How our responses to direct mail evolve through time
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How our responses to direct mail evolve through time

A single millennial, young family and an older retiree each has different ways that they perceive and are impacted by direct mail. A recent study published in the summer of 2016 by Royal Mail Market Research, the research division of the United Kingdom’s postal service, explored how our responses to direct mail change as we progress through the different stages of adult life. Here’s a summary of their findings.


Young individuals aged 18-24 largely reside in shared accommodations with other young adults. Because this demographic doesn’t receive as much addressed mail, they’re 45 percent more likely to find mail memorable. 22 percent of Sharers purchased or ordered items or services as a result of receiving direct mail in the past 12 months. While this age group may seem a bit early for your target market as a real estate agent, you can start to make positive impressions and gain name recognition once Sharers are ready to move to the next stage.


Partners living together in the same accommodations before having children, or choosing not to have children, are under this category. More couples – 26 percent of respondents – report making purchases as a result of direct mail compared to Sharers. Since couples take more personal responsibility for checking and managing the mailbox, direct mail can leave a lasting impression. It’s also likely that one partner will share a piece of mail with the other. Couples are just starting to set down their roots and invest more in their homes or starting new homes together.

Young Families

Once couples have one or more children below primary school level, they are considered in the study as a Young Family. They’re the second-most likely to act based on direct mail, with 30 percent of respondents, and feel more positively about its engagement. Young Families are on tighter budgets and are also shorter on time. This makes concise yet informative direct mail all the more important.

Older Families

When children reach secondary school age, the household is considered an Older Family. Budgets continue to be tight. Older Families are better informed and have the opportunity to make mail into a communal experience as teenagers become more active members of the household.

Empty Nesters

Once children leave the home, Empty Nesters are under less financial duress while also gearing up to downsize or move into retirement. Empty Nesters are the most likely to read newspapers every day, showing that they enjoy longer-form text and take the time to read it.

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