Generation Z is an up and coming buying cohort. These consumers were born after 1996, which means they are now in their teens and twenties. As a matter of fact, the oldest Gen Z-ers are turning 24 in 2021.
This is a large group – and represents about 20% if the U.S. population.
It’s true that Generation Z has literally grown up on social media. They naturally incorporate digital communication into almost every facet of their lives. Gen Z-ers have very agile texting and typing thumbs. Most of them learned how to unlock their parent’s cell phones by the time they were four. They are every grandparent’s go-to to solve cell phone problems.
This generation is also highly creative and socially conscious. And, they are becoming a highly diverse, well-educated U.S. consumer population.
According to an article in Business Insider, Generation Z is estimated to have a global purchasing power of more than $140 billion. That figure is making retailers and e-tailers very excited. After all, this group is now choosing the brands they want to associate with. That means they are selecting companies to do business with that are environmentally responsible and socially accepting.
Gen Z communicates via multiple channels
The young people in Generation Z are what we call “digital natives”. They have never known a world without the internet and smartphones. In one Pew Research survey, 95% of 13- to 17-year-olds reported having access to a smartphone, with almost half saying they are online “almost constantly.” So you’d think online is the only way to reach them, right? Not so much.
Both researchers and marketers have found that mail really resonates with Gen Z. Maybe this is because of texting fatigue or the overall barrage of digital content that hits them every day.
Statistics surrounding technology:
- 45% of Gen Z say they are online “almost constantly”
- Almost half of Gen Z-ers are online for 10 or more hours a day
- Gen Z spends an average of 11 hours per week on their mobile phones
- This group watches an average of 23 hours of online video content per week
- Gen Z consumers are 2X more likely to shop on mobile devices than Millennials are
- 42% of Gen Z feel that social media has a direct influence on how they feel about themselves
- Generation Z members have an attention span of 8 seconds
- More than half of Gen Z-ers are believed to have installed ad-blocking software
I got these statistics from a report by the Future of Customer Engagement and Experience.
What I also learned from reading that report is that Generation Z thrives on creative communication. They want tangible, personal connections. Direct mail can create these connections.
BTW – Gen Z is more familiar with mail than you might think. After all, they’ve been checking and sorting through the mail with their parents, looking for packages, cards and catalogs. To them, mail creates an emotional connection. Something you can hold in your hand feels more special than digital communication. Marketers need to remember this and use it to their advantage.
How to Effectively Engage Gen Z with Mail
According to a study by the USPS, more Gen Z-ers said that receiving cards, letters and packages makes them feel happier than receiving video calls, emails or texts.
Gen Z is very familiar with mail. They have checked and sorted through the mail with their parents, looking for packages, cards and catalogs. To them, mail creates an emotional connection. They see it as more special than with digital communication. Mailers can use this to their advantage.
Get to the point quickly
Gen Z enjoys the more intimate aspect of mail, but here’s the challenge. According to Oberlo, they have about an eight-second attention span. (BTW – this is even less than a millennial’s 12 seconds). Gen Z-ers are also incredibly savvy—all likely a product of their digital upbringing. Marketing mail must be relevant, innovative and authentic.
Here are some ideas for how to stand out:
Lead with Creativity
- With so many digital technologies at their fingertips, this generation sees and experiences the world like no other before it. They are inherently creative and think more visually. Direct mail can captivate by engaging this creative spirit.
- Good design matters. Be bold and simple. Keep text brief and to the point.
- Your mail needs to stand out. Use unique formats and creative enhancements. Texture, scent or augmented reality can make mail more of an experience.
Make Your Mail Personal
Gen Z is inundated with content on a daily basis. To resonate with this audience, your mail piece should be not only beautiful, but meaningful.
Target wisely and use personalization. Consumers are more likely to read direct mail from a business they have interacted with or that includes offers relevant to their lifestyle.
Gen Z wants to see reviews of your product from real people who are like them.
Take an Omni-channel Approach
Gen Z is online almost all day. They are also hands-on with the mail. Stay top of mind by utilizing both. Make sure you take advantage of informed delivery and retargeting.
Keep Online Buying in Mind
Gen Z-ers are more than twice as likely as millennials to shop on their mobile devices. Give them a quick, easy option to access your product online – right from your mail piece. Consider using QR codes to drive them from print right to your landing page.
The young Generation Z cohort has tremendous buying power. This presents a tremendous opportunity for brands who understand the nuances of this age group.
We know that Gen Z values more personal connections outside of the digital world. This gives mail a powerful advantage. Unlike other forms of communication, it is a tangible medium they can hold and experience.
Businesses that mail to Gen Z simply have to be smart. They need to make sure their marketing mail is relevant, utilize creativity and integrate with digital to connect with and convert a new generation of consumer.
Thank you to USPS Delivers for some of this material. There is always a lot of great information from the USPS.