18-34 Year Olds Prefer Direct Mail

October 21st, 2010 by

I was pretty surprised by the results of this new study on Direct Marketing which indicates that 18-34 year olds prefer direct mail for certain products and services over digital. For those of you who were under the impression that direct mail is dead, think again!

A new study on direct marketing, for certain types of products and services, young people in the 18-34 year old bracket prefer receiving messages by print.

The study, titled “Finding the Right Channel Combination: What Drives Channel Choice?” was conducted by ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting, and surveyed over 2500 U.S. and 2200 Canadian households and found that, when asked their preference, consumers prefer direct mail over online media for many types of marketing communications.

Study Results

By the numbers, here are some of the key results from ICOM’s 2010 study of North American consumers’ marketing communication channel preferences:

For household and health products, the preference among 18-34 year-old Americans for receiving marketing information from offline sources led by mail and newspapers is 2 to 3 times greater than online sources such as social media.

Examples of consumer preferences for offline versus online are:

Product: Offline: Online:
Personal Care 62% 22%
Food Products 66% 23%
Cleaning Products 66% 20%
Over the Counter Medicine 53% 21%
Sensitive Health Products 46% 21%
Prescription Medicine 45% 21%

Travel was the exception, where 18-34 year-old Americans preferred online to offline information by a 42% to 35% margin, however, insurance and financial services followed the overall trend, with the 18-34 age group preferring offline sources 43% to 21% and 44% to 19%, respectively.

The survey also indicated that consumers of all ages are finding postal mail more trustworthy these days. Information is more private if sent through the mail versus e-mail or online, according to 36% of US respondents and 38% of Canadian respondents.

That for certain types of information that is deemed either more personal or important, even young people have more trust in print.

This is a key market group that responds to Direct Mail – let’s not forget them in our media planning!