direct mail
Young woman checking for mail

Snail mail is hot with younger consumers.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Some days it seems the idiom “everything old is new again” is an apt descriptor. That’s the perfect way to explain new research from Mintel which shows that what Mintel calls the iGeneration (ages 9-21) loves direct mail. According to the research, 83 percent of those ages age 9-17 “love getting stuff in the mail.”

This may seem surprising, since most members of the iGeneration are digital natives. And indeed, Mintel says 68 percent of iGens post selfies online; half “have used only images/pictures to communicate, including three in five (60 percent) younger iGens who have used only emojis to communicate.”

The data shows that while iGens age 13 and older are heavy users of social media, they “turn to the internet to connect and be entertained—not to be sold to.” Mintel’s Fiona O’Donnell says, “While older iGens are likely having their digital inboxes filled with promotional materials, brands may be missing a huge opportunity by foregoing direct mail, a channel where we know [iGens] are open to brand engagement.”

This may be due to the fact that iGens “highly value personal connections” and like spending face-to-face time to feel connected.

iGen (which technically encompasses the youngest Millennials as well as Gen Z) has money to spend. If you’re marketing to them, don’t forget, they’re culturally diverse and consider themselves “hard-working” and “responsible.” They expect to see that reflected in your marketing messages—which should include digital as well as direct mail.