Every time a buyer makes a purchase, they are placing a vote of trust. They trust that the product will do what the advertiser says it will do. They trust that the quality is good and that the product won’t break or malfunction when they use it. They trust that the value they are paying for the product is fair. Trust is critical to any consumer or B2B sale.
The issue of trust extends to marketing communications, as well. Yes, that’s right. Some marketing channels create more confidence than others. In fact, when MarketingSherpa asked buyers to sort a variety of ads into the categories of “ads I trust” and “ads I don’t trust that much,” then analyzed the results across generations, it found that there is one channel that is most likely to be trusted by all age groups: direct mail.
Here is the percentage of respondents in each generation who say they trust direct mail:
- Silent Generation (83%)
- Baby Boomers (80%)
- Generation X (77%)
- Millennials (70%)
The Silent Generation (born between 1925–1945) is the most likely to trust direct mail. Millennials (those born in the mid-1980s to mid-2000s) are the least likely to trust direct mail, but a whopping 70% of these consumers still say they place trust in this channel. When the lowest percentage of respondents is 70%, that’s an extremely high level of trust!
While direct mail is trusted by all generations, it’s essential to tweak your mailings based on the unique needs of each audience. For example:
- The smaller print often used to save space in marketing pieces can be harder to read for older consumers. Consider increasing the font size when mailing to the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers.
- All consumers like a deal, but Millennials, particularly, like to feel that they are receiving something special. Frequently consider offering some kind of incentive.
- For all target audiences, don’t forget to offer physical coupons. While digital coupons are inexpensive and popular, physical coupons help drive traffic into brick-and-mortar stores.
Digital channels are critical to reaching consumers at all levels, but direct mail continues to be the bedrock of trust. How are you integrating direct mail into your overall mix?
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