Skip to Content

Do You Know The Real Way To Market To Millennials and Generation Z?

Written by Charlie Brock Marketing Intern

Millennials and Generation Z combined make up more than half of the current population in the United States. Millennials are usually considered to be anyone born between 1981 and 1996, making them somewhere between 24 and 39 years old as of 2020. Additionally, Generation Z is defined as anyone born between 1997 and 2012, making members of this generation between the ages of 8 and 23 as of 2020. When it comes to how to market to these generations, the answer is not what you might expect. While most people consider them to be exclusive to digital marketing approaches, they actually prefer and are more likely to respond to direct mail marketing (or a combination of both) for a myriad of reasons. These generations are not easily convinced to purchase, and therefore to market to them effectively, you have to know how they want to be marketed to. 

Here’s what Millennials want from you: 

Millennials tend to view authenticity and transparency as the most important deciding factors of the companies they are customers of. They tend to value experiences and events and often spend more on comforts and conveniences than any other generation. Most people would expect that Millennials do not respond to direct mail advertising. However, a recent white paper from the USPS shows: 

  •  84% of millennials take the time to look through their mail
  • 77% of millennials pay attention to direct mail advertising
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers

Additionally, 90% of Millennials see direct mail messaging as reliable, 57% have made purchases based on direct mail, and 62% of Millennials said they have visited a store in the past month based on advertisements received in the mail. 

Here’s what Generation Z wants from you: 

Much like Millennials, Gen Zers value authenticity, honesty, and transparency. As a generation of avid social media users, Gen Zers are experts at tuning out what they deem to be irrelevant or distasteful to them. Because of this, simple things such as the wrong tone, targeting, design, or time can cause them to ignore your company’s marketing efforts completely. Therefore, companies need to make extra effort to maintain authenticity, relevancy, and uniqueness when marketing to members of this generation. Surprisingly, Gen Zers also view direct mail as more trustworthy than the information/advertisements they receive from digital platforms. Here’s what we found about Gen Z and their responses to direct mail: 

  • 98% of Gen Zers shop in physical stores most of the time
  • About 72% of Generation Z say price is the key factor in purchasing decisions - so when marketing to them, the value needs to be clear
  • A company’s stance on social or global issues are also a key factor in purchasing decisions for this generation
  • Unlike other generations, Gen Zers are more influenced by online reviews and are more likely to cross you off their list with testimonials that seem inauthentic. 

These findings lead to one important point -- Gen Zers are the omnichannel generation. 


How to Market to Millennials and Gen Z

Considering that Millennials and Generation Z are such a large portion of our current population (and will be even more so in our future), it is essential that you learn how to market effectively to them. This means that you have to know what is important to them, what they will ignore, and how they will respond. Although digital marketing approaches are certainly important to grab the attention of these generations, it is no secret that direct mail is still as relevant and should not be left out. Here are some tips to help create engaging content that both of these generations are more likely to respond to: 

Millennials and Gen Z can be complicated, but we’re here to help. Contact us today to get started with omnichannel marketing for any generation, or download our How-To Guide on Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z.


Original blog published on June 12, 2018, by Dana Fowler.

Editor's Pick


mwd icon

Want to learn more?

Please enter your Name and Email and select which area of our expertise you'd like to learn more about.
I'd like more information

connect with us

Follow Midwest Direct on social media and contact us to learn more about our services and multichannel direct marketing best practices: