Targeted Direct Mail: How to reach Baby Boomers or Millennials?

Targeted direct mail is an effective way of reaching customers

No matter if you’re trying to reach Millenials, Baby Boomers, or another generation, a targeted campaign can help. Effective marketing doesn’t happen by accident. Successful targeted direct mail campaigns don’t send information out to random customers hoping to land in front of someone at the right place and right time. Targeted marketing is cost-effective and leads to a better return on investment for your business.

While it may be cheaper at first to send out a direct mail piece to every house in the neighborhood, it is much less effective than a targeted mail campaign. The upfront savings are not worth the wasted efforts. When you send a targeted direct mail campaign, you will notice the return on investment is much more significant. If your business services a broad range of people, such as a pizzeria, it may not be necessary to have a targeted direct mail campaign. On the other hand, if you run a daycare center, it is necessary for you to target people who have children. Otherwise, you’ll throw your money out of the window.


Master the 40/40/20 rule

If you want to reach the right customers, you need to carefully determine who your target audience is.  You may want to consider Ed Mayer’s 40/40/20 rule during this process. Mayer’s 40/40/20 rule states that 40% of the marketing is reaching the right audience, 40% is the offer, and 20% is the presentation.

Once you know more about your target audience, it is much easier to make decisions on how to reach them. Some generations prefer social media ads while others respond well to direct mail. It’s all about learning about your audience. The more you understand about them, the better you’ll be able to communicate with them.

The best way to communicate with your target audience is by creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona is essentially an example profile of your customer. Think about who your target audience is, and then create a bio, select a photo, and give them a name. You’ll also want to consider their frustrations, goals, and priorities.

There are many criteria to consider when determining your target audience. You can target people by age, gender, income, ethnicity, marital status, or even if they have children. One of the more important criteria is age. Each generation receives information differently, so how do you know how to communicate with your target customer? We’ve put some information together below on the best methods for communicating with each generation:

Silent Generation

If your target customers were born between 1928 and 1944, they are a part of the Silent Generation. This generation loves to read the newspaper, listen to the radio, and receive information by mail. They are loyal customers, so be good to them! According to a study by Epsilon, direct mail is their preferred way to receive information. That being said,  59% of adults older than 65 use the Internet, according to 2014 data from the Pew Research Center. This audience may be more tech-savvy than you think!

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. They are known to be receptive to traditional forms of marketing, having grown up most of their lives without computers or the internet. A new Marketing Charts study states that more than 3 in 10 survey respondents reported that direct mail had influenced them to purchase a product or service during the prior 6 months. If your target customer is a Baby Boomer, direct mail is a great way to get in touch with them!

Generation X

The generation born after Baby Boomers is known as Generation X. This generation was born between 1965 and 1984. They are receptive to both traditional and digital marketing. A study from B2C shows that 77% of Generation X’ers have made a purchase from direct mail.


Millennials are one of the hardest audiences to reach. This audience, born between 1985 and 2004, are tech-savvy but don’t rule out direct mail completely. A study conducted by Divvy shows that 90% of people ages 25 to 34 find direct mail reliable, and 87% like receiving it. Make sure your message is strategically crafted, and you’re in!

If you understand how your customer thinks and communicates, you can be effective in your targeted direct mail campaign. The most successful marketing campaigns are targeted. We suggest getting started by crafting a buyer persona. Your buyer persona will help guide your marketing and messaging decisions. It will also ensure you’re on track with the 40% of your marketing campaign that is targeting your audience.

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