Generation Z Holds The Key To Email: Study

Email usage is just about saturated among Millennials and Generation X. But there is one group for whom it is growing: Generation Z,  in the 13-21 age category. So little is known about them that they don’t yet have a clear stereotype. 

But we do know that they view email as essential, thanks to The Future of Digital Communications, a study by SendGrid and Egg Strategy.

Of the Gen Z members polled, 85% of have an overwhelming preference for email communications. They are outranked in this area by Millennials (89%) and Gen Xers (92%). 

But that’s today. Of the Gen Z respondents, 48% expect their email use to increase in the next five years, compared with 36% of Millennials and 23% of Gen Xers.

Of 1,200 consumers surveyed overall, 67% view email as essential or important to their lives. But 33% say it is neither 

At the same time, 79% of consumers say their email usage has risen or held steady over the past five years, especially those in younger generations. And 74% of people choose email as the preferred channel for companies or brands to interact with them.



Granted, text messages and phone calls outweigh email in all generations — but not by much. And email beats out social media and communication apps

Gen Z is less likely to use email for work — but that’s to be expected, as most have not yet entered the workforce. They deem email essential for:

  • Personal emails between me and individual people I know (outside of work) — 68%
  • Emails from companies sending advertisements, coupons, receipts from purchases or password resets — 68%
  • Professional emails between me and people I work with — 36%
  • Professional emails between me and companies connected to my occupation — 24% 

According to the study, email is preferred by 70% of Gen Z for company-to-consumer interactions, compared with 72% of Millennials and 79% of Gen Xers.

And 34% like to receive physical direct mail in the form of promotions and catalogs. Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to desire that.

Overall, 32% of all consumers prefer to sign up for newsletters, including 29% of Gen Zs. And identical percentages choose to email a company when communicating. However ,39% prefer to “like” or follow up in some other way on social media.

Gen Z also ranks highest in anticipated growth in these areas:

  • Professional emails between me and companies connected to my occupation—55% 
  • Professional emails between me and people I work with—57%
  • Advertising or marketing emails from companies sending me information or coupons—42%

Personal emails between me and individual people I know (outside of work)—35%

In addition, 39% expect their advertising and marketing communications will increase in the next year, vs. 34% of Millennials and 28% of Gen Xers.

Here’s one more piece of good news for email marketers: Content sent by email, text and voice/video chat are viewed as lasting and important. In contrast, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat are seen as having fleeting influence. Facebook straddles the middle.


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