How Do Consumers Feel About Direct Mail? 

There is a vast difference between how Millennials and Gen Z feel about direct mail, and that difference is evident in the responses to specific types of direct mail. Millennials, for example, prefer coupons, while Gen Z prefers paper coupons. Whichever category you’re looking to target, here are some important points to remember. Listed below are the main types of direct mail consumers tend to respond positively to. Read on to discover why!

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Positive feelings 

While most consumers today are disengaged from direct mail, millennials still engage with it and trust it more than digital ads. While post-Boomers are glued to their smartphones and computers, millennials still value the tactile experience of holding and handling mail. This positive response to direct mail is largely due to relevancy and the fact that it has a tangible element. Millennials are more likely to open mail that is relevant to their lives and interests. 


One of the biggest myths about millennials is that they are constantly attached to their smartphones and can’t possibly respond to direct mail. While this is true to an extent, many Millennials take the time to read mail and even find it useful. In a recent USPS study, 88% of Millennials said they read their direct mail, compared to only 60% of those who use email. This is significant because it shows that direct mail still has value among millennials. 

Gen Z 

When asked how Gen Z consumers feel about direct mail, they tend to be more positive than millennials. They are raised in a digital world, but still, have a deep affection for physical mail. The shift to digital has left many consumers with no real connection with the brand they are shopping for. Personalized, face-to-face interactions with stores are replaced by algorithm-driven recommendations and impersonal online shopping experiences. But they still find the personal touch in direct mail advertising appealing. 

Paper coupons 

Millennials are the biggest users of paper coupons, followed by Gen X and Baby Boomers. The full report can be downloaded here. There are many more statistics. This study is based on responses from a survey of 1,000 adults, weighted by national census data. It highlights the importance of having a physical presence for a brand and the benefits of paper coupons. The full report contains additional findings, such as which demographics use the most paper coupons. 


One benefit of direct mail is its long shelf life. Email communications are often only read for 17 seconds on average, whereas direct mail pieces can be read for weeks. This extended shelf life allows you to capture more potential customers and enjoy a higher response rate. Printed pieces can be stored in a refrigerator, making them ideal for long-term brand retention. Direct mail also has an exceptional “pass along” readership. Even if a customer doesn’t open the letter or email within one day, it’s still important to get their attention. 


Despite technological advancements, consumers still find direct mail relevant. Research shows that people who receive direct mail from brands tend to buy more items and spend more money. Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment. Furthermore, research shows that 73% of American consumers prefer to receive brand marketing communications in the mail rather than emails. Email marketing is a less effective method for reaching consumers because most of the emails get marked as spam. By contrast, 41% of Americans actively look forward to checking their mail each day.