Direct Mail Pieces that will attract Millennials

post by Willie Matis

Millennials
don’t
read.

So.  You may be wondering why I am talking about direct mail pieces that attract millennials if millennials don’t read.  Now this isn’t entirely true, but it did suck you into reading further right? Okay, so if you are a millennial then I need to regain your attention right about….

NOW! Check out this picture…

books read in 2009

flickr photo by stevecoutts

For us fundraisers, it is hard to get ANYONE’S attention.  Let alone the “multi-tasking, ever-texting, no eye-contact” millennials.  (This is where I stop making fun of people my age and get to show you that we are capable bodies.)

These two articles here (Article 1, Article 2) show that millennials DO READ, we just do so differently.  We don’t go to the library and take out Encyclopedia Brittanica Volume 5 out anymore to learn about seals  and sharks.  At least we haven’t since the 3rd grade. So, if millennials read but read differently, then how can you tailor your direct mail differently?

1. Don’t put it in an envelope.

We have already received too many credit cards, bills and other junk in envelopes.  Make your direct mail piece a unique size that does not resemble an envelope in the slightest bit.

2. Immediately give us an action.

Similar to how I told the millennials to look at that picture.  Your eye catching image, title or picture needs to present an action that can be taken.  After you tell us what to do, we most likely will read the your short paragraph to understand WHY you want us to take that action.

3. Make that action something that you can track.

So this is the tricky part.  You want to find out if your direct mail piece worked.  Obviously in the past, you judge successful direct mail by responses that include a check.  The likelihood of a millennial having a checkbook is very, very slim.  The likelihood of a millennial having a checkbook in their purse or somewhere that they KNOW where it is?? Probably impossible.

Make the next action measureable.  You are probably now thinking about sending us to your website and having us sign up for your eNewsletter.  IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO SO! Just be honest in telling us why you are having us fill out another online form asking us for our name and email address.  Just tell it like it is.  Have the header of the sign up form say – Yes we are asking for you to sign up for our eNewsletter because we really want to tell you a story about how you can help Timmy the Elephant protect his family in South Africa.

(So that was a made up story but it takes me to my final point.)

4. Tell us a fantastic story within 48 hours of us taking that action.

Timmy the Elephant protecting his family in South Africa would be a great story for the millennial who is worried about elephants going extinct.  John Doe going from homelessness to helping others off the streets will be great for the millennial who wants to assist the homeless.  Tell us a fantastic story, but tell it in a fantastic way.

So if you read every word of this blog post, you are either 1) not a millennial or 2) I did a great job of attracting you, the millennial.  Your action step? Subscribe to this blog & we will talk more about how to tell stories that engage millennials.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Direct Mail

One response to “Direct Mail Pieces that will attract Millennials

  1. freshideawriter

    I can’t believe it! I blogged about attracting Millennials to fundraising causes just this morning. As a Millennial, I love what you said here. Of course we read! Just differently. Thanks for getting the word out about our powerful segment of donors, volunteers, and advocates!

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