This article is co-authored by Jon Butts.
You’ve probably heard countless times that the way to a millennial’s heart is through his phone. While that’s true to a large degree, focusing solely on millennials’ digital habits fails to account for the fact that many still watch television, listen to the radio and embrace other traditional forms of media. We believe that if you’re targeting younger customers, the best strategy is an integrated approach that blends the latest digital trends with more conventional marketing techniques.
For our clients, we recommend using a mix of direct mail and digital platforms to reach millennials. The shop owners we work with have seen a better return on investment when utilizing an integrated approach and find that they can conduct more targeted campaigns with direct mail than they would with radio or newspaper advertising. Both forms of advertising can also be tracked, which is key in determining which efforts are generating results.
Our belief is that your direct mail and digital campaigns should complement each other. The goal is to maximize your impressions and increase your brand awareness in the channels where millennials are most likely to see your messages.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some direct mail and digital strategies to consider if you’re hoping to expand your millennial customer base.
Using postcards to build trust. You might be skeptical about using direct mail to reach an audience that seems to be constantly “plugged in.” But the truth is, millennials view mail as a novelty and actually spend time more time reading the material that ends up in their physical mailbox than their inbox. The direct marketing firm US Presort found that 84 percent of millennials look through their mail on a regular basis. That’s the very definition of a captive audience, so capitalize on that habit by developing direct mail pieces that help you build trust with younger audiences. The first step is to ensure that everything on your postcards matches the look and feel of your website and your physical store. Consistency breeds comfort and lets potential Millennial customers know what to expect when they visit. It’s also helps alleviate any confusion between your shop and competitors. Featuring testimonials on your postcards is another great way to boost your credibility and help form connections with prospective customers. Research has shown that Millennials rely on user reviews more heavily than their baby boomer and Gen X counterparts when making purchasing decision. Finally, consider featuring an offer that provides potential customers with a no-risk way to try your shop, such as a free inspection or tire rotation.