Estimates show that in 2020 Millennials in the U.S. (defined as those born 1982 and approximately 20 years thereafter), will have about $1.4 trillion in annual buying power (Accenture). Of that group 85% owned smartphones (Nielson), and touched those devices approximately 45 times a day (SDL).
So regardless of your opinion on Millennial behavior, hard data proves the power and influence they wield. From the health of global economies to the headlines trending on Facebook, Millennials are driving the way the world thinks.
Most companies and organizations are dependent on Millennials for continued growth, and often rely on email marketing to tap into their purchasing power.
So why are these “plugged in” Millennials increasingly ignoring their mobile inboxes cluttered with thousands of unread emails? We asked young, working Millennials which basic email marketing strategies deter them from opening a message – and what makes the cut.
“I can’t stand gimmicky, sensationalist headlines. There is nothing ‘life-or-death’ about your 30% off sale.” Nate, 26
“With limited time between work, running errands, and nurturing a social life, I dedicate certain times for checking email – specifically early in the morning during my commute. If your email comes through anytime after 9AM, it’s cutting into my daily routine and will be missed.” Taylor, 22
“I’ll admit; my attention span is usually very short. There are so many distractions in my in-box. Eye-catching, entertaining, funny graphics often are the difference in me entertaining an email or quickly deleting it.” Jackie, 24
“I don’t like when companies think Millennials just ‘tweet’ and ‘Instagram’ all day and only try to appeal to that. I do like when companies, and their emails, treat me like a new adult and offer advice, guidance, and/or support.” – Julia, 25
“Numbers in the subject line are enticing, especially when it comes to me saving money.” – Jack, 21
“While I appreciate older brands trying to connect with a younger audience, stick to your brand… I don’t enjoy seeing emails marketed towards professionals making borderline inappropriate references to weekend pop culture.” – Arun, 23
“I know which websites send easy-to-read emails. If your messages are constantly prompting me to go to through multiple web links to get to the content I want, I will immediately unsubscribe.” Valeria, 22
“I dislike subject lines that address me by name – like the ones you get from political candidates or non-profits. [Millennials] understand those emails aren’t personally crafted for us, so in a sense, it feels that the relationship between audience and organization is a hoax.” Nick, 24
“Not only do subject line’s with ‘emojis’ feel a little desperate for Millennial attention, they often don’t work across all platforms.” Madison, 25
“If I can’t tell what you want from me by your subject line, I’ll delete it. I barely have enough time to read your email, let alone buy the product.” – Andrew, 21
Outspoken and opinionated, Millennials often let personal preferences guide the content they view. However, marketers must be versatile in their approach to appealing to this generation, as there is no singular tried-and-true method that gets the job done.
Your best bets remain:
• Get your emails into their inbox before 9:00 AM
• Create headlines that quickly and effectively convey your message
• Use “entertaining graphics” early in your email
• Address Millennials like the mature, young adults they are
• Avoid gimmicky headlines
• Stick to your brand regardless of your impulses to “sound hip or cool”
• Keep your message simple with easy access to your call to action
• Be very careful and judicious with your personalization
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