Who Likes Getting Mail? You’d Be Surprised!

Doug Cronin, President

Doug Cronin

Friday, Aug 19, 2022

The United States Postal Service recently partnered with Summit Research to understand how U.S. consumers of all ages interact with direct mail marketing and online purchasing. There are some surprises in their findings – particularly in the youngest (Gen Z) group.

The report is filled with great tips and insights about how to improve campaign performance by generation. If you’re willing to segment your mailings by age, you can boost your campaign effectiveness with each of these segments.

You can download the full USPS 2020-2021 Generational Report PDF. Here are the highlights we found most interesting by age group*:

Gen Z | Born after 1997 | 67 million in the U.S.

  • Gen Z is excited to discover what the mail brings and feels it is more personal than digital communication with 72% saying they’d be disappointed to no longer receive mail.
  • 33% are inclined to make a purchase if they see it in the mail.
  • Unique formats of direct mail appeal to Gen Z’s robust creative side.
  • Gen Z is shopping online more than ever and often finds it more enjoyable than shopping in person – making a physical prompt via direct mail with QR code or link to purchase is very powerful.
  • Gen Z is most likely to appreciate and share their experience with premium package design.
  • Gen Z prioritizes diversity and social and environmental responsibility and expects brands to do the same.

Millennials | 22 – 40 years old in 2021 | 72 million in the U.S. – the largest population contingent by age

  • Millennials have the strongest positive feelings about direct mail, saying it provides useful information and keeps them in the know.
  • 41% of Millennials say they would be very disappointed if they stopped getting mail.
  • More than any other generation, millennials are likely to take action after receiving mail—whether by making a purchase or visiting a website – most likely using their phone rather than a computer.
  • Millennials have the highest interest in digital innovations, including QR Codes, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

Generation X | 41 – 56 years old in 2021 | 65 million in the U.S.

  • Direct mail is an effective way to get Gen X’s attention and increase purchase interest.
  • Gen X is family-focused and has a huge amount of purchasing power.
  • Many of the behaviors that increased during COVID-19 are predicted to stick around, especially online ordering, the need for convenience, and a focus on deals and value.
  • Gen X is just as interested in new technologies and mail innovations as younger generations, 45% would be very disappointed if they stopped receiving mail.

Boomers | 56 – 75 years old in 2021 | 69 million in the U.S.

  • Boomers feel that mail brings a sense of daily discovery, and 57% say they’d be very disappointed if they stopped receiving it.
  • Boomers are the least familiar with and least interested in digital direct mail innovations.
  • Easy-to-open, reusable packaging is very important to boomers.

*Report findings reprinted with permission of USPSDelivers.com, an expert resource for future-thinking shippers and marketers.


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