Marketing to Millennials: Do They Read Emails?

by Victor Green
3 mins read

Targeting millennials is the newest marketing buzz, and for a good reason. Millennials are now the largest demographic segment and their annual buying power is poised to hit $200 billion in 2017. It is therefore no surprise that brands are falling over themselves trying to figure out to best way to appeal to this segment. At the moment, a fierce debate among marketers has sprung up on whether email is an effective medium for reaching this prized demographic. Let’s discuss it in depth.Key figures in the tech industry such as Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have declared email as dead. Such statements have unnerved marketers, making them start doubting it. However, this is just noise and unnecessary distraction, a study by Adobe that was published on Harvard Business Review shows. While instant messaging platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook or WhatsApp have recorded incredible growth, email will still stay relevant. Millennials check their email more than other demographic groups, including Baby Boomers, with almost 98% of them saying they check it every few hours while at work. 87% of these Millennials opened their work email outside of work.Emails don’t just click for Millennials only; it is also the channel that offers direct marketers the highest ROI, which is $39 per dollar spent.Here are a few tips you should consider when developing an effective email marketing campaign that targets Millennials.

Keep in Mind the Timing

If you have email analytics software, you should pay strict attention to the time of the day and the day of the week when the emails sent to potential consumers are clicked and opened. The HBR report noted that most Millennials (45.2%) are more likely to check their emails while in bed. In light of this, structure your email campaign to have emails sent early in the morning and late in the evening. The content should be relevant to that time of the day.

Mobile is the In-thing

Compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials prefer checking their email on smartphones rather than computers. 88% of Millennials surveyed report that they use their smartphones to check their email. So adjust your sails with the wind and go mobile to suit the preferences of the Millennials.

Visual is Still King

Millennials are drawn to visual forms of expression, popularly known as emojis. Instead of emailing them with a list of questions asking for written feedback, put emojis that indicate a smile and a frown or angry expression. You might be surprised to find that a third of Millennials have no problem communicating with their superiors using emojis. Millennials want things fast, and they don’t want their time wasted. So start visualizing how to incorporate images in your email campaigns.

Keep it to the Minimum

39% of the Millennials surveyed prefer fewer, but more on-point emails, and 32% insisted on fewer repetitive messages.

Give them a Glimpse of What to Expect

A study by Adestra on email marketing that involved 1,200 Millennial respondents, not only confirmed that young adults still preferred email, but also that some do give fake email addresses when a website asks them for one. 73% of the Millennials and 68% of the teens surveyed said they favored email for receiving communication from a brand. 43% of the consumers surveyed said they gave fake email addresses when a website asked them to provide their email before accessing content. It is therefore more effective to let consumers view content before they can sign up to receive email updates.It is obvious that email will remain a preferred marketing channel for the foreseeable future. Just keep it in mind that not all Millennials are the same and tailor your email campaigns accordingly.

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