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You Just Don't Understand Me!

November 12, 2008  

You've got a great new product for the high-school crowd. The demographics you've researched are screaming that teens love all things digital. So, your marketing team has crafted a great email campaign, with social-media components and links to a fun landing page at your site. Will this totally rad approach grab your biggest ROI ever? Not quite.

A new whitepaper from ExactTarget has a surprise for marketers seeking to reach teens ages 15-17. The results of its recent research project, conducted with Ball State University's Center for Media Design, show that teens actually prefer to get their marketing messages via—(drum roll, please)—direct mail. Yes, good ol' direct mail. Some findings:

  • A full 58% of teens surveyed report they "have been influenced by direct mail to make a purchase."
  • Email came in second, with 42% of teens saying an email-marketing campaign had influenced them to buy something.
  • But "only 13% of teens have made a purchase influenced by text marketing," the whitepaper notes.

That last point is interesting because, when asked their preference for general communications, teens gave text messaging a high score. That love, however, doesn't translate to marketing messages. "In terms of absolute preferences, [teens] are similar to other consumers in that they prefer traditional direct marketing channels ... for marketing communications," ExactTarget concludes.

The Po!nt: Put pen to paper. Try adding a direct-mail component to your next outreach to teens. You may see a boost in ROI.

Source: ExactTarget. Download the whitepaper here.

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