Millennials and Why Email is G.O.A.T.

If you need look up the definition of G.O.A.T. (“greatest of all time”), you may want to talk to the nearest teenager or twenty-something.

It’s really easy to stereotype people — even though we know we shouldn’t. The 2016 elections aside, this is especially dangerous for marketers. When we think that we know something about a group of customers and don’t test it, we can upset them into leaving immediate and lifetime value (AKA: money!) on the table.

Case in point: millennials, those consumers born between 1982 and 2004. Everybody knows they don’t want to buy cars or watch television. Want to connect with them? It’s only text or social media messaging.

One big challenge is that these are all myths. Thanks to the recent depression, millennials got a late start in buying automobiles. However, they’re making up for it now that the economy has improved. In fact, according to the Credit Karma Millennial Report, it turns out that 90 percent of millennials either own or want a car.

How about television? Well, even the youngest of them watch close to three hours of live TV, according to Nielsen. The oldest, the ones most likely to have kids? They watch three hours and 16 minutes of live television each day.

Here’s another myth busting data point: millennials do indeed use email.

Email Happy

In Adestra’s 2016 Consumer Adoption and Usage Study, millennials were broken up into two groups: teens moving into adulthood (ages 14 to18) and young adults (ages 19 to 34). Both groups said they had email addresses because “email is a part of life.”

It’s true that millennials love to text and they will sign up for text messages from brands, preferring them from national retailers/restaurants (33 percent each) and local retailers (32 percent). But across the age span, email is their preferred communication channel when it comes to businesses.

Forty seven percent of teens and 38 percent of older millennials will sign up for email from brands that they love.

Not Your Father’s Email

In the age of digital transformation and holistic customer experiences, you can’t simply fold millennials into your regular email campaigns. You should take into account the differences in the way they read email and their expectations from brands in general.

More than 50 percent of all email messages are read on mobile devices, so your email must be mobile-friendly. The research shows that 68 percent of millennials simply delete an email if it doesn’t render right; another quarter of them just unsubscribe.

Millennials are prone to “inbox triaging.” They’ll quickly scan their inboxes to decide what they’ll read now, read later, delete and ignore. Therefore, you have to work hard to make sure your emails don’t get summarily dumped. First, use best practices such as a clear and consistent identifier in the “from” line, so that people can identify your brand. Next, use the subject line to tell recipients what’s in the email and what they should do about it. Then, add pre-header text that provides even more information to inform the open decision.

Timing matters as well. You should consider and test the time of day you distribute your email messages. The Adestra survey found that 84 percent of all consumers check email randomly throughout the day. So, don’t assume that your email will be opened on a desktop between nine and five. You should test sending at different times to find the right one for your message and that individual customer.

Don’t Miss Out on Millennials

Millennials are now the largest generational cohort — and the oldest of them are moving into their prime earning years. It’s important to get this right — and to not fall into the trap of accepting myths at face value.

Another tidbit: you probably shouldn’t refer to these customers as “millennials.” According to Lindsey Pollack, an expert and spokesperson on this generation, they don’t like it. But, you should email them.

To see more insights about the way teens, millennials and older generations use email, check out the full 2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study.

This was originally posted on Digital Thirst here

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