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Think 17-24 Year olds don't want mail? Think again.


There is a belief that marketing to younger audiences should be entirely digital. This makes sense – the 17 – 24 years old market are digital natives and easily adapt to new social media platforms like Tik Tok and Snapchat. But is that the only answer? In light of an ever changing and fragmented market, this audience is getting harder to reach.

Mail could be the answer. We know it helps drives customers online but we decided to look at whether younger audiences got less mail and if so what actions they took with what they did receive.

Chart 1 below backs up our theory that younger audiences receive much less mail from any sector – which is a factor of selection and targeting - than older audiences.

Source: TNS/ KANTAR Audience Database: Q12019-Q42019 n=22825, 17-24=1924, 25-34=3719, 35+=17182

Chart 1 – How likely you are to receive mail shown across mail types and age

But Chart 2 gives is a very different view, showing that interaction rates are not that different from those of older audiences and that mail is kept in the home the longest by households containing 17 – 24 year olds.

Chart 2 – How likely you are to interact with and keep mail shown across mail types and age

However when we check out the commercial actions across all mail, we see a completely different picture (Chart 3). 17 – 24 year olds show the highest rates for the majority of commercial actions, including a huge 19% discussing with someone. Advocacy is a key brand metric not usually attributed to mail. 10% go to the sender’s website and 6% go online indicating how your mail campaigns can be instrumental in driving web traffic, a topic we cover in more detail in a previous blog on our website.

Chart 3 – Commercial actions for all mail shown by age

This shows that when mail is sent to younger audiences, it has real value in driving response both in terms of branding building, but also in driving online traffic and sales.

So what should you bear in mind when targeting younger audiences? See our 5 top tips below:

  1. Relevancy

This is true of all mailings and particularly true of mailings to younger audiences. Make sure your offer and message is relevant.

  1. Tone of Voice

Pay attention to how you address your audience. Younger people may prefer to be approached in a more relaxed, chatty style. They will also be busy so make sure services are clearly expressed, substituting jargon for terms they will understand.

  1. Images

Include images of other younger audiences enjoying your product so they see themselves. This is a simple matter when using digital printing techniques.

  1. Include online and / or social links and references

Younger audiences will use mail as a trigger to go online – use this to drive them to the specific area of the website or page most useful to them to maximise conversion.

  1. Targeted offers

Consider your offers and ensure they are appropriate. Is the product or service the right one for younger audiences? Again use digital printing to vary your offer to ensure it is the right one.

Younger audiences can be hard to reach but it’s clear that you can successfully get your product, offer and brand into their hands using mail and improve the results of your digital marketing campaigns.

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