Marketing to Gen Z with Print: Key Insights & Tips


Gen Z—or “Zoomers”—are comprised of people born after 1996. While plenty of Gen Z folks are still in high school or college, a significant portion of this generation have been in the workforce for several years. As the oldest of Zoomers are approaching their late 20s more data is coming in about consumer activity, worldview, and lifestyle and how this information relates to marketing to Gen Z. While there is still a lot to be learned about this upcoming generation, there does exist data to help marketers develop messaging that resonates with Zoomers.  

What we Know About Gen Z (So Far) 

Unlike Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers, Gen Z has lived their lives entirely in the Digital Age. The oldest of Zoomers have very limited memories of a time before continuous Internet access and smartphones. Marketers have coined the term “Digital Natives” to illustrate this fact.  

Prior to COVID-19, Gen Z was on track to inherit a more robust economy than their millennial predecessors. They are also on track to becoming the most educated generation in our nation’s history. Unfortunately, a global pandemic has caused serious concerns about the state of Gen Z’s future. Living through the pandemic on the cusp of adulthood has rooted anxiety and uncertainty among the Zoomer general consciousness as many Gen Zers were directly affected by job loss and economic instability in the wake of COVID-19.  

Despite economic challenges, younger people intend to pursue higher education and gravitate toward employment in IT, finance, and other white-collar professions. A significant portion of Gen Z were raised by parents with college education including graduate degrees. 

Zoomers are ethnically diverse and about 22% of Zoomers have at least one parent who was an immigrant. By 2025, roughly one-quarter of Gen Z will be immersed in the workforce and as of now, Zoomers account for $300 billion in purchasing power annually.  

 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z 

Some may believe that marketing to Gen Z is a solely digital initiative, but data suggests otherwise. While Gen Z is certainly attuned to digital messaging, they are far more receptive to print advertising than many think. Gen Z responds well to direct mail—particularly when mail is personalized and contains appealing messaging. Zoomers want to be acknowledged and treated with respect. Compared to previous generations, Gen Z typically isn’t as forgiving as other consumers. One bad experience will lead them to seeking out goods and services from your competitors. Earning Gen Z consumer loyalty boils down to providing excellent customer service, personalized messaging, socially responsible business practices, and superior products.  

Like Millennials, Gen Z craves authenticity and print advertising helps satisfy that need. Zoomers are acutely aware of their need to unplug from the digital world. Holding a tangible piece of mail is a great way to reach out to consumers at times when they are tired from tech. Even though this generation is comfortable with PCs, tablets, and smartphones, their preferred reading medium is print.  

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z with direct mail, consider the following strategies: 

  • Like millennials, Gen Z appreciates personalized messaging. 
  • Zoomers respond very favorably to testimonials and reviews. Younger folks trust the opinions and experiences of other consumers more than slick sales tactics.  
  • Add value with coupons, discounts, and BOGO offers. Gen Z is quite thrifty—likely because their formative years were influenced by the Great Recession.  
  • Promote a tactile experience through direct mail. As more people engage with the world in a digital way, our sense of touch is neglected more than other senses. Adding embellishments like raised varnishes and using high quality stock on direct mail helps nurture our need for touch.  

The pros at Pel Hughes can help you take your direct mail to the next level. In addition to full-service printing and graphic design, we provide access to campaign automation software, personalization tools, database services, and so much more. Give our helpful experts a call at (504) 486-8646 to request a quote.