Amidst the digital noise that fills our inboxes and saturates our screens, the significance of traditional mail often gets overshadowed. Join us as we explore the findings of the USPS Generational Research Report, revealing distinctive preferences and behaviors of Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z regarding direct mail.

Home service providers, and small businesses in general, can benefit from this research from USPS.

Baby Boomers and Direct Mail

The Baby Boomer generation is typically defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. They tend to value familiarity and tradition, and they enjoy the tangible nature of mail. They hold onto the memories of handwritten notes and meaningful packages arriving to their doorsteps. This brings a sense of joy and conveys a personal touch.

While Baby Boomers can seem out of touch with technology, it is merely due to the fast changes that make it difficult to keep up with. Remember, this generation wasn’t raised with the internet. In fact, most of them learned it in their adulthood, and this means their interest and familiarity with technology varies greatly.

Traditional mail feels reliable, and mail that is convenient and efficient, making reusable, easy-to-open and easy to read packaging of high value. Home delivery is also preferred for this group for this reason.

Baby Boomers overall values with direct mail: tradition plus efficient innovation.

Generation X and Direct Mail Campaigns

Those born between 1964 and 1980 are considered Generation X. They are known for their strong work ethic and have been referred to as the Latchkey Generation, or Forgotten Middle Child, both of which share the sentiment that this generation raised themselves. This makes them often pragmatic, wanting to see transparency and relevancy from brands. They value authenticity and honesty in interactions.

Gen Xer’s like that direct mail is convenient, and often avoid returning items because of the hassle. They are also likely to research a company online after receiving mail from them if they find it interesting and relevant. Communication should be concise and provide value.

Gen X overall values regarding direct mail: ease and authenticity.

Direct Mail and Millennials

Millennial is the term used for those born between 1981 and 1996 and are often called the digital generation as they are the first generation to grow up with the internet and mobile phones. Despite this, they have a positive outlook on direct mail and value its tangible nature and source of reliable information.

This generation is the most likely to take action when receiving relevant mail. Give them a compelling offer and they will visit a website to learn more or make a purchase. They also tend to be early adopters, being the first to use mobile devices, smart home technology and apps that align with their mobile lifestyles. Reach them with good design, environmentally and socially responsible messaging, and meaningful experiences.

Millennials overall values with direct mail: actionable innovation.

Gen Z and Direct Mail

The first “digital natives” were born between 1997 and 2012. They have only experienced a world with technology and internet connection. They are deeply immersed in digital platforms including social media and rapidly evolving technology.

However, they are often disillusioned by the digital realm and like that direct mail is more personal and authentic than digital communication, and they look forward to receiving it. They value creative messaging that caters to them specifically, which is why they also enjoy online shopping that allows them to get exactly what they are looking for.

Gen Z looks for seamless shopping experiences, especially with companies who value the same things as them: diversity, sustainability, diversity, and positive contribution to society. For them, direct mail in sync with online branding on their favorite platforms is an important part of their customer journey.

Gen Z’s overall values regarding direct mail: creative and interconnected.


While each generation brings a different reason for why they value direct mail, ultimately, they appreciate and look forward to personalized, relevant messaging in their mailbox.

Baby Boomers wait in anticipation, expecting things that remind them of the best parts of life. Direct mail that feeds this nostalgia and invites them to connect in new ways is effective in reaching them.

Generation X has learned to be reliable and authentic and appreciate this in their direct mail communication. Reach them by making things easy, such as clear, concise messages that speak to them.

Help Millennials take action by using QR codes and personalized messages that invite them to connect deeper.

And finally, reach Gen Z with creative, interactive, seamless experiences with your brand both on and offline to build trust and loyalty.

Tailoring your direct mail campaign to capture the nuances of each generation helps small businesses to more effectively engage with their target audience. This, in turn, builds stronger connections, longer lasting relationships, and authentic, valuable return on investment for both the customer and the business.

If you are ready to start building better connections by combining innovation and direct mail to reach your targeted audience, contact Plumb Marketing today.