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Print and Direct Mail for the Holidays The USPS reports that 98% of people get their mail on a daily basis, but during the holidays we pay closer attention. Why? Because our mail is filled with personal greetings and well-wishes from family and friends. The numbers speak for themselves. Each year, roughly 19 billion cards, letters, and packages are delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At this time of year, getting the mail is no longer a chore. We look forward to it with anticipation and excitement—making us more receptive to every direct mail piece inside. And while that can certainly help boost holiday sales, it’s an even better time to boost engagement and brand loyalty.


VOL. 9, ISSUE 5, 2019 Shawmut Communications Group | shawmutdelivers.com

The holidays are a perfect time to use direct mail to send customer appreciation cards, launch a loyalty program, or show support for a nonprofit organization. So as you think about your holiday promotions, think beyond the transaction. With direct mail, you’ll have a chance to catch consumers when they are most likely to respond, engage, and remember your brand which will impact your business throughout the year.


Diamond Print Glitter See that sparkle and shine on our cover? That’s Diamond Print Glitter, the world’s first full line of printable glitter paper and film that can be used for a wide range of printing and converting projects. With both a striking visual appearance and textural surface, Diamond Print Glitter from Harmony Paper Company will dazzle and delight as packaging, bags, envelopes, tags, labels, signage, displays and much more. Their proprietary production process eliminates glitter flake shedding and cracking. Optimized for digital, offset, and wide format printing, and ready for foil stamping, embossing and die-cutting, Diamond Print Glitter is the perfect pick for holiday cards, folding cartons, labels, business cards and more. Contact your Shawmut rep for more details!


Combining direct mail with digital technologies is a smart move—boosting response rates by an average of 25%.

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Track and report on inbound calls from every direct mail campaign

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Know who visited the website from your mailing list and get new leads for your next mailing

FEATURED EXPERTS Christine Michel Carter Owner, Minority Woman Marketing Bob Gierschick Marketing Professional Bruce McMeekin CEO and Founder, BKM Marketing Julie Weldon Owner, O.M.E. (Oceans + Mountains = Earth)

Supercharge Your Direct Mail with Shawmut MailPlus Today


A Generational Shift Millennials are expected to edge out Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation—with a population of 73 million—by the end of 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, Generation X continues its role as the “middle child” of the generations, wedged between the Millennials and Boomers, with a peak population of 65 million, according to Pew Research Center. Each generation has its own values, beliefs, behaviors, and preferences. As marketers and designers, understanding how each generation thinks becomes a crucial component of a successful marketing strategy. An increasing number of marketers are focusing on generational marketing as a way to create tailored campaigns that cater to each age bracket. The goal is to deliver the right message, at the right time, and on the right channel.

research shows the older generation hangs out on Facebook. Many marketers find surprising results when they dive into generational marketing data, but the revealing information has led to more effective marketing campaigns. Aside from stronger campaigns, generational marketing seems to serve as a solid foundation for marketers looking to adopt a more targeted approach. Generational marketing provides a simple way to segment customers. From there, marketers see the potential of personalized campaigns and work to refine the segments into smaller, well-defined niches. This issue explores generational marketing and examines how marketers and designers are using it to their advantage. We’ve talked to marketing experts, collected statistics, combed the web for best practices, and sprinkled in our own knowledge on the hot topic of generational marketing.

While the goal of generational marketing seems simple, one of the biggest challenges with this marketing technique is overcoming assumptions. For example, marketers assume that tech-savvy Millennials prefer digital ads or promotional emails. However, research shows Millennials love print because it offers a break from the digital noise that surrounds them. How would you reach Baby Boomers? Your first thought might be via a coupon in the mail, but

Enjoy the issue!

Michael Peluso President





 Get the 411 on generational marketing. Learn why so many marketers are turning to generational marketing and get practical tips to put things in motion at your company.



Marketers are tasked with reaching customers of all ages. But, what reaches Gen Z won’t work for Baby Boomers, so what’s a marketer to do? In the age of tailored marketing, this article provides tips to connect with each generation.


 While it may seem like millennials only respond to marketing via a newsfeed, research shows otherwise. Explore how millennials connect with print, why it’s a loved medium, and how to create effective pieces.

Q&A: MARKETING TO THREE GENERATIONS A company is tasked with marketing a product to outdoor enthusiasts that span three generations: Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. We asked the company’s owner to offer tips to help1 VOL. 9, ISSUE 5, 2019 Shawmut companies in similar situations.

