Skip to main content

Mobile Apps


Millennials are about to move into their prime spending years

By Blog, Direct Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Millennials, Mobile Apps, Technology


One of the largest generations in history, millennials, is about to move into their prime spending years. How best can you get your products and services in front of the millennial generation?

When most people think of millennials they think digital. According to Forbes, it is not uncommon for millennials to use multiple tech devices. “87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis.” Perhaps this is why millennials are always pictured with a mobile device in their hand.

With an estimated $200 billion in annually spending and more than $10 trillion during their lifetimes, millennials are the “holy grail” of consumers.

Determining the Best Marketing Channel

There are a number of marketing channels that can be used to reach customers. Online video, social media, and email are channels that seem best suited for an “online” digital generation. But traditional marketing channels should not be ignored. In fact, research show that millennials react better to traditional forms of marketing, like direct mail, than to online electronic marketing.

A 2016 USPS Marketing White Paper reported that:

  • 84% of Millennials take the time to look through their mail
  • 64% would rather scan for useful info in the mail than email
  • 77% of Millennials pay attention to direct mail advertising
  • 90% of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable

And when it comes to marketing and purchases:

  • 82% read direct mail they receive from retail brands
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers

The chart below demonstrates that despite their digital appearance, millennials read, open and interact with direct mail.

The Top 200 Direct Mail Service Providers

Direct mail gets your message in the door and into the consumer’s hand, where it can be seen, read, and felt and generate a response! That’s why a big part of what we do is focused on direct marketing. In fact, it’s so big we’ve just been named to the Bell & Howell Top 200 Direct Mail Service Providers list for 2017.

The reason direct mail works for millennials, and all other generations, is simple. As Nabeel Jaitapker, Senior Communications and Marketing Manager, Content Development and Demand Generation at Bell and Howell stated, “Direct mail marketing is getting more personal, more real, and more effective thanks to affordable high-quality digital printing and technologies that simplify integration into a multi-channel campaign.”

The USPS White Paper highlights some of the new technologies that can engage millennials with direct mail. They include:

  1. Incorporate multimedia and digital: Embed QR Code® barcodes, near field communication, or augmented reality to link your mailer to video and interactive materials on your website or social media sites.
  2. Keep your messaging succinct and easy to read. Provide bite-size pieces of information.
  3. Be authentic. Millennials distrust traditional advertising, so avoid hard-sell language. Use a straightforward, transparent approach.
  4. Use enhancements such as scent, sound, or texture to make your piece stand out.
  5. Help them feel good about their purchase. Millennials are compassionate and want to improve their world. Campaigns that donate a percentage of profits to a worthy cause or in some other way demonstrate corporate responsibility can resonate—if they’re seen as authentic.
  6. Use slang with caution, even if you are a Millennial. You risk turning your audience.

When you’re looking to engage millennials, or any other generation, you need a variety of proven marketing channels. A direct marketing campaign that includes mail, video, email and social media, is sure to accomplish your goal.

Is Your UX Driving Your Mobile Users Crazy?

By Blog, Financial Marketing, Mobile Apps, User Experience

Mobile UX CrazyThere’s a lot of mobile user angst out there with mobile apps. If you don’t know definitively that you are NOT driving your mobile users crazy with the user experience (UX) on yours, you probably are.

Being a mobile pain is nothing to beat yourself up about. The mobile landscape is constantly changing as are the needs of its users. However, here are seven tips to keep your mobile users pleased and coming back for more.

  1. Less is always more. The point of a mobile app is for a laser-fine, focused purpose. Your mobile app should be about a single tasks or benefit. It’s not supposed to communicate everything about your company (in fact, if it’s about you, then by definition it’s not about your user). Remember, your app should provide a service. If you can’t say in one sentence what your app does, it should probably be a mobile site instead.
  1. It’s OK to be old. Ever have a smartphone that gets a little long in the tooth way before its time? Too often this is done by developers creating for the cutting- edge phones. Users who have a phone that’s a generation or (gasp) two generations old, end up using apps that their hardware isn’t built to run. It’s OK to be current, but not at the cost of alienating a large percentage of your users. So, be leading edge without being bleeding edge and more people will enjoy what you have to offer.
  1. Be tutorial-free. Say what you want about Apple and the iPhone — and many hardcore mobile critics have — but every device they create is painfully intuitive. Ask someone if they read the user’s manual for their iPhone and they’ll give you that blank, confused look toddlers give you when you play “I’ve got your nose.” You don’t need a user’s manual because the user interface is that simple. Make that simplicity the goal for your user experience. If you think you’ll need a tutorial to guide your users through your mobile offering, you’ve got a problem.
  1. Be welcoming. Requiring user to log on using their Facebook account is cumbersome, obtrusive, and inhospitable. Not to mention there is a growing amount of users who have dropped their Facebook account. There are younger users who have never created one; they live on Instagram or Twitter (Yes, you are now allowed to feel very old).
  1. Is this really necessary? Before you create a native app, ask this vital question. Why are you creating this app? If it’s any version of, “We need to stay current to the mobile trends,” run, don’t walk, away from the project. Creating a web app for the sake of having one can do more harm than good. Native apps are very popular, but they are also very expensive. Look at your goals. If they are achievable with a mobile site, do that instead.
  1. Desktop experts aren’t mobile experts. Building an interface for touches and swipes is dramatically different from building for clicks. It’s like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it. Don’t make the common mistake of transferring your desktop UX to mobile. You’ll have users scratching their heads and dropping your app faster than you can keep track.
  1. Make it quick. Users download apps for speed. They expect your app to work as fast or faster than your mobile website. This audience wants to get things done quickly. They’re in line at the grocery store or waiting for the elevator. Every second is vital. That need for speed means your app should be responsive. Make them wait too long and they will disengage, forget they have the app on their phone and never come back.

The long track to mobile success is also twisty and narrow. Give it your time, discipline and patience to get it right. When you surprise and delight your user, they will let you into their mobile world, and you will become a vital part of their lives. And that makes all the time, discipline and patience worth it — and then some.