Millennials Get Direct Mail: USPS Claims They Prefer It Over Email

Here’s a shocker: That Millennials, who barely look up from their smartphones, even in the bathroom, prefer direct mail over email. That’s the premise of a quirky little white paper from the U.S. Postal Service.  

The USPS claims that 64% of Millennials “would rather scan for useful info in the mail than email.”

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom and numerous other studies. For example, Adestra recently found in a survey that email is the overwhelming choice of all age groups for receiving business communications — 78.8% for Boomers, 77.8% for Millennials, and 60.7% for teens.

Direct mail, cited by only 3.8% of Millennials and 2.9% of the teenage consumers, is fourth on the list. And while Baby Boomers lead in this regard, only 8.4% of them cite snail mail as their favorite medium.

So one can be skeptical. Why not? The USPS, that grand old institution, delivers paper mail. So it publishes a report purporting to show that Millennials prefer direct mail.

Now you could ask why that is any different from an email service doing a survey showing that young people like email. It depends on the methodology, and that’s where the USPS fails to deliver.

Unlike Adestra, which had its methodology right up front, the USPS offers little or no explanation as to where it got this material. But here’s one clue:
To support its assertions, the USPS “relied on other studies to develop an infographic to reveal in more depth what Millennials think and do about direct mail,” Lauren Flanigan recently wrote for The American Genius. 

She added that the study had created a backlash. “No, no, no,” wrote Derrick Southerland in a post. “Don’t listen to this. Millennials DO NOT WANT your stupid garbage filling up their mailbox. Every piece of junk mail makes them hate you more!”

Tut tut, Derrick. Don’t you feel the same way about the clutter in your email inbox?

But now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s see what the USPS has to say...

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