Teens And Millennials Prefer Ecommerce on Email

According to Adestra, a provider of marketing technology software and services, announcing the results of a study to gauge consumer opinions and behavior about email, the most surprising thing revealed is that teens and Millennials use email a lot! When it comes to communicating with brands and organizations, email reigns supreme, says the report.

According to the study, nearly 68% of teens and 73% of Millennials said they prefer to receive communication from a business via email. In addition, more than half rely on email to buy things online. Not surprisingly, the same holds true for Gen X and Baby Boomers.

The study examined the generations at opposite ends of the demographic scale: teens moving into adulthood (ages 14-18 and 19-34, the most native of the Digital Natives,) and older users who are first-generation email users (ages 56-67). Email use spans generations. Even teens, who supposedly have spurned it for texting and Snapchatting: 74% recognize they need email in their everyday lives.

Combining Millennials with Boomers to focus on teens. Although their attitudes meshed for the most part, a slightly larger proportion of teens said their parents set up their email accounts for them, but 50% set up and run their own email accounts, making email more than just something their parents make them do.

I Have An Email Address Because (All That Apply)...

 

All Respondents

Age of Respondent

Email Use

 

14-18

19-24

Everyday life

74%

73%

77%

Buy things online

51%

49%

59%

Communicative with friends/ family

45%

44%

47%

Work

41%

39%

48%

My parents got me one

11%

13%

5%

I don’t know, I rarely use it

5%

5%

3%

Source: Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study, April 2016

If teens constitute any part of your target audience, says the report, keep their interests and preferences in line when you create your email strategies and messages, but don’t translate your content into, like, total teen-speak. Instead, take the time to make your email more mobile-friendly. Teens do read email on their mobiles and will delete odd-looking or non-functional messages instead of trying to figure them out. Age rules device choice and use:

Devices Owned And Used

 

Age Group

Device

14-18

19-34

56-67

Mobile Phone other than Smartphone

15%

16%

30%

LandLine Telephone

30%

22%

62%

Tablet (such as iPad)

51%

56%

47%

Desktop Computer

43%

46%

67%

Laptop Computer

83%

84%

64%

Smartphone

87%

92%

65%

Source: Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study, April 2016

Although smartphones and laptops have the highest use among all recipients, the picture changes in the age breakdown. Tablets, laptops and smartphones dominate among younger users, while older users are more likely to use feature phones, landline telephones, and desktop computers.

Although not represented in the graphic, the study did identify the small but growing market for the Internet of Things, says the report, which includes wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers as well as Internet or WiFi connected appliances (refrigerators, home security systems, thermostats, light switches,etc.).

At 9% of users, teens are least likely to own wearables, says the report. Their older brothers and sisters (ages 19-34) are the most likely (19%). However, teens (20%) are the most active IoT users, probably because their Generation X parents bought them for family use, suggests the report.

Although the IoT is still relatively small, it's definitely a growth area, according to the report. However, these devices generally don't render HTML email messages. So, it's a "Back to the Future" moment for text email, says the report. Be certain to have a text version of your HTML email that delivers the punch without the pretty pictures.

With smartphones dominating mobile phone use among all age groups, and tablet adoption hovering around 50% across all age groups, you're far behind the curve if you haven't made your digital presence, (email, landing pages, entire website) mobile-responsive.

The study finds that people use their smartphones for personal communications (calls, texting, browsing, email and social media) over business calls and business email. And,email isn't dying among younger users, says the report. Consider the personal email use broken out by age groups: 90% for teens, and 91% for older

Millennials.

Activities Used By Smartphone (All That Apply)

 

 

Age of Respondent

 

All Respondents

14 to 18

19 to 34

56 to 67

Personal telephone calls

95%

92%

95%

98%

Business telephone calls

41

30

52

39

Personal email

86

90

91

75

Business email

34

32

44

24

Social media (Facebook, Twiiter, Pinterest)

79

91

87

54

Send & receive texts

92

94

90

91

Linking to business services (finance, travel, retail, etc.)

26

21

32

24

Daily deal sites

25

18

35

19

Chatting with friends

60

81

62

32

Apps

76

88

81

55

Source: Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study, April 2016

Today, says the report, more than 50% of email messages are read on mobile devices, which has spurred the phenomenon called "inbox triaging," where users scan their inboxes quickly, deciding what they'll read now, read later, delete and ignore. Although 44% of Boomers use this system, it's primarily a tactic for teens (73%) and Millennials (81%) to manage their inboxes.

And, importantly, Gmail is far and away the top email client among users today. Teens who sign up for their own email accounts choose it over competing clients. Unlike teen and Millennials, Boomers present a more varied picture. A majority still clings to its decades-old legacy accounts on Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL. However, at 28%, the largest individual segment has migrated over to Gmail, says the report.

Ryan Phelan, VP of marketing insights for Adestra, says “… it’s been widely assumed that email would fade away because Millennials and teens weren’t going to use it… (but) the opposite is true, email continues to be part of everyday life…  across all age groups… hanging out in their inboxes all day long… ”

To access a copy of the full report, please visit Adestra here.

 

 

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1 comment about "Teens And Millennials Prefer Ecommerce on Email".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from EMHS, March 28, 2016 at 8:52 a.m.

    Based on the details of the report, email and ecommerce use applies almost equally to Boomers, even though they are not digital natives. Therefore, there is no great marketing mystery behind using email to reach Millennials and teens, and the headline is totally misleading.