Want To Reach Millennials? Use Email Marketing

Want To Reach Millennials? Try Email Marketing
Photo source: Maxburst

You may think email marketing is about as relevant to millennials as MC Hammer and answering machines. But it’s actually their preferred method of brand communications, according to a study by Principal Financial Group.

That’s good news for marketers. Email is easy to customize and integrate into other marketing tactics. And it’s more effective for keeping in touch with millennials. Yes, even more effective than social media.

The average impression rate for emails is 22% vs. 8% for a tweet or 2.6% for an organic Facebook post. Plus, email allows you to send more personalized, relevant content.

However, email marketing is only as effective as your strategy behind it. If you try to cram too much into it, fail to segment your list or use vague subject lines, you’re not going to get the best results.

Here’s how to create marketing emails people will click on.

While these tips pertain to all audiences, they’re especially important for reaching millennials, or the ME generation.

Think mobile.

Not only do 9 in 10 millennials use email on their mobile phone, they also make more purchases directly from mobile marketing emails than any other generation, according to a national survey by Campaigner.

Want To Reach Millennials? Try Email Marketing

Etsy, the world’s most vibrant e-commerce site for handmade, vintage and creative goods, knows how to design attractive mobile-friendly emails.

Want To Reach Millennials? Try Email Marketing

Get personal.

Brands that can deliver personalization and make their consumers feel special can reap untold benefits. Make your consumers feel like you know them and you care about their preferences.

E-commerce giant Amazon seems to have written the book on this. Check out how they include my name in the email subject line. Not surprisingly, click-through-rates are higher when you use the first name of the recipient in the subject line.

Want To Reach Millennials? Try Email Marketing

But personalization goes way beyond greeting your consumers by name. It also means sending them information based on their preferences and interests. Flipboard, a social news magazine, regularly sends me emails with links to articles based on my preferences.

Want To Reach Millennials? Try Email Marketing

Don’t worry if you lack a super sophisticated CRM. You can segment your lists by preference through your subscription form. For instance, the subscription form for Akron Children’s parent e-newsletter allows us to segment content by the age of the child as well as special interests, such as allergies and asthma or emotions and behavior.

Tickle their curiosity.

Breaking through the clutter of marketing messages can be tougher than breaking into Yankee stadium. Just yesterday, I received 69 marketing messages to my personal email address.

This doesn’t include the personal emails between friends and family or my inundated inbox at work. It also doesn’t include the myriad messages I’m exposed to online.

BuzzFeed has a knack for tickling your curiosity with short and punchy copy. I mean, who could resist clicking on these stories?

Thrillist is also masterful at creating killer, thought-provoking content. And it all starts with the subject line. Without a compelling subject line, it doesn’t matter how awesome your email marketing is no one will see it.


Keep it simple.

And by simple, I mean minimal design and copy. Make it easy to scan and digest. Also, write naturally. It should feel like you’re reading an email from a good friend. A witty and pithy friend.

You should also stick to a single compelling call to action. Too often companies include competing CTAs.

6 thoughts on “Want To Reach Millennials? Use Email Marketing

  1. Though I am a fan of my phone, and use e-mail through its use, making purchases is not up my alley. Mobile marketing, however, is the way of the future it seems. I do, however, like getting marketing e-mails. If I continuously get one from the same brand or company constantly, I am more likely to disregard anything they have to say or send. I will say this, as you mentioned, keeping it simple is definitely the way to go when marketing this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea,

    Great post and insights. Email marketing can be tricky for those companies that have not mastered the art or that email far too often. I end up blocking companies and unsubscribing to those that send too many messages during short spans of time. If I receive more than one a every few days or during a weeks time, it generally turns me off…more messages do not cut through clutter, they create the clutter.

    I agree with your post that an interesting, quippy subject line can cut through the inbox clutter and I see this as much more effective than sending daily emails.

    Do you think it is necessary for businesses to send as many emails as they do today or are they practicing overkill?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Bridget. I think some companies overdo it with email marketing. Typically those are the companies that don’t personalize their content and haven’t mobilized their email marketing messages. I tend to unsubscribe to the companies that annoy me with too much email. However, when it comes to retailers, I’m always reluctant to unsubscribe for fear of missing out on a great deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea, how do you feel about clickbait titles? Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark and former Facebook director of marketing development thinks marketers need to watch out for overdoing it. She said, “I think traditional media companies need to be really careful that they don’t sell into the bad habits I’ve started seeing around a race to get things up fastest and not being accurate, not fact-checking, not having high quality with their journalism. You see a lot of traditional media companies that are trending now towards sensationalist headlines and things that aren’t accurately fact-checked, or they’re silly clickbait stories.” You can read more about it here: http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/traditional-media-needs-to-be-wary-of-pigging-out-on-clickbait-says-randi-zuckerburg-20151111-gkwij4.html


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