Email marketing – you either love it or hate it, but everyone uses it. In fact, most companies utilize some form of email marketing, whether it is through newsletters, e-vites, coupons or weekly digital catalogues.
Lately, there has been a lot of talk around Millennials and their email habits. Some experts claim that Millennials are less likely to use email than other generations. Is email marketing totally lost on this generation?
A recent study found that Millennials use email just as much, if not more than other generations. The primary difference is that Millennials check email at multiple points throughout the day, whereas Baby Boomers and Gen Y’s are more likely to check email during standard work hours. Given the fact that 38% of Millennials work as freelancers and 80% sleep with their smartphone next to their bed, this generation is actually considered “power users” of email.
To be fair, I want to point out that the term ‘Millennial’ covers people born between 1981 and 2001. This is obviously a large gap, and there are significant differences between a 14 year old and a 34 year old. This makes it difficult to speak generally about Millennials and their email consumption habits since this group ranges over several life stages that may impact their usage.
Despite differences in opinion, email is an extremely powerful channel, and we need to strategically shift our messaging and practices in order to better connect with this generation. So what are the implications for email marketers, and what can we do to achieve better results? Here are 3 ideas:
Make sure it’s mobile friendly
You’ve heard it before – our world is going mobile. This is especially true when it comes to Millennials. Millennials are on their mobile devices more than any other group, so there’s a good chance they will view your email on a smartphone. Be sure that your email is mobile adaptive and displays correctly on a smaller screen. If you use email marketing software, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can test this feature beforehand. If your email is not mobile-friendly, it will be difficult to read and may frustrate your audience, resulting in an increase in unsubscribes.
Consider your timing – consistency breeds trust
This one is a bit tricky. There’s no definitive answer when it comes to what day or time to send your email. However, most people tend to prefer emails that are sent at consistent dates and times. This means you don’t necessarily need to send your email at the same time each day, but rather, choose a specific time frame to send your updates (such as every other Wednesday afternoon) and stick to it! Although the time of day doesn’t matter much to Millennials (since they check email throughout all points of the day), they do value senders that are consistent. They will know when to expect your email – and will actually take the time to read it. Consistent email marketing will breed trust, and potentially brand loyalty, down the road.
Personalize whenever possible
Remember, this is the generation that got trophies just for showing up. Make them feel special. Most email users love personalization features, and this is especially true for Millennials. Personalization makes your marketing approach feel more authentic and genuine. You can do this through tools that allow you to insert the receiver’s name, company, and other details into an email. Nobody wants to receive a cold, sales-y email. Providing relevant and valuable content will also help your email feel more genuine. Whenever possible, give receivers control and choice with customization features. Make it easy to opt in (and opt out) of your email list, and allow readers to customize any frequency or timing settings. Some contacts may want to receive one email a day, whereas another may want to receive one email a week. That’s a big difference. Giving your contacts control with these features will be greatly appreciated. This also holds true for Millennials of different ethnicities as well.
What do you think email marketing to Millennials? What other tips do you or your company use? Let us know what you think in the comment box below!