5 Strategies for Effectively Reaching Millennials with Your Email Marketing

March 7, 2015

While the millennial generation embraces all things digital, technology has also provided them with endless amounts of information. The good news for marketers is that this demographic – also known as Generation Y — still very much uses email throughout their daily lives. But it’s important to know that millennials view technology differently than other age groups, and understanding the way they approach email is key for ensuring outbound marketing success. Here are five strategies to keep in mind:



  1. Social Strength: According to a recent study by Pew Research, millennials’ use of email is essentially similar to that of Gen X and even Baby Boomers. Millennials, however, are more likely to tweet, update their online profile, or send a text message multiple times throughout the day. As such, it’s important to incorporate social media into your email marketing, such as by allowing subscribers to easily share a deal by posting it to their Facebook page or tweeting it out to their followers. If you can get just a few millennials to open and read your email, they are more likely than any other age group to share it on social networks and expand your brand’s outreach.


  1. Be Relevant: Millennials are more than willing to sign up for email campaigns – they are less concerned than older generations about spam or privacy. But since they have an endless supply of information available to them online, there has to be a compelling offer to induce them to share their email address or cell phone number to begin with. Early engagement campaigns can provide your newest subscribers with enticing deals or valuable information. If your emails are untimely or irrelevant, your special offers will be lost in an ocean of emails, status updates and tweets.


  1. Contact and Control: Ask your prospects their preferred form of contact (such as email or text), and use that information to correspond with them in the manner they desire. According to a study from Pace University, millennials welcome direct brand interactions through email, but want more ability to control, organize and manage the interactions. Encouraging millennials to interact with your brand across multiple platforms will allow you to collect data and better understand how to interact with this “always connected” generation.


  1. Mobile Matters: Millennials are more likely than all other age groups to have a cell phone: 94% have one and 88% of them use them to send and/or receive text. As such, you need to optimize your email for use on smartphones. Include links in your messaging only if the website has been optimized for mobile devices. Make it simple for users to subscribe to your mobile/email list using their phone.


  1. Conversation Counts: Sending generic content will provide little return to any target audience; particularly millennials. After all, they grew up with caller ID, and they’re extremely adept at recognizing and blocking spam. By segmenting your contacts into lists based on demographics, desires and behavior, you can more effectively target your emails to the right audience and experience greater returns as a result. The need for engaging and resourceful content has never been greater thanks to the buying behavior of millennials and their thirst for information. But they’re adverse to sales pitches. Rather than being sold to, they prefer doing the research on their own in order to make decisions. They value conversation. Think smart phone over megaphone.

Also, don’t forget that millennials have spent their entire lives blocking out unwanted marketing messages, which is why they seek out brands that provide the substance and engagement they’re looking for — and why earning their trust is essential.

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