Digital generation still value direct mail

Tech savvy young adults are still engaged with traditional mail according to research revealed by Royal Mail. Often assumed to be turning their back on print, many 16-24 years olds are in fact more responsive to direct mail than their older counterparts.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of 15-24 year olds like to receive customer magazines in the post. This is seven percent above the national average of 38 per cent. Over half (55 per cent) also like the option of requesting more information by post when researching a purchase online, compared to an average of just 49 per cent.

The importance of useful content is also highlighted with over three quarters (76 per cent) of all respondents welcoming mail if it provides useful information. The older generation aged 65 years and older in particular hold helpful content in high esteem (84 per cent).

Showing the power of magazines, one of the top reasons cited for opening a piece of mail was if it contained a magazine. Over two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents are enticed by magazines in the post.

As people are feeling the pinch, the research indicates that women in particular are increasingly turning to brands that they trust for information and entertainment. Women (50 per cent) are more likely than men (42 per cent) to keep printed brochures or leaflets to read at their leisure and like to receive customer magazines more than men (42 per cent compared to 35 per cent).

Other findings: 

  • The regions most hungry for customer magazines are in the North West and East Anglia (44 per cent).
  • The biggest turn off for not opening a piece of mail was if they had seen the same information before (61 per cent). This was followed by if it's addressed to ‘the occupier' (50 per cent) and if it is from a company "I have heard of but don't deal with" (45 per cent).
  • The impact of direct mail on the bottom line is also underlined with over half (51 per cent) of respondents saying that they like to be informed about special or promotional offers by post.

Julia Hutchison, COO APA, said: "Brands may assume that with the advent of new technology their customers don't want traditional mail. However, this research shows that the impact of print delivered via this traditional method cannot be underestimated.  People of all generations still clearly value this channel of communication and in particular want useful, as well as entertaining content.

"Brands should consider the implications of this research when trying to engage with younger consumers, a typically hard to reach group. Highlighting the importance of integrated media, they clearly value customer magazines but also want a seamless brand journey, engaging with a brand online but with the option of offline information too. "

23rdJun 2011

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