Direct Mail Marketing for the Different Generations

When it comes to direct mail marketing, knowing your target audience is key in setting up a successful campaign. Understanding your audience based on their age group is a great way to dial in on how to specifically market to each demographic. 

From Boomers to Gen Z, the names of each generation will vary and years can overlap. The generally accepted years of birth for each generation are in the chart below:

Baby Boomers1955-196458-67
Gen X1965-198042-57
Millennials / Gen Y1981-199626-41
Gen Z1997 – 201210-25

Source: Beresford Research

Each age group was born in a specific time, where society, media, entertainment, technology, and significant events have shaped their understanding and views of the world. When it comes to marketing, we take a closer look into how each generation makes buying decisions and how they respond to direct mail. You might be surprised to hear that direct mail marketing appeals to ALL age groups. 

Baby Boomers 

While marketing, in general, has shifted its focus to younger generations, we should keep in mind that Boomers are the second most populated generation and that they are very receptive to direct mail marketing. According to a study by Synchrony, 65% of Boomers take advantage of coupons, bargains, and sales. When you make a plan for direct mail, make sure there is a great offer, and make your piece feel personalized.

Also, a common misconception is that Boomers are not tech-savvy. Boomers spend more of their time on desktop computers, followed by smartphones and tablets than they do watching tv. This means, listing your website on your mail piece, is a great call to action for them to hop on the computer and get more information. Grab their attention by making sure the website address is clear, bold, and easy to find on mailing.

Gen X

This generation, also known as the forgotten generation, is smaller than the Boomers who came before them and the Millenials after them. An interesting fact about Gen X is that they are known to have brand loyalty in comparison to the other generations, and are in their prime earning potential in their careers. They have money to spend and want to make sure they’re spending it with brands they’re familiar with. Got a great deal to extend to them? Reward their loyalty and send a personalized offer in a direct mail piece.

Also, because this generation grew up with forms of media like TV, newspapers, and radio, and the introduction of the internet, they are receptive to omnichannel marketing. Make sure your website from your CTA is optimized for the web, the site loads quickly, all links are correct, and all the information is easy to read. 

It’s important to keep these things in mind when mailing, or even re-mailing to current customers in this age group. It’s s a great way to reach them, reestablish brand identity, and reward their loyalty. 


Currently, Millennials are the largest living generation today. This generation remembers the shift in technology as the internet became more accessible at home. This may lead to the assumption that Millenials are not as interested in direct mail, however, in a survey by DMN, when asked, “Which is more effective at getting you to take action?” 30% of Millennials said direct mail versus the 24% who said email.

Moreover, 28% of Millennials are using social media platforms to find products to purchase, more than any other generation. A great tip from the U.S. Small Business Association is to think of your direct mail pieces as physical Instagram posts. Keep the text brief, the layout streamlined, and the photography eye-catching. Since Millenials do a lot of their shopping online, bridge the gap by using a direct mail piece where a QR code or website URL leads them to find your company on social media. 

Millennials also rely heavily on ratings and reviews to feel informed and confident about what they invest their money into. As a Millenial myself, I am guilty! Consider posting reviews, testimonials, and case studies for them to explore.

Gen Z

Finally, we have Gen Z, the growing generation. While this generation is mostly associated with the most users on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, this generation does like receiving mail. We can probably attribute it to digital fatigue, being overloaded with online ads, so to them, mail creates an emotional connection, and they see it as a way to make a recipient feel more special than with digital communication. Gen Z has an attention span of 8 seconds! Imagine how quickly those 8 seconds go by before they scroll to the next thing, versus a piece of direct mail that is tactile and can hold in their hands.

When targeting Gen Z for in a campaign, know they are very attracted to aesthetically pleasing imagery and prefer messages that are straight to the point. They also lean toward brands that are authentic and don’t want to feel marketed to. When it comes to direct mail, make your brand mission is clear whether it’s about helping the community, sustainability, or working towards a great social cause. 

Final Thought

Knowing the generation your target audience falls in will help you with your next direct mail marketing campaign. From how each age group interacts with mail, technology, and branding messages, we can apply it to what we know about direct mail formats, imagery, and creative copy to connect your brand with everyone of all ages. Start with the people, then find your solution. 

Need an experienced partner for your next campaign? Snowball Print Marketing is here to help!

Written by: Shantelle David

Sources: DMN3, DMN, Retail Drive, PEW, GWI, USPS Delivers, ThriveMyWay, Forbes, and Rev Local