What was old is new again. While one must consider the source, the United States Postal Service has promulgated a nifty white paper citing credible evidence that direct mail, the oldest direct marketing profession, somewhat counterintuitively generates good response from millennials.
Upon reflection, this apparently surprising finding is perhaps not so much of a shock. It is well known that millennials, the first digitally native generation, eschew email in favor of text and various messaging apps via smartphone in their personal sphere, but conform to the email mainstream at work. Email has also been something of a crowded trade as they say in finance regardless of audience demographics. The USPS white paper objectively cites the reason for its predominance among 21st century marketers: email has the highest ROI of all direct marketing channels, primarily due to its ultra-low cost. In addition, the dirty little secret of marketing is that email is way easier to execute than direct mail.
The USPS white paper is a powerful argument for leavening the email feast with at least a dash of direct mail. Other research confirms the strategy by demonstrating that email combined with direct mail generates greater response than either channel employed unilaterally. According to a communication in the the Harvard Business Review , on average, direct mail and email in tandem obtained noticeably better results than using direct mail or email alone.
So, in marketing, as in investment, diversification works and synergies can be achieved.