The explosion of digital marketing and communications in the past decade has many nonprofits wondering if direct mail will still be an effective means of soliciting responses from the next generation of Americans that are already beginning to take the reins of leadership in business and civil society, the Millennials.
Millennials — the generation born between the early 1980s and early 2000s — are unlike previous generations in numerous respects, and a lot of time has been spent studying their habits and how to best market to them.
“Will they respond to direct mail?” is a big question. As a Millennial (on the upper end), I can say that I’ve always been interested in getting the mail from my mailbox as soon as I get home to see what was delivered that day. And it appears a large percentage of Millennials are like me in that regard.
USPS Delivers recently published an article pulling from a number of studies examining the “myths and truth” of Millennials and direct mail. Among the findings was that 84% of millennials look through their mail on a regular basis, and 87% of millennials like receiving direct mail. US Presort put together a great infographic (below) summarizing the article.
While nonprofits should absolutely invest in online services, direct mail will continue to be an extremely important part of any fundraising or marketing campaign far into the foreseeable future. And instead of thinking the choice is between one or the other, bolstering your nonprofit’s integrated fundraising across multiple channels should be a top priority.