Do something different: mail a digital native | DMA

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Do something different: mail a digital native


It’s easy to assume that young people, being digital natives, don’t respond to mail. However, our latest research shows they do.

We studied consumer behaviours by seven life stages, and digital natives are found in several: young adults living at home with parents; adults living in shared accommodation; couples living together without children; and parents with young children.

We found that almost a quarter (23%) of young adults living at home with their parents bought or ordered something as a result of receiving mail, and were 32% more likely to trust information in print than digital. For parents with young children, the conversion figure is higher still at 30%.

This may be surprising for some, and is especially useful for advertisers targeting younger audiences. Advertisers who omit mail as part of their marketing mix are missing out on these conversion opportunities.

Not only were younger audiences responsive to addressed mail, but also unaddressed mail. We discovered that people living in shared accommodation are twice as likely to provide their details in response to unaddressed mail. Within multi-person households, mail that is appreciated or relevant is often displayed in a communal space for considerable time.

We recognise there are a number of reasons for why mail is so positively received.

Firstly, younger audiences are used to digital communications, but relatively unused to mail. So any mail received stands out. 38% of young adults living at home say they are more likely to look at something printed on high quality material.

Secondly, social status is important to the selfie generation, so mail that reflects well on them or supports their social self is shared or displayed. Young adults living in shared accommodation are 24% more likely to show unaddressed mail to others or display it in communal areas.

Key takeaways include:

  1. Advertisers targeting younger audiences may be missing out on conversion if mail is omitted from campaigns.
  2. Younger audiences are relatively new to mail so provide easy to understand content, and digital as well as traditional ways to respond.
  3. Unaddressed mail is positively received in multi-person households and often shared so consider using door drops for brand awareness.

To learn more about targeting to younger audiences, and those at other life stages get your free copy of our latest research, The Life Stages of Mail.

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