Data Enrichment & Validation

Direct Mail Marketing for Generation Z

January 22, 2019

Kids these days. Always glued to their phones, right?


Members of Generation Z, anyone born between 1995 and 2010, actually spend more time with print media than digital channels. Despite widespread assumptions to the contrary, this is a generation that values print and uses it in daily life, according to a recent study by MNI Targeted Media, Inc.

This is great news for marketers who already understand the power of modern direct mail. With an integrated direct mail strategy, your brand can have a strong impact on members of this young audience.


Much like the millenials before them, Gen Z is driven to unplug and may even trust print over digital marketing messages. As such direct mail automation is going to be critical in reaching this generation that over the next two years will account for $4 billion in discretionary spending.

Generation Z will soon comprise 40% of consumers, and marketers need to know how to reach this group with messages that resonate. Gen Zers are not likely to respond to your average “junk mail.” In order to create a compelling direct mail marketing campaign for this generation, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Creating Direct Mail for Gen Z: 3 Things You Need to Know

To create relevant marketing for any audience, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. Generation Z is a very interesting demographic. These young people grew up during the Great Depression. They are digital natives. They are much more likely to be open-minded and tolerant of diversity than the generations before them. And when it comes to spending vs. saving, they are prudent.

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So what does this mean when it comes to creating relevant direct mail for Generation Z? If you want to reach Gen Z, you’ve got to:

1. Be Authentic.

Generation Z is highly value-driven. Despite growing up in the harshest economic climate since the Great Depression, Gen Z cares more about their values than price, according to the MNI Targeted Media, Inc., study. This means you will have a high bar to meet in order to craft relevant marketing messages for this demographic. As a generation that is always “on” and always “plugged in,” Gen Zers are especially adept at tuning out the noise. If your tone, targeting or relevancy is off, Gen Z is going to ignore you completely—with ease. So, you need to make authenticity a priority in order to break through this highly effective mental firewall. You can do this with a direct mail CRM integration or a direct mail API that helps you understand your audience’s interests, values and actions, triggering direct mail only after relevant events or behaviors.

Pro tip: Personalize your direct mail and include user-generated content or customer voices whenever you can in the customer lifecycle.

2. Express Value.

While nailing authenticity might get you in the door with Gen Z, they’re not going to buy unless you meet their bottom line. About 72% of Generation Z says price is the key factor in purchasing decisions. This generation saw their parents lose much during the recession and the subsequent recovery influenced them significantly. This is a generation that saves rather than spends. It is also a generation empowered with quick and effective research tools (smart phones) at their fingertips. Gen Z values affordable quality, rather than cheap goods. So, when marketing to Gen Z the value needs to be clear. Your direct mail to Gen Z always needs to answer this question, clearly and succinctly: what’s in it for the customer?

subscription service direct mail example
This direct mail postcard from Freshly is a strong example of communicating value.

3. Create Cross-Channel Marketing Experiences.

Gen Z has never lived without the Internet and has always expected service within seconds, but this might be the very thing making the generation crave offline experiences. Almost 70% of Gen Zers say their generation should unplug more, and close to half of them do spend some time each day unplugged. About 83% of Gen Zers read newspapers when looking for trustworthy content, according to MNI, and a surprising 98% of Gen Z shops in physical stores some or most of the time. That said, this is also the omnichannel generation. Gen Zers do not see online and offline experiences as mutually exclusive and neither should the savvy marketer. Gen Z brings digital channels into the physical world, looking up price comparisons and reviews while in a store, texting friends for their opinions on a purchase and checking into the store’s app. Your direct mail should be part of an integrated cross-channel customer experience that seamlessly flows from channel to channel along with the customer.

As you can see automated direct mail via API is a highly effective way to reach Gen Z. If you’re ready to create data-driven, cross-channel direct mail campaigns, test-drive Inkit now with a free demo.

Ready to captivate your customers?
Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.