Generational Marketing What It Is, Why It’s Important & How to Get Started

People of every generation differ in the way they shop, respond to ads and use technology. With so many competing factors, how can companies market to customers in each cohort? The answer lies in Generational Marketing.

What is generational marketing? As the name suggests, generational marketing focuses attention on each generation. Using a combination of data, shopping preferences, attitudes, and themes from a person’s upbringing, marketers are able to create tailored messages that connect with customers on a personal level.

Why is generational marketing important? Generational marketing gives brands an edge when it comes 2


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to attracting and maintaining customers. By understanding the values of each generation, marketers and designers can create relevant campaigns. Effective campaigns

Every customer (no matter the generation) expects relevant, meaningful content from companies. However, over half of consumers say content generated by brands is useless, according to MarketingDive. When marketers focus on generational marketing, they create more relevant content for each customer. Going beyond digital

For generational marketing to be successful, companies have to use all avenues of communication, not just digital ones—engaging

customers through everything from face-to-face meetings and direct mail marketing to social media ads and promotional emails. Robust segmentation

Marketers assume that generational marketing requires segmenting customers by age. While age is certainly part of the equation, it’s not the entire picture. Generational marketing looks at the buying habits, traits, and shopping preferences of each generation. This kind of segmentation, which relies on both demographic and behavioral data, is an effective marketing tactic for every company.

How to get started It takes time and effort to create generationally-focused campaigns, but the results can be dramatic.

Get to know your customers in person

Make an effort to speak with your customers face-to-face. By having conversations with customers of varying ages, you can begin to shape your generational strategy. Consider attending trade shows, host a customer appreciation event, or roam the sales floor and strike up conversations.

there are six living generations in the U.S. GI Generation: 92–118 years old Silent Generation: 74–91 years old Baby Boomers: 55–73 years old Generation X: 39–54 years old Millennials: 23–38 years old Generation Z: 7–22 years old

Craft personalized campaigns

Using data, marketers can craft campaigns and messaging that speaks to each generation. Remember, the timing of the message and the channel it is delivered on are also part of personalizing a campaign. Measure and adjust

Start collecting data

Do your research

To be effective, you need to collect customer data. The more you know about customers, the more refined and relevant your campaigns will be. You may need a platform to help manage and use data. Some helpful tools include a CRM, buyer persona templates, or Shawmut MailPlus, which combines online and offline marketing methods in one convenient platform.

To understand the values of each generation, you’ll have to do some homework. There are plenty of resources online that can help define the values and insights of each cohort.

Make sure that your efforts are tracked and measured—not just to gauge success, but to enable quick adjustments if needed. Generational marketing can give companies an effective path toward knowing their customers, collecting data, and creating more targeted campaigns fit for specific age groups. 

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Stop the Presses:

Millennials Love Print? Millennials are tech-savvy digital natives. Plenty of research supports their appetite for all-things-digital. Ninety percent of millennials own a cell phone, 78% have broadband Internet, and 86% of the demographic uses social media, according to the Pew Research Center. Knowing this, you might be surprised to learn that millennials love print. That’s right, millennials respond to old-school print media like direct mail, catalogs, and mailed invitations. VOL. 9, ISSUE 5, 2019



“Millennials are highly calibrated to imagery and short, meaningful messages, and that’s exactly what a high-quality print campaign offers.” Bob Gierschick

Research from RIT shows 87% of millennials would rather receive a birthday card in the mail rather than by email; 57% prefer a mailed invitation over an evite; and 55% like handwritten letters as opposed to emails. While many marketers may find those statistics shocking, Bob Gierschick, a marketing expert who has worked with Shawmut in the past, says it makes sense that millennials gravitate towards print. “Millennials are highly calibrated to imagery and short, meaningful messages, and that’s exactly what a high-quality print campaign offers,” he says. But that’s not the only reason Gierschick, who has created campaigns for the 23–38 year old demographic, says millennials are drawn to print. “Millennials are bombarded by digital messages. From social ads to in-app pop-ups, digital marketing has become noise to millennials and is often ignored. Print media is something of a disruptive marketing tactic that snaps millennials out of their digital fog and holds their focus on something that’s visual and tactile,” Gierschick says. A print campaign isn’t just attractive to millennials, it’s also memorable.



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Tips for creating print campaigns for millennials Print marketing carries a lot of weight for millennials, so how can a brand launch a print campaign that targets this group? Here are some tips to get started:

Curate a targeted mailing list Marketing to millennials is different than marketing to other generations. If millennials are your target, create a mailing list that’s comprised of this age group specifically.

