Email Most Preferred Media To Reach Millennials

Email is the key to marketing to Millennials, according to research released Wednesday from marketing company BrightWave.

Email was selected as the most preferred method of brand communication in a study of 1,500 Millennials by the email marketing agency, followed by in-person communication and social media.

Born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials are the first native email population so the popularity of the channel shouldn’t be altogether surprising, but this doesn’t mean that email marketers can simply batch-and-blast Millennial consumers and expect the campaign to be successful. 

The qualities of an email that make Millennials more likely to click includes promotional deals, selected by 37.2% of Millennials, and timely and relevant information, preferred by 28.7% of Millennials. 19% of respondents stated they were looking for unique content or ideas, while 15% specified they were on the lookout for personalized recommendations in their email inbox. 

The most important ingredient to entice a Millennial to engage with an email is mobile optimization according to the BrightWave report. 41% of respondents stated there were most likely to engage with an email if it looked good on their phone, while 27.7% of Millennials were looking to engage with emails with great photography. An additional 19.7% wanted animation, while 11.6% were looking for videos.

Successful marketing campaigns, however, could entice customers to shop. A fifth of Millennials responded that they were more likely to engage with a brand or buy from a brand that sent relevant emails to them, while 14% of Millennials are more likely to support a cause according to BrightWave’s report. 

A recent study by Fluent, a digital marketing company, confirms the power of email for Millennials. The company surveyed 1,769 Millennials and 1,191 non-Millennials to investigate what drives Millennials to make purchasing decisions, discovering that promotional emails were the most effective digital advertising channel.

Sixty-eight percent of Millennials said promotional emails had impacted their purchase decisions more than once. Twenty-six percent responded that promotional emails impacted their decision “most” or “all” of the time, compared to 16% of non-Millennials.

“Embrace email as not only a good promotional marketing channel but as the most effective digital channel for engaging with Millennials,” recommends Jordan Cohen, chief marketing officer at Fluent. “Contrary to popular belief, our research shows that Millennials are actually more likely to be driven to make purchases as a result of receiving email than non-Millennials." 

The cadence of email marketing is the most likely culprit of Millennial unsubscribes, with 47.1% of respondents stating that the biggest reason they unsubscribe from emails was because they simply received them too often. Additional reasons for unsubscribes included bad list hygiene, irrelevant subject matter and lack of mobile optimization.

“If you send too many emails without delivering the value, Millennials will run faster than other age groups from you,” says Simms Jenkins, chief executive officer of BrightWave.

Jenkins says that personalization works and matters among Millennials.

“Little things matter -- get creative and mysterious with your subject line,” says Jenkins. “Make the photography killer, not cheesy. Test different Calls-to-Action. It must look good on mobile. Eye-catching animation or videos helps.”

If they play their cards right, email marketers can reap the rewards as Millennials increase the scope of their purchases year-after-year.  

Millennials are now the largest population group in the United States, surpassing Baby Boomers in April with 75.4 million citizens according to the Pew Research Center’s calculations of US Census Bureau data. As the largest national segment, Millennial buying power will soon be at its apex. 

By 2020, Millennials are expected to represent 30% of total retail sales, according to an Accenture study that projects Millennial shopping will grow from $600 billion a year today to $1.4 trillion a year within a few years. 

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