The annual buying power of millennials is rapidly rising each year, predicted to reach $200 billion in 2017. Who are your millennial customers and how can you optimize your email-marketing campaigns to better reach, engage, and convert this consumer group?
Know Your Millennial Customers
Millennials are now the most populous generation in the United States, according to estimates released in 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Defined by Pew Research Center as people who were between 18 and 34 years of age in 2015, millennials now number 75.4 million, exceeding the 74.9 million baby boomers (ages 51 through 69 years). Poised to move into their prime spending years, millennials are the first generation of “digital natives” (as described by Goldman Sachs), and their use of technology has a significant impact on how they shop. They have all kinds of product information, customer reviews, and price comparisons at their fingertips.
Is Email Marketing Effective for Millennials?
Some brands question whether email is an effective way to market to their millennial customers. Sure, this group tends to turn to texting and social media networks (e.g., Snapchat) to communicate with their friends. But when it comes to engaging with brands, email is actually millennials’ preferred channel. For example, millennials chose email as their preferred channel to connect with brands, according to recent surveys by both Adobe (58%) and Adestra, (75%).
Here are some additional stats and studies that explain who millennials are and how email influences their shopping behavior today:
- There are more than 80 million millennials, representing about 25% of the entire U.S. population.
- Spending by millennials is projected to hit $1.4 trillion annually in the United States by 2020 and represents about 30% of total retail sales.
- Millennial respondents to an Adobe survey reported using email, on average, six hours each day. And compared to other age groups, millennials are most likely to check their email from bed. Plus, more than half of the millennials surveyed admitted to checking email in the bathroom.
- 88% of millennials use a smartphone to check their email.
- 90% of millennials surveyed check personal email from work and work email from home.
- More than one-third of millennials surveyed want to receive fewer repetitive emails from brands with which they have relationships.
- 50% of millennials are more likely to purchase from a company if the purchase supports a cause.
- 80% of millennials want brands to entertain them.
- 70% of millennials feel a responsibility to provide feedback to companies after a good or bad experience.
Tips for Optimizing Your Email Marketing for Millennials
- Create personalized and targeted email promotions with discounts in return for demonstrated brand loyalty. A survey by Accenture found that about 95% of millennials want brands to “court them actively” and that coupons sent via email have a big influence on their shopping behavior. Loyalty programs, for example, are one way to effectively use email to “court” your millennial customers. By increasing the value and relevance of your email messages, you’ll keep them engaged and clicking.
- Optimize for mobile using responsive email design. Millennials are looking for an “integrated, seamless retail experience, regardless of the channel,” according to this survey by Accenture. And because so many millennials use smartphones to check their emails, optimizing the experience to ensure that email messages are easy to read and engage with is a must.
- Test to determine the best day of the week and time of day to send your emails. More than any other age group, millennials are checking their emails whenever and wherever they feel like it. But is there an optimal day or time that works best for your particular target audience? Experiment with different days and send times to answer that question.
- Optimize for email frequency and cadence. As the Adobe survey revealed, more than one-third of millennials want to receive fewer emails from e-commerce retailers. That’s why it’s so important to test both the frequency and cadence of your email campaigns to get the best performance results and maximize return on investment.
- Incorporate social media into your email marketing. As a group, millennials are especially social-media savvy. So, help grow your brand’s reach by making it extremely easy for subscribers to share information in your email campaigns with their followers and friends through their social media accounts.
- Test to see if adding emojis and hashtags to your email subject lines will have a positive impact on your engagement metrics. Because millennials regularly use emojis and hashtags in social media, will using them in your email marketing translate into more opens and clicks? Maybe. But testing is the only way to ensure that they will work on your target audience.
- Provide plenty of opt-in preference choices. To cater to your millennial subscribers, be sure to give them a say in what type of email content they’re sent, as well as the frequency and timing of the email messages. This is a proactive way to keep millennial customers engaged and less inclined to unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam.
Looking to make your email marketing more personal and relevant for all of your prospects and customers, including millennials? FulcrumTech can help. Contact us today!