Use stunning visuals Millennials are attracted to powerful visuals. Stock photos or low-quality cell phone images aren’t going to cut it. Look for images that have a high resolution, vibrant colors, and classify as “head-turners.” The visuals should draw millennials in, Gierschick says.

Whittle down your message Millennials respond to short messaging. “Millennials are immune to nonsense,” Gierschick says. “They don’t want hyperbole or a bunch of statistics, they want to know why you’re contacting them. Your messaging must be short and to the point.”

Be bold With imagery and messaging in check, it’s time to consider what kind of print marketing campaign to send. It’s okay to choose something bold. Millennials like campaigns that are out-of-the-ordinary or those that make a statement, so why not select a print format that embodies that concept? Rather than send a postcard or a brochure, consider bold choices like a swing-fold mailer or a clamshell box. These options use dielines to create specially-shaped mailers. While they might look complicated to design, ready-made templates make the process simple. C  heck out Shawmut’s collection of free dielines and templates at shawmutdelivers.com/dielines.

Print and digital can work together Even though millennials crave print, digital strategies shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, smart marketers combine the two. Send a mailer with a QR code or a personalized URL (pURL) that directs customers to a targeted landing page, or invite millennials to an event with a paper invitation that asks them to RSVP online. Print can serve as an initial touchpoint that directs millennials

to specific websites, social contests, or gated content like a whitepaper or eBook. Marketers can use tools like Shawmut MailPlus to manage a combined online and direct mail campaign. With a tool like this, you can create one campaign and promote it via online ads, Facebook ads, and direct mail.

Get personal Millennials expect personalized marketing. Sending generic campaigns simply won’t do. Research shows 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending them irrelevant marketing campaigns and prefer a more personalized approach, according to SmarterHQ. Consider using variable data printing, a technique that gives marketers the ability to add a recipient’s name or other information to each mailer, or design a personalized URL (pURL) that includes your recipient’s name.

Measure your success As with any marketing effort, you have to measure response rates to gauge success. Be sure to identify goals and set reasonable benchmarks to hit. Remember that it may take some time for your audience to warm up to print marketing, so commit to

The team at CarGurus designed a fantastic holiday card that pairs a die-cut with a simple swing-fold technique. The eye-catching visuals and short message on this card make it a perfect fit for a Millennial audience.

several campaigns before making any judgment calls. Millennials might be the most digitally-fluent generation, but traditional print marketing is still an effective method of communication. The bottom line, Gierschick says, is that print matters to millennials and marketers can’t afford to ignore that. 

Bob Gierschick helps technologydriven companies express their mission and vision through branding and storytelling.

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As the direct marketing community remembers industry pioneer Lester Wunderman following his recent passing, it’s timely to note how direct marketing, and direct mail especially, continue to drive new revenue for brands. Integrated with new media, savvy marketers are discovering that direct mail is more powerful and return on investment-positive than ever, especially for microtargeting new customers and deepening relationships with existing ones. While communications channel options evolve at a rapid pace, the premise of putting the right offer in front of the right person at the right time never changes. Email, digital advertising, robocalls (sorry), social media and numerous other techniques have specific strengths for reaching audiences at low costs. But our cluttered messaging channels render many of these channels ineffective, unemotional, branddamaging and expensive.

Why Direct Mail Works And When To Use It

Bruce McMeekin is CEO and Founder of BKM Marketing, an integrated marketing agency based in the Boston area. From Forbes.com. © 2019 Forbes. All rights reserved. Used under license.



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In addition to its pinpoint targeting advantage, direct mail is tangible and has a longer shelf life than email, which users often forget or delete seconds after opening. A piece of mail with a strong offer might sit on a desk or a kitchen counter for days— even weeks—after your target

first glances at it. Because it can be held and touched, it conveys emotion and inspires action in a way that screentime can’t. About 42% of people read or scan their direct mail. Direct mail’s success, though, is what led to overuse of the medium. When a particular marketing strategy begins to create costeffective results, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. As a result, mailboxes become cluttered with junk mail and the tactic is poorly executed. When used wisely, however, direct mail can be a strong selling tool. At our agency, we do a lot of direct mail—from campaigns focused on 120 high-value business prospects to broad initiatives impacting 6 million carefully targeted households. We’ve found that direct mail, especially when integrated with other channels, continues to rank among the most cost-effective ways to influence and engage a carefully targeted audience. It works best when advertisers have a unique offer for a specific segment of customers, like free trials, exclusive content or a discount on a product. Additionally, advertisers shouldn’t use direct mail unless they’re targeting a specific audience— luxury homeowners or suburban dog owners, for instance. It’s better to speak to one audience clearly than to try to resonate with several at once.

