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Direct Mail Lists and Younger Consumers – Study Shows That Most Prefer Print Mail


Contrary to popular belief, younger consumers are not tied to their digital devices when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Although the typical image of a younger consumer is an individual texting away on their smartphone or logged into their favorite website, a recent study from ICOM shows that print advertisements and direct mail list campaigns can be a powerful ally in marketing to this important demographic group.

Direct Mail List Marketing vs. Email Marketing

ICOM’s survey specifically targeted the 18 to 34 year old demographic and showed some surprising findings when it comes to marketing in specific advertising channels.

The study showed that the consumers in these groups preferred to learn about marketing offers via print mail – rather than email marketing messages. Not only that, but younger consumers preferred print marketing information two to three times more than online advertising!

Considering the amount of focus and praise there is for social media sites and email marketing lists, the news is rather surprising.

“A key takeaway from this research is that marketers targeting 18 to 34 year olds who are tempted to invest solely in social media could be missing a significant portion of their audience,” said Warren Storey the vice president of ICOM.

Trust Increases Effectiveness of Direct Mailing Lists

The underlying reason for the preference for direct marketing using mailing lists? It all comes down to trust. The survey showed that consumers of all ages find marketing messages sent through traditional mailing campaigns to be more trustworthy and reliable when compared to email advertising and social media. Respondents also consider print mail marketing information to be more private and secure than online marketing.

And these numbers are increasing. In 2008, only 29% of respondents in a similar survey considered print mail to be more trustworthy than email. In this survey, that number jumped to 36%. It’s a small percentage but it’s indicative of a larger trend – print mail is gaining importance in the minds of the digital consumer.

The survey, entitled “Finding the Right Channel Combination: What Drives Channel Choice”, was conducted by ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting. It surveyed over 2500 U.S. and 2200 Canadian households with a special focus on the 18 to 34 year old demographic.

Postal Mail Marketing Are Preferred Across Several Channels

The results were broken down into different industry sectors. In the personal care sector, 62% of respondents preferred print marketing material. 66% of respondents preferred information from food products via print mail and 53% of the demographic preferred print marketing materials for information about over the counter medicine. Insurance and financial sectors also saw a larger preference for direct mail advertising.

If you’re trying to target the 18 to 34 year old age group, you may be more welcomed and receive a better response by using direct mail lists and print advertising. The survey showed that 75% of the age group perceives that they are getting more email than ever before. This indicates that marketers have an opportunity to make an impact with their target market by using direct mail lists and print marketing. Clearly, your efforts and money will be much better spent on direct mail with this demographic.

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