Marketing to Gen X Checklist: 6 High-Converting Tactics

Are you ready to tap into the formidable consumer force that is Generation X? Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen Xers are a blend of old-school charm and new-age tech savvy. They’re entering the pinnacle of their careers, boasting significant disposable income1, and have a penchant for engaging with direct mail like no other generation.

But here’s the kicker: to effectively target this demographic, you need to understand their unique preferences and values.

In this article, we delve into the world of marketing to Gen X and equip you with six features of high-converting Gen X marketing, from emphasizing value and coordinating digital efforts to creating personalized content and building trust. Keep reading to discover the keys to unlocking Gen X’s buying power and building lasting relationships based on trust and value.

How Gen Xers React to Direct Mail

Generation X is a fertile ground for direct mail marketing. Let’s look at some market research and other data that reveals how Gen X reacts to direct mail, their desire for value, and their appreciation for personalization.

Gen X Enjoys the Experience

When it comes to marketing to Gen X, think beyond getting them to read the message; it’s about connecting. The experience of holding a piece of mail creates an engagement that’s both meaningful and trustworthy. Physical mail feels sincere, and can elicit a sense of credibility and authenticity, making Gen X more likely to respond. In fact, according to SG360°’s Future of Direct Mail 2023, this generation is more likely to purchase a product as a result of receiving direct mail than any other generation.

Gen X Looks for Value

Top 20 Retail Purchase Categories Gen X is more likely to purchase
Generation Xers are more likely than other age groups to make a purchase in many retail categories.
Click table to enlarge.
Source: SG360 Data Stack, 10/2023
Gen X spending power was higher than any other generation in almost every category in 2022. They have higher incomes than any other generation, but they also have more debt.

This age group worries about finances2, and with good reason. They’ve lived through several recessions, the burst of the dot com bubble, a housing collapse and the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic. Many Gen Xers have their wallets drained from both ends while they simultaneously care for their children and their parents. They’re also skeptical that Social Security will still be around when they retire and they worry that their savings won’t last through their lifetime.

Perhaps this is why Gen Xers take advantage of direct mail discounts and special offers at a higher rate than any other generation.3 Additionally, the buying shifts the majority of this group made during the pandemic seem to have carried through post-pandemic.4 Historically known for their brand loyalty, 86% say they would try a new brand if they were offered a discount.

Gen X Appreciates Personalization

Just as with any other generation, Gen X appreciates when brands recognize them as individuals. 56% of Gen Xers say information that is relevant to them personally is what would make direct mail more attractive to them.5 Mail that is tailored to their specific interests, experiences, or needs is more likely to make an impact. 71% of Gen Xers feel mail is more personal than online digital communications.

71% of Gen Xers say direct mail feels more personal than digital communications.

Tailored direct mail that resonates with a Gen Xer’s personal experiences and interests garners more than just attention; it earns approval. More than 66% of Gen X say they’re likely to have a positive impression of a company that sends out relevant marketing mail.

Marketing to Gen X Checklist for High Conversion

#1: Emphasize value and reliability

This generation is known for their practicality and skepticism, so emphasizing the value, reliability, and durability of your offerings is crucial when marketing to Gen X. While 71% of Gen Xers say they like direct mail because it usually includes a good deal6, value doesn’t necessarily require discounts. Show them why your offerings are worth their investment, and back it up with real-life testimonials from satisfied customers. And, since Gen X also values convenience7, consider a direct mail retargeting campaign highlighting items the prospect left in their online shopping cart, making it convenient for them to complete their purchase. While you’re at it, why not explain the requirements for earning free shipping since 77% of Gen Xers expect it.

#2: Coordinate Digital Execution and Direct Mail Drops

>62% of Gen Xers visited a brand website after receiving direct mail.90% of Gen X uses social media, and 86% of those users spend more than 3 hours each day on social channels.8 Over 62% of Gen X say they have visited a brand’s website and 44% say they have conducted online research about the product or service after receiving direct mail.Direct mail campaigns that incorporate social ads, and include QR codes or simple URLs to allow recipients to merge their offline experience with online interaction, can be especially effective with Gen X. Create a strong online presence and drive direct mail recipients there for additional information and to research products and services. Coordinate your direct mail drops with targeted ads on platforms like Facebook to reach this demographic.


#3: Personalize Experiences

Gen X shopping habits have them converting to a purchase as a result of a mail piece at a higher rate than average. And we know that relevant direct mail converts at a higher rate than less targeted and personalized mail.10

Generation X especially appreciates personalized experiences11, so be sure you understand your audience down to their individual characteristics and behaviors, so you can offer targeted promotions and messaging on a 1:1 basis. With comprehensive data, you can create highly personalized marketing campaigns to make this group feel valued and appreciated. For instance, SG360°’s data warehouse contains 5,000 data elements on 99.9% of U.S. adults. This data, combined with your own customer information and synthesized by our data scientists, is a powerful tool to develop extremely detailed customer personas for 1:1 experiences for each Gen X prospect.

#4: Include Other Traditional Methods

While integrating direct mail with digital is important, traditional marketing methods like television, catalogs and booklets, can be effective when marketing to Gen X. With approximately 77% of Gen Xers viewing connected television (CTV)12, consider including this modern version of traditional marketing in your mix. CTV allows advertisers to offer personalized ad experiences that you can easily coordinate with your direct mail campaign.

#5: Create Engaging Content

A potent practice for creating engaging content is to have your data team and your creative team collaborate on creative prep, and creative review throughout the process. This ensures valuable audience insights are informing your ideation and campaign strategy.

A specific engagement tactic for marketing to Gen X is to create a brief questionnaire where your prospect’s answers are inputs into specific offering recommendations that are a fit for them. Almost all industries can benefit from this way of presenting personalized offering recommendations. Because Gen Xers like relevancy and personalization so much, this is a win-win. Collect their email address (or mobile number) in exchange for the recommendations, and they get a personalized account that contains their recommendations.

You can start simple… an example for retail is to ask their favorite color and highlight products that match or coordinate. Then take it up a notch by uncovering relevant upsells and cross-sells with questions about product usage, desired features, and customer pain points. A miss for many brands is that they use this tactic to acquire the customer, but not to add ongoing value to retain them. Like with clothing or home décor products, a consumer’s financial and insurance needs and opportunities evolve with time, so keep in front of them with this engaging value-add.

#6: Build Trust

Gen Xers value trustworthiness and are more likely to purchase from a brand they trust. However, since this generation is known for their skepticism, building trust will require your focused effort. Try using customer testimonials or peer-group influencers to demonstrate the reliability of your products or services. Transparent pricing, clear product information, and honest, dependable customer service also goes a long way in building trust with this demographic. While it might take some time with this cynical group, your effort will pay off. Generation X is the most brand-loyal of all generations and will pay more for brands they trust.13  Once you win them over, they are reluctant to try new brands, and their loyalty goes a long way.14

Don’t miss out on the chance to capture the loyalty of this influential generation. By understanding their values and needs, you can tailor your marketing approach and tap into the potential of this lucrative market. And remember, the key to success is building a relationship based on trust and delivering value to your customers!



  1. Statista Research Department, & 19, S. (2023b, September 19). Mean disposable household income by generation U.S. 2022. Statista.
  2. Shandwick, W. (n.d.). Leveraging the Gen X Retirement Market: New York City; Weber Shandwick.
  3. SG360°. (2023, April). The Future of Direct Mail 2023.
  4. Attracting Gen X Ecommerce Buyers With Online Bargain Shopping. Featured Content. (2022, October 13).
  5. SG360°. (2023, April). The Future of Direct Mail 2023.
  6. ibid
  7. Barth, B. (2023, July 5). How to Serve Consumers of All Generations. Franklin Madison.
  8. Iskiev, M. (2022, July 28). How Each Generation Shops in 2023 [New Data from Our State of Consumer Trends Report]. HubSpot Blog.
  9. SG360°. (2023, April). The Future of Direct Mail 2023.
  10. ibid
  11. Yahoo! (n.d.). Gen Xers Get Skipped Again And Yep, That’s Exactly What They Expected Anyway. Yahoo! News.
  12. Insider Intelligence. (2021, September 1). US Connected TV (CTV) Users, by Generation, 2020-2025 (millions). Insider Intelligence.
  13. How do different generations feel about brand loyalty?. Streng Agency. (n.d.).
  14. Brand loyalty highest in Gen X consumers: eMarketer. Retail Dive. (n.d.).


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