Kick It Up A Notch So how can you add spice to a classic marketing medium? Here are three tips that can help:


 P ersonalize your message and offer

In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” More than 80 years later, it’s truer than ever. In the past two years alone, Google searches containing the phrase “for me” have increased by 60%. We want to be understood and recognized. The more you can connect with this human truth as a marketer, the more successful you’ll be. In fact, according to recent consumer research, people are choosing brands more for their relevance to customer needs than for their loyalty and incentive programs. So ask yourself, “How does this campaign demonstrate our understanding of the user?” If you’re selling a lifestyle, demonstrate your authority and expertise with the appropriate jargon. If you’re targeting current customers, offer them something that makes sense as a next purchase.


Target carefully and succinctly

One of the worst mistakes you can make is sending too much mail or cluttering your creative with too much information. Focus on the offer and simple calls to action.

Save the details for later in the buyer’s journey. And make sure the right people are getting the message. With today’s analytics, there’s no excuse for getting this wrong. Millennials, for example, aren’t fooled by advertising and generally don’t like it. However, they can appreciate when ads are valuable to them and relevant to their interests. In fact, the U.S. Postal Service found that 62% of millennials visited a store in the past month based on information they received in the mail.


F use complementary marketing mediums

One study found that people spend 25% more when direct mail is used in combination with email marketing. The magic happens when you fuse multiple tools together and combine old, trusty techniques with new, trendy ones. Here are a few ideas: • U  se USPS Informed Visibility to know when your mail is delivered and to more accurately estimate when direct mail will arrive. Time other messaging to hit at the same time. • M  atch household IP addresses to postal addresses to synchronize online ads with the same direct mail offer, which can increase campaign results dramatically. One of our clients saw a 44% lift in conversions for a small increase in cost.

• R  einforce your sales process with customized email signatures using a service like Sigstr or Opensense. These types of services host and centralize customer email signatures, including a display ad in the email that can further engage prospects with links to relevant content. • Integrate the power of video. Better yet, make your video more effective by using voice and text to personalize landing page video with your prospect’s name, town and custom offer. According to one study, an estimated 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2021. Plus, social video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined. • C  reate personalized landing pages to reinforce offers and create an instant connection. Every award-winning sauce has the right amount of every ingredient added at the just the right time. No marketing medium works in a vacuum, which might be why Wunderman coined the phrase direct marketing rather than simply direct mail. As marketers continue to test new ways to target and persuade audiences to engage, adding complementary technology simplifies the buying process for prospects and lowers the cost of acquisition for you. 

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How to Market to Each Generation



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Marketing to customers that span different generations can be a challenge. The key to success is getting to know your customers, says Christine Michel Carter, an expert marketer and owner of Minority Woman Marketing.

Carter works with a variety of different companies to ensure they understand how to market to females of all ages; even those in the Alpha Generation that were born in 2011 and later. “Companies have to realize that segmenting their customers by age is just a start,” she said. “There are many cohorts within each generation.”

Segmenting beyond age brackets Segmenting customers by age is a basic step, but marketers have to divide customers into even smaller groups. Within the Baby Boomer generation, there might be a subset of travelers, grandparents, and volunteers, for example. Gen Xers and Millennials could be further segmented into working moms, outdoor enthusiasts, or social influencers. To succeed, companies have to know more about their customers to create clearly defined segments.

For Carter, identifying and connecting with customers is accomplished through a combination of art and science. “The art of generational marketing is to use personal experiences, raw honesty, real understanding, and forethought, while the ‘science’ behind the marketing tactic relies on insights, marketing analytics, big data, case studies, best practices, and psychology,” she says. By combining all of these pieces, a company can use generational segmentation as a foundation toward hyper-targeted marketing.

The delivery method matters Segmented, personalized messages will go a long way to reach customers, but how the message is delivered is important as well. The delivery method has to align with the segment’s preferences and habits.

Boomers will respond to direct mail while Millennials will respond to Facebook ads is not necessarily true. In fact, research from USPS shows 40% of Millennials read direct mail thoroughly, and Baby Boomers love Facebook. Research shows there are more Boomers on Facebook than there are teens. Before deciding how to deliver a message, do some homework.

