Think 17-24 Year olds don’t want mail? Think again. | YM Group

There is a belief that marketing to younger audiences should be entirely digital. This makes sense on the face of it – the 17 – 24 years old market are digital natives and easily adapt to new social media platforms like Tik Tok and Snapchat. But is that the only answer? In light of an ever changing and fragmented market, this audience is getting harder to reach and engage with. 

Mail could be the answer. We know it helps drives customers online but we decided to look at whether younger audiences got less mail and if so what actions they took with the mail they did receive. 

Chart 1 below demonstrates that younger audiences receive much less mail from any sector – which is a factor of selection and targeting – than older audiences. 

KANTAR Audience Database Chart
Chart 1 - How likely you are to receive mail shown across mail types and age

But Chart 2 shows that despite 17 – 24 year olds receiving less mail, interaction rates are similar to those of older audiences. Even more interesting, it also shows that mail is kept in the home the longest by households containing 17 – 24 year olds.

KANTAR Item Database chart
Chart 2 - How likely you are to interact with and keep mail shown across mail types and age

So what about the all important commercial actions and whether the keeping and returning to mail encourages younger audiences towards purchasing behaviour? Contrary to popular belief, young people really respond to mail. 

17 – 24 year olds show the highest rates for the majority of commercial actions, including a huge 19% discussing with someone. Advocacy is a key brand metric not usually attributed to mail. 10% go to the sender’s website and 6% go online indicating how your mail campaigns can be instrumental in driving web traffic, a topic we cover in more detail here (Chart 3).

KANTAR Item Database Chart
Chart 3 - Commercial actions for all mail shown by age

This shows that when mail is sent to younger audiences, it has real value both in terms of branding building, but also in driving online traffic and sales.
So what should you bear in mind when targeting younger audiences? We’ve put together 7 top tips:

  1. Relevancy
    This is true of all mailings and particularly true of mailings to younger audiences. Make sure your offer and message is relevant.
  2. Tone of Voice
    Pay attention to how you address your audience. Younger people may prefer to be approached in a more relaxed, chatty style. They will also be busy so make sure services are clearly expressed, substituting jargon for terms they will understand.
  3. Make it memorable
    As this age group is looking for an experience, use an interactive format to engage them with the pack. We have a wide range of creative and exciting mail ideas. Click here to see formats in animation and video.
  4. Images
    Include images of other younger audiences enjoying your product so they see themselves. This is a simple matter when using digital printing techniques – simple for us at Lettershop. We have a multitude of ways to include every level of personalisation throughout your mail.
  5. Make it simple to go online
    Young audiences will want to check out your offer online and even share it with their friends. Make it simple. Try a 2D or QR barcode and make it clear how to use it – most smartphones now don’t even need a separate app but work with the phone’s camera.
    Or consider using an app like zappar to share video or animations using augmented reality.
  6. Include personalised content when they go online
    Make sure the online content is targeted and relevant for the audience. Use speciality created landing pages or personal webpages (PURLs) to reflect the specific offer for that customer.
  7. Targeted offers
    Consider your offers and ensure they are appropriate. Is the product or service the right one for younger audiences? Again use digital printing to vary your offer to ensure it is the right one.

Case study: HSBC acquired students by inspiring them before they started university

Tuition fees and high graduate unemployment play on students’ minds even before they start university, meaning they are already thinking about how to get ahead for future career success. With this in mind, HSBC cleverly positioned its incentive by showing how a well spent £60 voucher in the short-term is an investment in the students’ future selves.

University applicants were mailed before their A-levels to wish them luck and again immediately after results day to congratulate those who had won a university place.

Student bank account openings beat the previous year and increased HSBC’s share of the student banking market from fifth place to third.

Case study courtesy of MarketReach
For the full Case Study please go to

Younger audiences can be hard to reach but it’s clear that you can successfully get your product, offer and brand into their hands using mail and improve the results of your marketing campaigns.

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Contact us to help you reach your target audience.

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