Millennials – Forget the Hype, Learn the Truth

What is a millennial, anyway? It seems to be one of the most common media buzzwords of the moment, particularly around General Election time, because this section of society is one which all political parties are keen to capture. In fact, there are a number of definitions of a millennial, but in general it refers to someone who was born between 1980 and 2000, which is to say, the twenty and thirty-somethings of today.

Introducing a (stereotypical) millennial

Let’s call her Tiffany (the 11th most popular name of the 1980s.) She’s a digital native – and that description means she grew up around technology – smartphones, iPads, tablets, emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp… They’re second nature to her and she’s rarely to be seen without her face looking down at a small screen and her fingers moving at twice the speed of sound as she texts her Best Friend Forever.

As for marketing to engage people like Tiffany, well, it must be some form of digital communication because that’s what millennials prefer. Tiffany doesn’t go in for reading unless it’s on a Kindle, and most of her interactions with other human beings are digital.

So we have to use digital marketing to target millennials, right?

Forget direct mailing; it’s a waste of time and money. We must target millennials through social media, send them an email or a Tweet or link to an all-singing-all-dancing website. That’ll hook them.


According to a number of recent surveys, the exact opposite is true. Here’s one from the US Postal Service[1] – and we’re sure the same applies to millennials in the UK too.

What do millennial’s really like in a marketing campaign?

  • 87% of millennials enjoy  receiving direct mail.
  • Nearly 50% of millennials say they ignore digital ads, but only 15% say they ignore direct mail.
  • 57% of millennials tell us they’ve made a purchase based on direct mail offers.

Yes, just like baby boomers – the post-war generation – they like to have something tactile and tangible which they can read at leisure and keep if they choose to. And just like baby boomers, their recall is 70% higher from a direct mail piece to a digital ad.

So what next? Digital marketing or direct mail?

Do both! For marketing we have more platforms to choose from than ever before – and don’t we know it, constantly bombarded with digital noise which often causes us to tune out and switch off.

Direct mailing will help your voice to be heard above that onslaught of electronic communications. It’s something we’re good at here at Mailing Expert (our name wasn’t picked out of a hat!) so please contact us 01825 983033.

Mailing Expert

[1] STILL RELEVANT: A look at how millennials respond to Direct Mail – USPS, 2016