September 22, 2020 (RISC-WP-20-009)
- Generation Z is familiar with the Postal Service and a majority both send and receive mail and packages.
To encourage Generation Z to engage with postal products and services as they transition to adulthood, the Postal Service could identify ways to educate and boost awareness of mail.
Generation Z (Gen Z), currently between 8 and 23 years old, is often branded as a digitally native generation. Because they are still relatively young, little is known about Gen Zers’ engagement with physical mail. More research is vital as older Gen Zers begin to enter college and the labor market, and the Postal Service will have increasing opportunities to educate and boost this generation’s awareness of mail as they become adults.
The OIG surveyed Gen Zers and found that, despite their Internet connectivity and access to technology, they are familiar with the Postal Service and a majority agreed the Postal Service is relevant to them. Gen Zers also reported being engaged with mail; the majority both send and receive greeting cards, letters, and packages. As well, nearly half said they share the responsibility of checking and sorting mail with their parents.
While in-person communication is prized and digital channels are preferred for their immediacy, the OIG also learned that Gen Zers do recognize mail as a way to convey emotional connection. In fact, most said that receiving cards, letters, and packages makes them feel happy — and this was a larger percentage those who were happy receiving video calls, emails, or texts. Mail continues to resonate with this generation, and the OIG’s research provides strategies for fostering Gen Z’s positive engagement with mail.