Gen Z, Millennials and Direct Mail

Generation Z and Millennials are extremely tech savvy, they spend hours online each day and are exposed to an endless amount of digital marketing communications. Generation Z are the first generation to grow up with the internet and use it in their everyday lives. Both Gen Z and Millennials are the largest consumer groups, making up the majority of the market. Millennials are anyone born between the years 1981-1996 while Gen Z are born between the years of 1996-2021.

Due to the fact that these generations are bombarded with online advertisements and digital marketing communications on a daily basis, it is said that they find direct mail refreshing as a result. The frequency of multiple personalised emails, bots, spam, and newsletters etc are not quite gripping and although psychical mail may be foreign or rare to some people in these generations, it stands out and is more likely to be recognised and engaged with.  According to valassis, 60% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after seeing an ad in offline channels as well as online. This makes it important to keep direct mail in the mix. These generations trust direct mail pieces, open, and read mail that are addressed to them personally.


USPS states that millennials spend more time with physical ads than digital ads and are more likely to engage with a direct mail piece in comparison digital marketing efforts. They are likely to show other people a good deal that they have received, generating word of mouth marketing (W.O.M). According to Valassis, 68% of millennials read print ads and inserts from retailors and 64% prefer receiving them by direct mail. 72% of millennials say print ads encourage them to go online and make a purchase from the retailor, which is why it is good to incorporate both print and digital.

Gen Z

Receiving direct mail that is personally sent to the people of Gen Z is likely to make them feel special due to the rare nature of physical communication that they are exposed to. According to a study from USPS, Gen Z-ers said that receiving cards, letters, and packages made them happier than receiving texts, emails, or calls. Research from Warc and Royal mail Market Reach states that nearly half of Generation Z trust direct mail ads and 42% have searched for a brand online after receiving a direct mail piece.  Reports from Warc revealed that 20% of Gen Z made a purchase as a result of a direct mail ad and 84% had scanned a QR code leading them to interact with the brand in an online environment.

Tips to make direct mail better for Generation Z and Millennials

It is important to use multiple touchpoints with these generations as they may read direct mail but not respond to it. Generation Z and Millennials are likely to buy online so it is important to integrate the two using an omnichannel approach. QR codes can bring customers straight to their online presence where they can make a purchase.

Organisations should make their direct mail pieces eye catching and to the point. The message that they are trying to communicate should be clear. These generations are exposed to hundreds of marketing advertisements daily, so it is important that the direct mail piece stands out from the crowed.  Using engaging and interactive pieces allow them to connect with the brand before the attention span runs out.

These generations respond well to personalised efforts. Personalization is appreciated and makes them feel valued as a customer. Receiving a direct mail piece that is personalized to them allow the customer to believe that the brand is addressing them individually and not a large number of customers. Response rates are significantly improved when direct mail pieces include the recipient’s name.

Direct mail can be effective with younger generations

Print companies are continuing to implement strategies that make sure they are in line with these two generations. Since research suggests that Gen Z and Millennials value print media channels, it is worthwhile for companies to pay attention to this and start integrating direct mail into their marketing communication strategies again.

Tailoring direct mail to suit these generations is important such as creating personalised, clear, and eye-catching material that allows for digital engagement in order for direct mail to be effective.

Aligning online and offline campaigns allows for direct mail to capture the attention of Gen Z and Millennial customers. They can then respond on their preferred channel which may be digital or physical.

Mailers can use direct mail to their advantage as Gen Z and Millennials tend to find it more special than digital communication, creating an emotional connection. They also spend more time reading direct mail pieces than digital mail pieces as it takes longer to process and requires more brain activity to read psychical items.

Since research shows that Gen Z and Millennials resonate with direct mail pieces and make up the largest consumer group, companies should consider incorporating direct mail into their marketing process to improve results.

To find out more information about Direct Mail at Azure Communications, feel free to contact us:

 Phone: +353 (0) 1 531 2695