How Direct Mail is Making Waves with Gen Z

Gen Z is more likely to engage with direct mail marketing campaigns, research by World Advertising Research Centre (Warc) and Royal Mail Marketreach has found.

The report is based on 218 UK campaigns published between 2016 and 2022, finding that 35% of campaigns using direct mail recorded an ROI benefit compared to the 23% average for all UK marketing campaigns.

There are a few reasons why direct mail might appeal to Gen Z. Firstly, direct mail is tangible; people can feel and touch it, which makes it more personal. Secondly, direct mail arrives in the mailbox, which is a physical place that people check regularly. And finally, direct mail can be interactive, such as through augmented reality (AR) or QR codes or Digital DirectMail.

Gen Z has also grown up with digital communications, and are – like the previous millennial generation – sometimes referred to as “digital natives”. For this generation, physical mail is novel and unique.

Amy Rodgers, managing editor of research at Warc, said: “The digital disruption of the past decade has pushed direct mail into the shadow of emerging platforms. But the time has come for a re-evaluation of direct mail amid increasing demands on consumer attention and the acceleration of underlying trends in business and society driven by the pandemic.

Almost nine out of 10 respondents said they preferred a mix of physical and direct marketing, with 42% saying they searched for a brand online after receiving direct mail and 84% saying they had scanned a QR code from mail.

Senior media planner for Royal Mail’s Marketreach Dan Jury said, “Direct mail is alive and well. 

“It has undergone significant digital transformation of its own, remains the third-largest media channel in the UK, integrates powerfully with other channels to support full-funnel strategies, is a proven driver of business growth and ROI, and is highly trusted – particularly with Gen Z.”