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Finesse Millennial Marketing

Coming of age, this generation dominates key purchasing segments, and they love direct mail -- despite being digital natives.

Millennials with AR goggles
Millennials represent increasing purchasing power and they like omnichannel marketing.

As the population changes, property buyer profiles change. And here it is, 2023, and millennials are dominating residential real estate buying, among other categories.

Millennials generally are 26- to 41-years-old. Pew Research Center defines them as being born between 1981 and 1996. Members of this generation are finding stable jobs and reporting household incomes reaching more than $88,000. They prefer middle- and upper-middle-class homes and account for nearly 40% of all home purchases, the National Association of Realtors reports.

NAR reports 38% of all buyers today were previously renting a house or apartment, and notes that baby boomers (ages 68 to 76 years old) are leading sellers as they downsize homes and retire.

The combination of younger buyers looking for affordability, more room, and the ability to work-from-home and older buyers selling has affected relocation trends seeing more people moving to suburban and rural areas than before.

Focusing on the millennial buyer category can reap rewards, but your marketing needs finesse.

They like brand connection

Millennials enjoy engaging with favorite brands, but that engagement is most successful when you understand how this generation thinks and feels. They value transparency and authenticity, and often make buying decisions because people and companies’ values align with theirs. Brand relationship is built over time, much like a friendship.

Along with that, millennials like personalized advertising. They are willing to give you some personal data for a benefit or gift, and they like it when you respond with a first name and some indication that you know them.

In one study, 88% of millennials said they want personalized advertising. It fits with their need to trust who they do business with and their demands for authenticity.

A USPS study found that personalized messaging to millennials increases response rates by 50%.

Digital natives, but ...

Because millennials are digital natives, having grown up in an internet-driven digital world, many think they only engage with email and social media. They do. However, they have not abandoned paper.

Nearly three-fourths of them read print books. A third of millennials report they have active subscriptions to newspapers or magazines.

Mail is special to them because it makes many of them feel important by receiving it. Additionally, mail doesn’t contribute to the “digital fatigue” many younger people experience from relentless email barrages and social media notifications. Millennials are twice as likely as boomers to use ad blockers online. Only 19% of millennials report opening marketing emails “always” or “frequently.”

To bridge the gap between print and digital, use a QR code that will link from your mail to your website via a smartphone. It’s a direct connection without a lot of online disruption. QR codes also enable you to connect to specific URLs or landing pages, so you can build context for online communications and better track responses.

Print: meaningful to millennials.

In one survey, 62% of millennial respondents said they visited a store in the past month based on information received from direct mail. That’s more often than the boomer generation or Generation X, following boomers.

Millennials tend to trust mail more than digital communications because of virtually no data and privacy risks. They also like direct mail for coupons and to learn about promotions.

Opening a mailbox and seeing something addressed to them adds a personal dimension to your engagement. When it’s handwritten, it adds even more emotion and a sense of authenticity. When an email inbox has thousands of unread emails and a mailbox has a few items, your direct-mail message stands out.

Make it Read Worthy

Millennials especially like information that helps them find solutions to their life stage and circumstances. A letter with engaging information about properties, how to buy, where and what to buy, can be very helpful and go a long way building relationship with millennial prospects. Good information builds trust.

More than half of millennials love receiving printed catalogs. It’s part of their buying journey that also includes internet research and consideration. Catalogs and booklets offer substance that’s appreciated by younger people and doesn’t disappear when they put it down, offering tangibility.

Direct mail offers easy ways to show and share your brand. Not only in recognizable graphics and logos, but in how you say things and what you reveal to be important. This is where brands can shine by speaking the same language as their prospects.

Millennials like brands that are transparent, consistent, and focus on the customer. It is probably easier to build community among millennials because of their appreciation of transparency and authenticity.

Know who your millennial customers are and let them know who you are. The ones who readily align with you and what you stand for will be strong loyal customers. Think through your brand’s values when it comes to sustainability, product quality, public health, or other causes, and communicate them as a component of your marketing.

Omnichannel marketing

As with every generational customer segment, there are attributes and characteristics that should be emphasized to open doors of communication and build trust and relationship. The reality today, though, is that providing information and promotions wherever your customers are is very important for successful marketing.

All generations vary in how they get and trust information they see and receive. Omnichannel strategies that take these communication channels seriously will have the most success. Direct mail continues to be a top marketing tool because it works across generational and demographic lines. It’s anchored by real people in real places, and it’s difficult to ignore. Combine direct mail with other advertising to create a messaging powerhouse.

For help in building effective omnichannel marketing, connect with Olde School Marketing, a company with old-school techniques and new-school tactics.


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