Direct Mail: Gen Z and Millennials


According to Forbes, Generation Z and millennials combined are the biggest consumer group in history. Many printing companies are implementing strategies to make sure they are in line with these generations. While some millennials and most of Gen Z are digital natives, recent research suggests that these generations value print media channels. The next generations of consumers value print and use it in their daily life, such as reading print books or magazines, according to a recent study by MNI Targeted Media, Inc. One area heavily researched is the appeal of direct mail to these age groups.


Recent stats show why direct mail can help businesses stand out to the millennial population:

  • In 2016, the USPS found that 40% of millennials read direct mail thoroughly, compared to only 18% of non-millennials.
  • Millennials spend more time reading mail compared to other generations: an average of 9.7 minutes each day, compared to 7.9 minutes for Generation X and 8 minutes for Baby Boomers. US Data Corporation.
  • Millennials make up 31% of U.S. magazine readers and 20% of newspaper readers. USPS Delivers.
  • UK Royal Mail shows us that 71% of consumers are more likely to trust advertising mail.

Gen Z

Much like the millennials before them, Gen Z looks for opportunities to unplug and may trust print over digital marketing messages. Direct mail may be a critical component in reaching this generation, which will soon account for $4 billion in discretionary spending. Generation Z, or anyone born between 1995 and 2010, spends more time with print media than other digital channels. Here's a few more stats on Gen Z that demonstrate direct mail's importance:

  • Gen Z's media consumption leans toward newspaper ads, signs in brick-and-mortar store locations, and individualized messaging, according to What They Think.
  • About 83% of Gen Zers read newspapers when looking for trustworthy content, according to MNI.
  • Direct mail may feel more personalized to Gen Z than online efforts, as it shows the company sent something directly to them versus a mass marketing approach.

For many among the next generation of consumers, physical mail brings a sense of value and trust that digital advertisements may not achieve. That said, many refer to Gen Z as the omnichannel generation: businesses should consider using a combination of print and digital marketing approaches to reach them.