Millennials Are Telling Email Marketers To Be Relevant Or Be Ignored

The latest research is in from the DMA, and there's a stark warning for email marketers. Among many statistics, the one that really stands out is the number of people who feel that at least half of the emails they receive are relevant to them has been halved, to just 16%, in the past five years.

Given that people are receiving more emails than ever before, it may come as a little surprise that 58% of Millennials have abandoned an email address. For older age groups, this rate of abandonment is halved but the same proportion -- roughly one in four -- are considering dropping an email address so it fills up with branded messages unchecked. In fact, in a similar vein, 59% of Millennials have set up ghost email accounts, compared to 45% as a wider average. That means that around half of all people have an email address they give out when they have to prove their ID to sign into an account or get free WiFi but don't actually check that email address. As for the reason why, the majority attribute it to receiving too many emails.

The reason that this is likely to be on the increase is that half of the population are now mobile when it comes to email. In fact, more than two in three Millennials now reveal that their smartphone is their primary email device. When you are dealing with the small screen, each email message takes up more of the overall space available and so brands repeatedly getting it wrong will have more of a negative effect than on a desktop. 

So those are the statistics. People are receiving more email than ever before, and five in six people feel they are receiving too many messages which aren't relevant to them. This is causing people to allow "ghost" accounts to fill up where branded messages remain unchecked. 

The lesson, then, is incredibly clear. Around half of all email recipients claim they sign up for both free delivery or samples as well as money-off deals. So that's a very good steer on what they want to hear about from a brand. New range launches are OK, but endless reminders that you're selling stuff without much of a purpose will be seen through instantly as just another excuse to try to drive a sale or two.

The golden rules, then, are to be relevant and never forget that for half the market mobile is now the main tool, and that proportion rises to more than two in three for Millennials. So, if your campaigns are not adaptive, you can forget it. The same goes for your messages if you're not segmenting audiences to ensure that emails are targetted. Be relevant or be ignored -- it's that simple.

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