With the way that Millennials and Boomers dominate discussions about generations, it’s easy to forget that other generations are also key buying powers. Generation Z – those born in 1995 or later – makes up 25.9% of the population. These are the future decision makers. If your current direct mail strategies aren't impacting Generation Z, there are some tweaks you can make to reach them where they live.
Direct mail marketing can be a powerful tool, allowing companies to reach past or potential customers who may not be actively engaged via email, social media or another medium. Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of materials, including postcards, newsletters, brochures, catalogs and more. It can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to reach out to new and existing clients.
Guilt is a powerful, negative emotion, one which has been used by Marketers for decades. Throughout history entire cultures have been influenced by guilt. A guilt culture is one in which social control is based on individuals believing certain behaviors are undesirable and avoiding those behaviors in order to prevent feelings of guilt. It is the internalization of a moral code which produces conformity. Marketers have learned to harness consumer feelings of guilt by crafting messages designed to elicit a specific response. Nonprofit organizations are especially adept at utilizing consumer guilt as a central theme of multi-channel marketing campaigns, and they have perfected direct mail solicitations which rely on the emotion. 79% of Nonprofits use direct mail, according to the DMA Statistical Fact Book 2016. Nonprofit class mail generates higher response rates than regular Standard class and First class mail.
With a century of practical application, the validation of countless business and academic studies, and robust statistics supporting its effectiveness, direct mail marketing is firmly established as an essential marketing channel. Any marketer can create a successful campaign by sticking to the core elements of a quality list, appealing design, and a strong offer. You may be satisfied with achieving average response rates, but you could take your direct mail to the next level by triggering response through appealing to our hidden addictions.
You designed what you believed to be the perfect mail piece for your direct mail marketing project. You incorporated eye-popping color and catchy graphics. You narrowed down your target audience to the best possible prospects. You're sure you did everything right, but your mailing was a failure anyway. You find yourself asking how is this possible? Where did I go wrong?
When was the last time you received a birthday present, wrapped in decorative paper, tied with a brightly colored ribbon, and you chose not to unwrap the gift? If you’re like me the answer is never. What’s in the box? Shake it. Does it make a noise? Is there something loose inside rattling around? How heavy does it feel? What could fit inside? These are some of the thoughts that might go through your mind.
The cost of paper is one of the most important considerations for any print project. In fact, paper can account for 50% or more of the total project cost. If your marketing budget is slimmer than ever, you may be tempted to buy your own paper from a paper mill or distributor as an alternative to buying it through your printer. But does buying your own paper really save you time and money?
Take a moment to think about which TV ads you remember most from years past. Chances are the ads you remember most are either the funniest or out of the ordinary. Two of my favorite ads both debuted during Super Bowls. One is the Betty White Snickers commercial created by BBDO North America from 2010, You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry. Betty White is playing a rough game of football and turns into a young man after eating a Snickers bar. The other is Cat Herders, made by Fallon in 2000 for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). In this one grizzled cowboys herd thousands of cats like cattle. My all-time favorite is the Quiznos commercial from 2004 which featured two rodent-like creatures, dubbed spongemonkeys, singing about loving Quiznos subs. One is wearing an old fashioned bowler hat and the other is wearing a seafaring hat and playing guitar. The ad created by the Martin Agency in Richmond generated a huge amount of buzz. People were divided, either loving or hating the ad. Quiznos saw a 400% increase in unique visits to its website in the month the ad aired on TV and the campaign is considered one of the first to go viral.
As marketers, we’ve really met our match in the Millennials. They’re hard to reach, and they have the innate ability to completely tune out conventional marketing methods. In fact, a current study of Millennials by SocialChorus1 uncovered some horrifying statistics for marketers:
- Only 6% think online advertising is credible
- 67% never click on sponsored stories
- 95% see friends as their most believable source for product information
We also know they skip commercials, skim content, multitask and have short attention spans. Their attention is limited, of course, because they are inundated with content—consuming more than 8 hours of content per day, according to a recent study by ZenithOptimedia.2 So how can marketers break through the noise and get noticed?