First it was our tamagotchis, now it’s our cell phones. A recent Zogby Analtycs poll shows that millennial cell phone usage has reached the point where over 80 percent of 18-34 year olds are checking their phones first thing when they wake up. So what’s the best way to market to a generation who once found themselves glued to AOL Instant Messaging? Studies continue to show that yes, email marketing to millennials is still relevant, and they actually prefer to engage with brands through their inbox.
Email is an effective channel in targeting millennials because of how they choose to engage differently with brands than in personal relationships. While Snapchat, Instagram, and messaging seem to be where all the millennials are, this doesn’t mean they aren’t checking email. Instead, they tend to view social media as a channel for friends, and email as a professional channel and the best way to engage with brands they’re interested in. Millennials are the most brand loyal generation yet, and email provides a personal, relevant channel to receive real-time communications.
By 2018, millennials will have the most spending power of any generation. Couple that with the fact that millennials check email more than any other age group and it becomes obvious why targeted email marketing to this generation is so important. Perfect your email marketing to millennials by following this checklist of how to best reach this crucial age group:
- Break the norm. Use subject lines that get attention, and think beyond what marketers are doing to reach millennials. We get a little tired of the “hip” marketing with emojis and hashtags, but catchy subject lines .
- Include a subscription center link so they can opt into communications they want to receive and tell you what they specifically want to hear about. Everyone likes to be heard, let them tell you what’s relevant to them.
- Optimize content for mobile. As email becomes more widely used on mobile devices, responsive design become crucial to create a seamless user experience. Make sure linked websites, forms, and layouts all look good on various screen sizes.
- Include social sharing links and improve social media content in your emails. Give your audience an easy way to share your content with their network. Taking out a hurdle of creating the social media post and making it one click away increases the chance of engagement.
- Send when they’re most likely to open. Don’t be afraid to test out sending times when targeting millennials. They are more likely to check email outside of work hours and even in bed. Try sending early in the morning or later at night.
- Make it valuable. However, this doesn’t mean just making it shorter. Content needs to provide instant value and communicate directly to the recipient. If opening the email on a mobile device, the call to action should be apparent without much scrolling required. Include more than just images in the email- this is likely to get you flagged as spam by an email service provider. While appealing visuals are important, use copy to your advantage as well.
- Send personalized, relevant content. Personalization goes much further beyond adding a simple first name to an email. Explore what data you have and what you could collect to send email specific to the interests of your recipients. Millennials are more willing to provide data in a form, but provide something meaningful in return.
- Send only when there’s value. To a generation that grew up with caller ID as a popular feature, millennials are quick to mark content as spam if it isn’t relevant or is intrusive. Rather than spam, understand who your audience is and remember what they like. According to Adobe, 39% of millennials want to see fewer emails and 32% want to see fewer repetitive emails
Setting up marketing automation email campaigns to target a specific age group can be daunting. Check out our 5 Common Marketing Automation Misconceptions to help get you out the gate with a step in the right direction to start create some email marketing campaigns worthy of an Oscar.