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Beyond the Smartphone: Direct Mail Marketing to Young People

Jan 04, 2013


When it comes to marketing to young people, especially savvy, connected young professionals, it's easy to dismiss direct mail out of hand. After all, the best way to reach the under-35 set is online, right? While it's true that you can't ignore digital when marketing to young people, it's a mistake to completely write off direct mail. Done right, direct mail can be a great way to connect with young people – and to get them to open their wallets. 


Statistics from the Direct Marketing Association show that young people will respond to direct mail marketing, but that messages are more likely to grab their attention if they're personalized and relevant. To achieve success in this area, you'll need to invest the time in figuring out who your prospects are, and then take the time to develop customized messages for them. 


What businesses should be targeting the younger consumer? Restaurants and bars are obvious candidates for direct mail campaigns aimed at this free-spending demographic, but many other businesses can succeed by targeting younger people. For example, people between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely than others to be involved in starting a business, so they're a prime target for all kinds of business services (and they're less likely to have longstanding relationships with other service providers). The younger population is also highly mobile, creating an opening for moving companies, real estate agents, retailers of housewares and furniture, and storage companies. And they often have disposable income to spend on clothing, entertainment and personal care. The opportunities are endless! 


Let's look at a few case studies: 


An upscale bar and restaurant located in the downtown area of a large city wanted to build a base of loyal customers. They decided to target young professionals by hosting networking events for people in different industries (marketing/advertising, finance, law, etc.). The marketing team went online to to purchase a list of people under age 35 working in certain target occupations. This allowed them to narrowly target their direct mail postcards promoting the events to those who were most likely to attend. QR codes printed on each postcard allowed attendees to easily go online to RSVP. Attendance at each even was great, and many people who came to the industry happy hours have stopped by on other nights as well. 


Sarah, age 32, owns a boutique specializing in housewares and home furnishings. She’s already determined that most of her customers are relatively affluent and younger than age 35. To learn even more about her ideal customer, she worked with Click2Mail to use her existing customer list to generate a Look-Alike report. Sarah learned that her best customers tend to be young married couples, as well as young families with small children. Once she had that information in hand, she purchased a mailing list of individuals in her area with those characteristics. 


Then, Sarah worked with Click2Mail to design an eye-catching 6 x 11 postcard inviting people to come to a special evening shopping event with wine, appetizers and live music. The personalized postcard invite got a great response. Sales were excellent during the event, and several attendees have dropped by the store to make additional purchases. Sarah has already planned several future events. 


Jason is an accountant who specializes in working with people in the creative professions, typically young self-employed artists and entrepreneurs. He had generated most of his business through word-of-mouth referrals, but he wanted to use direct mail to connect with new prospects he might not otherwise touch. Jason got started by building a robust online presence, including profiles on Facebook and Twitter, as well as downloadable resources he used to generate leads. Then, once he had a list of prospects (which he supplemented by purchasing a mailing list from, he designed a reply letter introducing himself and inviting people to come in for a free consultation to discuss their taxes. Recipients could drop the card in the mail to request their meeting, or they could use a code in the mailer to go online and request a consultation (the code ensured that Jason only met with prospects he had pre-qualified). 


The response to Jason’s mailer and offer was very positive. A number of people signed up for consultations, and several hired Jason to help them with their tax issues. Several others expressed strong interest in his services, and Jason will keep in touch with these individuals over the coming months (both digitally and with direct mail) with the goal of converting them into clients in the future. 


You'll find success when mailing to young people – if you understand who you're targeting and have a targeted list and personalized mailers. By taking the time to design a multi-faceted campaign that will resonate with younger people, and then having a highly targeted list that allows you to personalize your offer, you'll be on your way to a successful direct mail campaign.  


Interested in using Click2Mail's mailing list services to create a highly targeted direct mail campaign? We'd be happy to help you evaluate your options and build a mailing campaign that helps you achieve your goals. Drop us a line at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or give us a call at 866-665-2787. We're here Mon-Fri, 9AM to 8PM Eastern Time, and we're always eager to answer your questions.