Digital ads aren’t the only choice For the first time in history, digital ad spending outpaced traditional methods in 2019. Total ad spending for the year hit $129 billion, according to eMarketer, which is about 54% of all ad spending. Christine Michel Carter is the owner of Minority Woman Marketing and is considered a global voice for working moms.

Be careful not to make assumptions. Assuming Baby

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While there is a strong focus on digital marketing, Carter reminds companies not to overlook traditional tactics when it comes to generational marketing. “Consumers are overexposed to digital marketing, and as a result are jaded towards the tactic,” Carter says. “Print marketing and

direct mail tactics are a great way for brands to drive online traffic, inspire user-generated content, and explore additional engagement opportunities.” Some of the best generational campaigns combine online and offline tactics. For example, a

postcard containing a personalized URL (pURL) could drive customers to a specific landing page or a mailed invitation could encourage customers to register online for an upcoming event. The idea behind generational marketing is to deliver personalized messages to the right person on the right channel. 

Buying Behaviors of 4 Generations at a Glance Baby Boomers

Gen X


Gen Z

(born 1946–1964)

(born 1965–1980)

(born 1981–1996)

(born 1997–2012)

Age in 2019: 55–73

Age in 2019: 39–54

Age in 2019: 23–38

Age in 2019: 7–22

Percent of the U.S. population: 33.6%

Percent of the U.S. population: 20.3%

Percent of the U.S. population: 24.7%

Percent of the U.S. population: 21.5%

Fun Fact: Baby boomers control 70% of disposable income in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Generation X has more spending power than any other generation.

Fun Fact: Millennials are coming into their prime buying years.

Fun Fact: Generation Z has never experienced life without the Internet.

Buying Behaviors:

Buying Behaviors:

Buying Behaviors:

Buying Behaviors:

• Loyal • Value hunter • P  refers brick-andmortar stores • E  xpects high customer service

• R  esearches products online • E  xpects clear, simple messaging • W  ants proof of performance • V  alues honesty over gimmicks



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• Mobile-dependent

• Mobile-dependent

• R  esponds to straightforward messaging

• C  omparison shops online

• Loyalty is hard to gain

• C  reates consumergenerated content

• Influencers affect buying decisions

• S  hops as a social event


Marketing to Three Generations A Q&A With An Outdoor Product Pioneer

Generational marketing starts with a trip to the beach. At least, that’s how it all started for business owner Julie Weldon. While on an annual beach vacation in Delaware, Weldon’s parents noticed a single mom trying to carry a mountain of stuff to the car while watching her three hot, tired children. In that moment, the idea for a convertible wagon and beach chair was born. Weldon’s parents went back to their house, sketched the idea on a napkin, and even built a prototype—but the idea eventually lost steam. Months later, with her father’s permission, Weldon took the product to market. After a failed manufacturing relationship and a complete redesign, Wanderr™, a 4-in-1 cart, lounger, high chair, and low chair, is on sale for the public. Now, Weldon is tasked with marketing the product to outdoor enthusiasts that span three generations: Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. We asked her a few questions about how she handles generational marketing.

Besides hard work, what does it take to market to different generations? You have to know your target market. This is key. You have to know exactly who you’re selling to and what their needs and wants are so that you can communicate their way and by the methods they prefer. How do you market to different generations? Our target market is people who love the outdoors and who understand the value of a quality product, ranging in age from 35–70. We study what their needs and wants are, and we research what is working and not working. Is there a marketing tactic that spans all generations? For us, it’s quick video clips. They’re extremely important for us because our product morphs into different functions, so customers of all ages need to see what the product can do and how it fits into their life.

Where do you draw marketing inspiration from? We’re constantly looking for companies that inspire us and we use what they are doing to stimulate our own creative juices. Aside from digital tactics, what traditional methods do you use in generational marketing? Trade shows and events are incredibly beneficial. During that time, we can get our product in front of a large audience in a few days. We have found that positive, organic press from these events is much more effective than paid ads; though we do still invest in paid ads. What tips do you have for businesses looking to market to different generations? Do your research, know your audience, and meet your audience where they hang out, whether it’s at a trade show or online. 

Julie Weldon is the owner of O.M.E. (Oceans + Mountains = Earth), the brand behind the innovative outdoor adventure product, The Wanderr.

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Tactics Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5  

Tactics Magazine is a bi-monthly publication created by and for marketing and creative minds.

Tactics Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5  

Tactics Magazine is a bi-monthly publication created by and for marketing and creative minds.

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