences, or something completely out of the box, let us turn your ideas into reality and help you tap into this market with your print strategies to drive results. Download our whitepaper on why direct mail prospers in a digital world and request a sample pack today to get your creative juices flowing!

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Cover Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels