Are Brands Sending Too Many Marketed Messages to Teenagers?

by Victor Green
3 mins read

It’s no big secret that the more youthful segments within your target audience are a vital piece to your brand’s overarching plan for sustainability. In fact, there’s a very strong case to be made that positions these consumers as the future of your business operations.Unfortunately, realizing the importance of taking advantage of this “golden opportunity” and connecting with these viewers early and often leads to a less than favorable response for far too many brands. To ensure that your business isn’t counted among this group, let’s spend a few minutes talking about what’s going on in the inbox with teenagers, as well as how best to protect and grow the sensitive bond your organization shares with this portion of its audience.

Understanding the Current Teen-Oriented Marketing Environment

In terms of the current relationship between email marketing and the more youthful demographics within the digital world, Internet Retailer’s Zak Stambor points out that plenty of promise exists within the connection. Specifically, Stambor notes that a recent consumer survey conducted by marketing technology vendor Adestra Ltd. found that 68 percent of teenagers prefer email marketing content to other forms of branded outreach.With such a strong stat leading the discussion, you’re probably wondering how the question covering email marketing oversaturation within this group found its way into the conversation in the first place. After all, if teenagers love marketed messages in the inbox, why not give them more of what they want?The problem here is that the aforementioned preference statistic isn’t the only insight uncovered by Adestra Ltd.’s study. As Stambor goes on to note, 60 percent of these young respondents also stated that they receive too many promotional emails. Another 32 percent of this unsatisfied segment suggested that they would like it if marketers and brands alike would stop sending excessive email marketing offerings.

What’s the Cause of This Email Marketing Oversaturation?

Now that you understand the double-edged sword that is marketing to teenagers in the inbox, it’s time to uncover why this problem is currently developing into a major issue for brands from a variety of different industries. The answer to this quandary arises from two unique realities facing inbox operations:

  1. Teenagers are constantly checking their email throughout the day (73 percent admit to regular “inbox triaging” or scanning messages), thereby making this audience segment highly sensitive to oversaturation and over-the-top brand exposure.
  2. The marketing world is no stranger to succumbing to the temptation of leveraging a tactic or practice ad nauseam if it shows signs of sustainable success and growth.

In other words, email marketing is undoubtedly one of the most powerful methods of connecting with an audience, but there is a point of diminishing returns – and even outright negative responses – that many players in the inbox blast right past in their quest for increased interaction and bolstered conversion rates.

Making Sure Your Brand Doesn’t Turn off Its More Youthful Audience

So what’s the best way to avoid backlash from your teenage following and keep the good times rolling with your email marketing contact list? According to Graham Charlton of ClickZ, the best way to win on both of these fronts is by rethinking your message frequency.The big thing to understand here is that there is no “perfect frequency” when it comes to your email marketing operations. It simply doesn’t exist for your brand or any other organization that connects with youthful audience members in the inbox.A better way to approach this problem is by considering the preferences of your audience and gauging their response to your current operations. By soliciting this kind of feedback, you’ll be able to hone in on the right timing for your periodic messages, while also lowering the amount of upset contact list members that end up opting out of this inbox-based community.Going a step farther, if you find that your regular messages are too frequent for this segment of your following, reducing the number of scheduled emails significantly can open up new – and more engaging – opportunities. Replacing this deluge of standard selections with flash sales, triggered content, and other “spur of the moment” offerings (in moderation, of course) provides a high amount of appeal to teenagers and young adults that enjoy living in the moment.The truth of the matter is that figuring out what works for this portion of your email marketing following requires a significant amount of work and research on your end of the equation. However, with everything you’ve learned here leading the way, there’s no reason why your brand can’t take this insight and forge a more engaging – and lasting – connection with arguably the most important segment of its inbox audience.

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