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Understanding Email Marketing for Millennials

A common misconception is that email marketing is dead, or close to it, among millennial consumers. At a time when brands rely so heavily on communicating through social media channels, it’s not difficult to see where that fallacy comes from. However, when done correctly, email marketing is still a highly effective marketing tool for reaching millennials and delivering results.

Here is the key: email marketing to millennials follows a completely different set of rules than it does with those of Generation X and Baby Boomers. Brands targeting millennials must be openminded about overhauling their tried-and-tested strategies for something specifically crafted to the fast-paced generation.

With millennials becoming the largest portion of the consumer and workforce cohort, the following five rules can help brands reach them efficiently and effectively:

Millennials seek exclusivity

The millennial generation grew up with access to the internet and smart devices, thus creating a super group of savvy researchers and information seekers. But with access to so much information, how do brands stand out as millennials are inundated all day, every day? To stand out in a crowded inbox, brands must provide consumers with value they can’t get elsewhere, including tips, tricks, tools, discounts and more. Be loud and clear about the value your brand can add to a consumer’s life and they will continue choosing you over your competitors.

Millennials are mobile

The power of the smartphone is undeniable. With millennials looking at mobile devices so frequently throughout the day, email marketers should strive to meet them there through campaigns fully-optimized for mobile. Beyond ensuring your code translates on both desktop and mobile devices, consider how well your email can be digested on a small, handheld screen. Create emails that can be consumed quickly, that aren’t slowed down by bulky content files, and has an identifiable call to action that can be acted upon from wherever the subscriber is in that moment.

Millennials are rarely unplugged

The avalanche of daily marketing content is intimidating both to consumers and marketers themselves. Thankfully, millennials habits make this content overload a little less daunting because they open and check email constantly. While Generation Z and Baby Boomers are still most likely to check emails during traditional business hours, millennials are generally connected throughout the entire day, including early morning and late night. Email marketers should take advantage of this constant connection and capitalize on the instances where millennials are checking their phones, such as morning commutes, lunch breaks, and right before bedtime.

Millennials prefer individualism

Snail mail, face-to-face interaction, even the housing market–these are all things that millennials have been blamed for destroying. Whether it’s true or not, millennials are on the hook for killing one thing: impersonal email. Technological developments have made it easier than ever to send personalized communication, and millennials don’t want it any other way. Invest in the technology you need to send customized emails that read like they are written and designed for your recipient.

Millennials crave visuals

Visual content has overtaken all social media channels, and not just Instagram. Look at your Facebook or Twitter timelines and you will see more photos, videos, and GIFs than you do hefty blocks of text. Visual content is often easier to digest than text, and in a world of information overload, a funny meme or colorful photo can help brands standout. To better appeal to millennials, email marketers should look for ways that visual content can express their ideas and communicate a call to action.

In summary, the first step in marketing to millennials is to understand their habits, behaviors, and preferences. The second is to reassure yourself they are still engaged with their inbox, and that your email campaigns can be just as successful (if not more) than those you send to older generations. Integrate these rules for marketing to millennials and your brand will see the results it needs!